One is an incident, two’s a coincidence, three’s a pattern, and seven out of eight, including four straight at home, is a winning streak. The Boston Bruins have looked like a different team since firing Claude Julien and promoting former assistant Bruce Cassidy to interim head coach 20 days ago.
The Bruins, who were a slightly above .500 team under Julien’s regime, posting a 26-23-6 record, have now seven out of the eight games since Cassidy took over. In that time, the Bruins, who at times this season have lacked an offensive punch, have scored an average of four goals per game, including two six goal games.
The shake up in coaching has seen resurgence in offense from Bruins center Patrice Bergeron and winger Brad Marchand. Bergeron has scored 3 goals and assisted on 9 others, while Marchand has netted 5 pucks and has 6 assists in the last eight games.
The Bruins have not played well at home this season, posting a 12-13-0 record under Julien, and a 4-0-0 record under Cassidy for a combined 16-13-0 record at the TD Garden. Their improved play at home is important because 12 of their final 19 games this season will be played at home.
“It’s huge,” said Bergeron when asked about winning at home. “We know that. If I’m not mistaken, we’re going to play more home games until the end, so we know that it’s going to be important to be good at home, so like you said, you know, those last four games have been the way that we want to play at home.”
Even though the Bruins jumped out to a 1-0 lead last night thanks to a Colin Miller goal, the game was very sloppy, and the Coyotes were able to tie it up on a power play goal by Peter Holland. Later in the second period, Miller delivered a bone crushing open-ice hit on Alexander Burmistrov, which resulted in Burmistrov being carted off on a stretcher and Miller with a five-minute major penalty and a game misconduct. In the past, this would have been a game that would’ve got away from the Bruins and they would’ve lost. But in the end, the Bruins persevered, and Riley Nash scored the eventual game-winning goal shorthanded, as the Bruins would go on to win 4-1.
“I think it’s our resiliency,” coach Cassidy said when asked what impressed him the most. ” I mean, there’s situations where, trap games they’ll call them, where you come back off the road, that first game at home, can you keep and sustain the energy level? I know it was sloppy out there at times, but we pushed through it.”
The Bruins look to continue their winning ways as they take on the New York Rangers on March 2.