The Bruins nearly had at least a point in every game of their six-game road trip last week, but some last-second goals from their opponents squashed that possibility.
Boston fell to the Anaheim Ducks when they scored in the final seconds before dropping a heartbreaker to the Los Angeles Kings when the Bruins returned to TD Garden on Monday in similar fashion. The Bruins also allowed the Columbus Blue Jackets to tie the game and force overtime, but the B’s ultimately came out victorious.
Still, it’s a troubling trend fans have been seeing of late.
Heade coach Bruce Cassidy, though, sees a positive in all of this.
“The positive is we’re in a position where we’re right there to finish the game. So that’s the positive,” Cassidy told reporters after Wednesday’s practice at Warrior Ice Arena, per team-provided audio. “This team historically has had guys here that have been very good at it. So, we’ve just got to get back to that mentality going into the playoffs. It should be in their heads that we’ve done this for years, closed out games.”
The head coach knows his team needs to close out games when they have the opportunity to do so.
“At the end of the day, it’s part of playing winning hockey, closing out games,” Cassidy said. “I don’t want to say it’s in our heads, but we’re aware of it. Have to be aware of it. And come crunch time, we’re going to be in a lot of those types of games and typically we have been good. So, I’m also not going to overreact for a 10-day stretch of some goals late. But, like I said, we’ve got to address it and fix it.
“I don’t know if it’s an automatic fix of we’re just going to win the next draw and that’s going to solve it because we have had some situations where we did win the draw and we weren’t able to put the game away. Colorado (Avalanche) had some empty-net opportunities. So, I think it’s as much puck management as anything.
“We’ve got to make sure we bear it down once we do get a touch and make sure it gets out and in the other team’s net, if that opportunity presents itself or at least out in a neutral zone.”