What Bruce Cassidy Thinks Bruins Need To Improve In Game 2 Vs. Blues


The Boston Bruins improved their playoff winning streak to eight games Monday night with a 4-2 victory over the St. Louis Blues in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final at TD Garden.

The Bruins, who won the final three games of their second-round series against the Columbus Blue Jackets before sweeping the Carolina Hurricanes in the Eastern Conference Final, overcame a two-goal deficit to secure the win. That’s a tough way to live, especially against a team as good as the Blues. So when Bruce Cassidy was asked after Game 1 what his team needs to do better in Game 2, it should come as no surprise the Bruins coach pointed to Boston’s first-period performance.

“Start on time, we pride ourselves on that,” Cassidy said. “I didn?t think we were bad, but you know, at home you want to be the dominant team. We?ve been really good in the playoffs, first period, so that?s one thing.

“I thought we were bad at the blue lines in terms of being hard on pucks early on. I think that had to do with — you don?t like to talk about it — but the time off. You don?t have your edge yet to battle. You try to replicate it in practice, but it?s just not going to happen, you?re risking injury too much. So those things should come a little more naturally on Wednesday, I hope.”

The Bruins had an 11-day break between their series-clinching win over the Hurricanes and Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final. This afforded the B’s some much-needed rest — after all, the playoffs are an absolute grind — but it also contributed to a little rust, which Boston was fortunate enough to shake off after falling behind 2-0 early in the second period Monday.

The Bruins and Blues will run it back Wednesday night at TD Garden, where Boston will look to continue its winning streak and seize a 2-0 series lead before the action shifts to St. Louis for Games 3 and 4. One should expect another physical contest, for Game 1 proved rather chippy and the Blues are more than capable of fighting their way off the ropes.

“You know, they?re a heavy team, and if you?re not willing to battle, you?re going to lose pucks all night,” Cassidy said after Game 1. “They reload well so I think — the third part was that when we did win a battle, we didn?t move our feet to get going up ice. We kind of looked around to make a play so at the end of the day, we?re playing right to their strength, which you know, they work hard, they reload, they?re strong on the pucks and as soon as we seemed to win it, we gave it right back. I think that was the problem in the first period and we figured it out in the second.”

The Bruins have been dominant at times during their postseason winning streak, and they sure looked like the better team in the second and third periods of Game 1. Another slow start could spell trouble for Boston, though, and it sounds like Cassidy will hammer home that point before the puck drops in Game 2.

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