In yet another season that could have easily gone down the tubes real quick, the Bruins finally ripped off the band-aid and axed Claude Julien in February. Enter The Boss, Bruce Cassidy. Say what you will about Claude, good coach, awful coach, whatever. One thing was clear, he had lost the ability to jolt the team. Or he just refused to make the necessary changes in style. But if the Bruins stand pat and don’t fire Julien, the Bruins 100% miss the playoffs for the third year in a row. That shit is unacceptable in a city like Boston, especially with the core they have now with Bergeron, Marchand, Pastrnak, Tuuka, Chara and Krug. Too many good players to not at least find your way into a Wild Card berth.
Under Cassidy the Bruins went 18-8-1 and they looked like an entirely different team. Cassidy had the team playing a much more up tempo game, had the defense jumping into plays and helping create offense rather than cycling it around and slowly lugging the puck up the ice as they had under Claude. Obviously guys like Krug thrived under the renewed style that offered them a lot more freedom, which is when you started to see 4 and 5 goal outbursts.
Cassidy was the Providence Bruins head coach for 5 years and acted as Don Sweeney’s go-to guy when Don was Director of Player Development. So Cassidy has worked closely with the young players in the Bruins system and has an intimate knowledge of whats coming through the pipeline and how to best take advantage of these players skill sets. I’m excited to see what he can do with a full offseason of working with Charlie McAvoy because that kid looks like a bonafide stud who will fit Cassidy’s style perfectly.
So the Bruins made the right move in removing the interim tag from Bruce Cassidy’s head coach name tag.