Things certainly got chippy between the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 2 on Saturday, to say the least.
The Bruins tied up the first-round series with a 4-1 win, and did so in punishing fashion in a very physical game that saw a number of massive hits, including a few post-whistle scrums. For the most part, the Bruins kept their cool, while the Maple Leafs will be without Nazem Kadri for some time. The Toronto center was in New York for an in-person meeting with the NHL Department of Player Safety for a cross check to the head of Jake DeBrusk, which resulted in a suspension for the remainder of the first round.
The Bruins avoided any hits or plays that warranted supplementary discipline, and head coach Bruce Cassidy credits that to his veteran leaders being able to stay calm when the temperature rises in the playoffs.
“Play hard between the whistles,” Cassidy said, per the Bruins on Twitter. “They know the temperature goes up.”
“If we take a hit, you can’t just chase a guy down. You’ve got to have some level of discipline and sort out how you’re going to change that momentum. It’s not about getting a guy back who hits you.
“There would be no players left on the ice. You have to manage that part of your, whatever you want to call it, your aggressive tendency or your willingness to want to stick up for a teammate, exact revenge … I think our guys are just veteran guys who can calm the guys down. As a coach, I don’t need to do that.”
It’s true that the Bruins do have multiple players who have been around the block a number of times. Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, David Krejci and Zdeno Chara have all been a part of two Stanley Cup Finals, while the majority of the roster has either a good chunk of playoff experience, or at the very least, a good knowledge of the Bruins’ physical brand of play.
With the series shifting to Toronto, discipline will be key for the Bruins as they enter a hostile environment that likely will be all over Monday’s officiating crew.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images