A rough postseason got worse for Bruins defenseman Jeremy Lauzon on Monday night.
On the ice for two of New York’s three goals in regulation, including one that banked off his skate and through Tuukka Rask, Game 2’s overtime came to a crashing end when Lauzon made an ‘ill-advised’ pass attempt that ricocheted off Charlie Coyle’s skate at a cool 100 miles per hour and sent Casey Cizikas in on a breakaway on Tuukka Rask.
But Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy is going to stick with Lauzon for Game 3, and is hoping for a bounce-back effort from the gritty, first-year full-timer.
“He’s a confident kid,” Cassidy said of the 24-year-old Lauzon. “If you watch him, he tries plays out there more than most at his experience level. I’m not worried about that part of it. I think the message to Jeremy, for the most part is now moving forward, we’re all onto Game 3. Game 2 is over.”
The Bruins, of course, remain short on backup options.
Veteran Kevan Miller skated on Wednesday, but still isn’t ready to jump back into the mix. Jakub Zboril is practicing in a regular jersey, but isn’t considered an option right now, and veteran options Steven Kampfer and John Moore are both done for the season. That leaves the Bruins with Lauzon, Jarred Tinordi, and Urho Vaakanainen as their options, and the Bruins clearly believe in Lauzon — struggles and all — over the other two options available to them right now.
“Be true to your identity,” Cassidy said of the message to Lauzon for Game 3. “In simplest terms, you have to be at your best to keep pucks out of our net. That’s your first job. That’s what you’re good at [and] that’s why you got into the lineup. You’re obviously hard to play against and willing to block shots, be physical, all those other things that go along with that.
“But [be] hard to play against and keep the puck out of your net. And that starts with good defending, that starts with a good stick. That’s what we addressed with him the other night. I thought there was areas where his stick could have been in better positions, specifically on the PK.”
Despite Lauzon’s obvious struggles, struggles that have undoubtedly involved some bad luck, there is reason to be optimistic when it comes to his Game 3, as there’s almost no way it can go worse for him than it did in Game 3, and that Lauzon-Connor Clifton actually put together a strong Game 1 effort against some stiff competition.
That same level of competition almost certainly awaits ’em on Long Island, too, as the Bruins will not have the benefit of last change in this contest.
“[Lauzon] still has to make the plays that are in front of him, and he’s going to be like everybody else on our team, he’s going to make some good news and other ones that could’ve been better,” Cassidy offered. “We’ll keep him encouraging him, working with him. He’s a great kid, he’ll be in there [Thursday] night, and hopefully helps us win.”
The Bruins are 2-1 on the road this postseason.
Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.