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Do The Bruins Regret Firing Bruce Cassidy?

Bruce Cassidy
Do the Bruins regret firing Bruce Cassidy? After the Golden Knights just won the Stanley Cup, it’s hard not to think that way. (John Tlumacki/Globe Staff)

Do The Bruins Regret Firing Bruce Cassidy?

I tried to warn you. I can lead a horse to water but can’t force it to drink. The guy that should have won coach of the year wasn’t even nominated. The Vegas Golden Knights are Stanley Cup champions and Bruce Cassidy officially got the last laugh. Can we all just admit that the Bruins regret firing Butch or was it just a matter of circumstance instead? Maybe it’s a little of both.

It’s funny how it all worked out. The record-setting Bruins lost in the first round of the playoffs. The same team Cassidy took care of in five with the Golden Knights.

As we talked about in the head coach of the year article, Cassidy was Bill Parcells. He installed all the defensive structure that the Bruins used. Jim Montgomery came in and tweaked the offense sparking a magical season. The problem is we got to playoffs and all of the defensive habits Cassidy preached crumbled during playoffs. Cassidy wouldn’t have allowed what happened to this Bruins team and we all know it.

Maybe the Bruins wouldn’t have won the Cup but they wouldn’t have allowed the Panthers comeback to happen. Boston gave up 15 goals to Florida in the final three games of that series with a sick blue line of studs. The Golden Knights only gave up 12 total goals to that same Florida team. Keep in mind, they’re doing it with Adin Hill who was acquired for a fourth round pick.

I’m not going to talk X’s and O’s — I don’t think I’m qualified to do that. However, I do watch the games and I know that every goalie that plays for Cassidy thrives. Literally all of them. Vegas used five goalies this year and all of them had winning records.

In reality, there should be two takeaways to Vegas winning the Cup.

A: This Vegas team didn’t make the playoffs last year. I want you to think about that. A team that didn’t make the playoffs a year ago won the West and Lord Stanley. Keep in mind, this was a team coming into the season that dumped that bum Max Pacioretty for nothing and made no real additions to the roster. It’s also a team that entered the season in goalie turmoil with Robin Lehner having surprise hip surgery.

The only real additions to the roster came via the Mark Stone LTIR thing. It was mostly Ivan Barbashev, Jonathan Quick, and Teddy Blueger. Two of the three really didn’t factor into the playoffs formula. This is also the best two way hockey Jack Eichel has ever played. It has everything to do with the coach.

B: What does this say about guys like Jake DeBrusk that literally refused to play for Cassidy? Maybe take a good look in the mirror, buddy. All the Bruins players. They put this on the coach and he was never the problem. Maybe those guys deserved to be barked at. Maybe the guy had a point when he told you to forecheck better.

We’ll never know for sure what would have happened if Boston didn’t fire Cassidy. What I do know is the entire Vegas Golden Knights franchise should send them a thank you letter because they probably don’t lift Lord Stanley without him. The greatest compliment I’ll give Cassidy is the fact that I learn something about hockey basically every time he takes the podium. You just don’t fire guys like that.

Karma won out. Bruce Cassidy got the last laugh and he deserves all of the flowers.

***

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