Bruins Notes: What Bruce Cassidy Thought Was Biggest Issue Vs. Flames

Cassidy criticized the power play and top offensive contributors

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November 21, 2021

BOSTON — Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy wasn’t pleased with what he received from Boston’s top offensive contributors during a 4-0 shutout loss to the Calgary Flames at TD Garden on Sunday night.

The Bruins were out-worked while failing to sustain much of anything on the forecheck, including their three power-play chances. It was a theme of Cassidy’s postgame press conference, although it certainly wasn’t the only thing that plagued Boston during the defeat.

“I think the power play really hurt us. We didn’t generate any momentum on it, if anything it generated momentum for them,” Cassidy said, referencing the fact the Bruins allowed a short-handed goal in the third period to essentially put the game away. “… Like I said, the power play kind of took the life out of us. The top guys did not have a good night in any area of the game and that’s something that could have helped us.”

The top line of Patrice Bergeron, David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand was out-shined by that of the Flames as Calgary’s top line registered each of its first two goals.

“They got out-worked. They got out-worked and we had a game plan how to get in the zone,” Cassidy said of the power play. “Calgary’s PK is excellent. They defend the blue line well. There’s certain ways you can get in, you got to play behind it, or try to get the first pass in the middle so you can kick it out. We didn’t do it.

“We did it in the second period, Charlie (McAvoy) self-chipped it got the puck we’re in the zone for 30, 40 seconds. I think the other group did it once,” Cassidy continued. “But the top group, they were stubborn tonight. Very stubborn in their approach. And sometimes it works out for them because they’re elite players and tonight it didn’t against a good kill and that hurt us.”

Here are other notes from Bruins-Flames:

— Bergeron added to Cassidy’s statements sharing where he think Boston ended up losing the game.

“I think it was all execution tonight,” Bergeron said. “A lot of it was on us. As I said, not making the plays, not executing and not sticking to, when it’s going to be a game like that I think you got to simplify, and I don’t think we did that. Obviously, they took advantage and capitalized.”

— The Flames scored each of their first two goals on a pair of juicy rebounds allowed after Bruins goaltender Jeremey Swayman made the initial save.

Cassidy explained that while he was looking for more from the group around Swayman, he’s hoping the second-year goaltender can limit those mistakes going forward.

“There were some that got away from him, the lead up to those I think could have been better for us,” Cassidy said. “Those plays below the goal line we got to get cleaner on, getting going out of our end. We weren’t and as a result it forced sway to make some saves, and yeah, we’d like the rebounds to go elsewhere, but we have to be able to box out and get pucks out of harms way as well.”

Swayman added he too was disappointed in the performance.

— Flames goaltender Dan Vladar, who the Bruins traded this offseason, finished with a 27-save shutout for Calgary. It was one of the seven shutouts this season for the Western Conference leaders.

Swayman, though subdued in his congratulatory remarks, and rightfully so seeing as though the loss came with him on the opposite end, did share a nice sentiment for Vladar.

“He’s a great guy, great teammate,” Swayman said. “Obviously don’t like losing, but yeah happy for him. He’s had success. Yeah, good for him.”

— The Bruins return to action Wednesday in Buffalo as they visit the Sabres. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET, and you can watch it live on NESN.

Boston Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy
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