The Bruins are sending a message to a pair of third liners ahead of Sunday’s head-to-head with the Canucks, as both Jake DeBrusk and Erik Haula will take seats as the Black and Gold’s healthy scratches up front.
DeBrusk’s latest trip to the Bruce Cassidy doghouse comes with the Boston coaching staff once again asking that the 25-year-old finds ways to impact the game when not finding the scoresheet.
“What happens with Jake, what we’ve seen over the last few years is when the production is there, you’re getting more second effort. They kind of go hand in hand,” Cassidy said Sunday. “And when it’s not there, we lose it a little bit. That’s been the ask of him for a number of years now: no drop-off on this side of the ledger just because the production isn’t there.
“Any 20-goal scorer still only scores once every four games if they’re playing every game, more or less. You still need the other things. A little bit more of an ask, second effort away from the puck, working to keep it out of your net, etc..”
DeBrusk will go to the press box with zero points in his last three games, and just one goal in his last 13 games overall. DeBrusk did have a mini-hot streak within that 13-game sample, with one goal and four points over Boston’s recent three-game win streak, but the 0-0-0s surrounding that streak were just too hard to ignore.
“I’d like to see [DeBrusk] impact the game with his foot-speed every night in some way, shape, or form,” Cassidy offered. “Whether it’s forecheck or attacking the net, penalty kill, whatever the case may be. That’s where we’re at. We’re starting to see that drop-off again, so it’s a reminder that, ‘Hey, bring us the effort and hopefully the production happens, but we need that.'”
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.