Bruce Cassidy Sees Competition Fueling Bruins From Bottom Up

'I think those are good things creating competition in your lineup'

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Opportunity sometimes sprouts from unfortunate situations, but now that the Boston Bruins are mostly on the other side of a COVID-19 outbreak, some of those players whose roles were increased might have changed their value to the team for the better.

A 5-3 win over the New Jersey Devils seemed to be a prime example of this.

In a back-and-forth matchup, the Bruins couldn’t gain more than a goal of separation over the Devils until the final minute of the game. That made four points from Boston’s fourth line absolutely crucial.

“I thought they were our best line tonight so I tried to get them out there a lot as much as possible without losing the other guys and I think they recognize that,” Cassidy said of Trent Frederic (one goal), Tomá? Nosek (one assist) and Curtis Lazar (one goal, on assist).

“And (they) recognize that hey, this is a night for us to contribute in an offensive fashion, not just killing penalties and being physical and doing some of the dirty work.”

Oskar Steen had been called up amid the health & safety protocol dilemma, and earning ice time with the third line Tuesday, managed to score the first goal of his NHL career.

With his play, he’s made the case that he deserves a continued shot in the NHL, and Cassidy shared how the Bruins can benefit from that pressure some young guys are placing on the roster from the bottom up.

“All of a sudden Lazar now who was out has a more effective game because we see someone going into a spot,” Cassidy said.

“So I think those are good things creating competition in your lineup. So that’s what that part brings with a younger guy. A little enthusiasm, a guy that’s excited to play when you get in these stretches where you got a lot of games in a row. I think sometimes that can carry a little bit — give the other guys juice.”

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