Bruins Notes: Bruce Cassidy Needs Team To ‘Smarten Up’ In Overtime


January 2, 2020

BOSTON — The Bruins began the new decade in all-too-familiar fashion: an overtime loss.

Boston hasn’t had much luck when games go past the 60-minute regulation mark, as shown by its 11 OT losses this season. No other team has more than eight.

The Black and Gold fell to the Columbus Blue Jackets just 52 seconds into overtime Thursday night at TD Garden resulting in a 2-1 loss and its second straight defeat. And head coach Bruce Cassidy needs his team to “smarten up” in order to come away with two points.

“We’ll assess it tomorrow. I’m sure no one is pleased,” he said. “It’s another lead going into the third period we weren’t able to close out. That’s frustrating as anything. … As for the overtime, we gotta smarten up. Can’t get caught diving down low, it’s happened more than once this year. … If you don’t make a play at their end, you gotta make sure you put yourself in a better spot defensively to defend the rush or get off the ice. That’s cost us a few times. At some point, you’ll learn from your mistakes.”

Boston held a 1-0 lead going into the third period thanks to David Pastrnak’s 30th goal of the season. But as the case has been so many times this season, the team was unable to preserve its advantage, something Pastrnak said may be getting into his teammate’s heads.

“It’s frustrating, obviously,” he said. “It’s been plenty of them this year. Probably getting a little bit in our head.”

The B’s still hold a 10-point lead over the Toronto Maple Leafs for the Atlantic Division’s top spot. But as the playoffs draw closer, the points become more crucial.

Here are some other notes from Thursday’s Bruins-Blue Jackets game:

— Pastrnak’s 30th goal came 42 games into the season. He’s the fastest Bruins player to reach the 30-goal mark since Cam Neely did it in 27 games during the 1993-94 season.

— The Blue Jackets appeared to take a 1-0 lead just 17 seconds into the first period. But Cassidy challenged for goaltender interference and the call went in Boston’s favor.

“I felt something preventing me to push there,” Tuukka Rask said after the game. “… I couldn’t figure it out so I wasn’t protesting. But then I saw the replay. … I think they got that right because it’s one of those that might not look just awful but it’s one of those that’s worse than it looks.”

— Zdeno Chara now has played in parts of four decades (1990s, 2000s, 2010s and 2020s), joining San Jose Sharks’ Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau as the 12th, 13th and 14th NHL players to do so.

— While the B’s have a nine-game point streak, they are 4-0-5 during that stretch.

“Try not to get frustrated,” Rask said. “Just keep plugging away and hopefully we’ll start turning those overtime losses into wins.”

The Bruins Notes are brought to you by Mercedes-Benz. 

Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images
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