Bruce Cassidy Pinpoints Key Area He Wants Jake DeBrusk To Improve In

DeBrusk has been used in some key situations this season


November 14, 2021

Bruce Cassidy trusts Jake DeBrusk.

Now, he wants the winger to have some faith in himself, too.

The Boston Bruins winger is trying to string together a more productive 2021-22 season after last campaign was his most challenging one yet as a pro.

It’s been clear early on this season that DeBrusk is back in his head coach’s good graces. When Taylor Hall got demoted to the third line in Tuesday’s win over the Ottawa Senators, it was DeBrusk who got moved up. Then in Saturday’s victory over the New Jersey Devils, DeBrusk was on the ice late in the game with the net empty, and he was the one that scored the late tally.

That actually came after he got moved down to the fourth line. But even with the bump down, Cassidy still felt it best to use him.

“(Saturday) there were times his details were off. He was reminded, which is our job as coaches and our leadership,” Cassidy told reporters after Sunday’s morning skate. “But he was out there at the end. I have faith in Jake to get the job done, he needs to have maybe more faith in himself sometimes and just play the right way. He’s a smart hockey player, we’re using him on the penalty kill. When he’s on his details, they’re crisp, they’re sharp. …

“I’ve said this with Jake all the time, we just need a little more second effort from him on certain plays. I think he can be a really good player, but that’s on him (to have a better second effort). But his details and knowledge are good, so I trust him in those situations.”

DeBrusk will be back on the fourth line for Sunday’s game against the Montreal Canadiens. Cassidy did note that the bottom six is largely interchangeable right now, so it’s not as though he’ll be in a true fourth line role. He’ll skate with Tomas Nosek and Oskar Steen, while Anton Blidh, Erik Haula and Karson Kuhlman will make up the third unit.

Thumbnail photo via Nov 13, 2021; Newark, New Jersey, USA; New Jersey Devils right wing Alexander Holtz (10) skates with the puck while being defended by Boston Bruins left wing Jake DeBrusk (74) during the second period at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
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