Bruce Cassidy Issues Important Reality Check After Loss To Rangers

The defense collapsed in the final 20 minutes


May 8, 2021

It’s no surprise, but Bruce Cassidy and the Boston Bruins are well aware that their defensive effort in the third period Saturday won’t cut it going forward.

Entering the final 20 minutes tied 1-1 with the New York Rangers, the Bruins proceeded to give up four goals in an eventual 5-4 loss.

There were some bad bounces, to be sure, but there also were a few too many unforced errors. The Bruins left the slot open routinely and also gave the puck away in their own end.

Boston had walloped the Rangers 4-0 on Thursday and was good the first 40 minutes Saturday. So, the view from 10,000 feet is that the Bruins had five good defensive periods against the Rangers, but ultimately one really bad stretch sank them.

“It was not a constant barrage of poor defensive play, it was 20 minutes,” Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said over Zoom after the game, before issuing a reality check. “But it will need to be addressed and corrected, or you’re not going anywhere if that’s the best you defend in front of your net and return to your spots.

“Obviously that’s on us to make sure guys know where they’re going coming back into their own end, and it’s up to the guys to have better sticks and eat some pucks.”

The good thing is that type of defensive play is uncharacteristic of the Bruins. But, certainly, alleviating that from ever happening again is going to be a point of emphasis for Cassidy and Co. over the next few days.

Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images
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