It may seem weird to say this given the fact that they basically didn’t play at all during the first three weeks of the season and had a COVID-induced break over the final week plus of 2021, but these Bruins need a rest.
That time is officially here, too, following Tuesday’s head-to-head with the Kraken. And the good news for the Bruins, who returned home for a quick one-off following a 6-1 waxing at the hands of the Stars this past Sunday, is that they can feel good about their upcoming rest and relaxation thanks to a get-right finish that was enough for another two points.
“I think it’s [coming at] a good time,” Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said of his team’s upcoming, week-long break. “You know, we have an intense schedule. Once we restarted [we’ve had an intense schedule], and we’ll have an intense one once we restart after this break through with the rescheduled and postponed games. So yes, it’s a good time. If it hadn’t been two weeks from now it would be a good time because like I said, it’s very intense. You know, [playing] every second night, now we’re mixing in some travel. We didn’t have a lot of travel there [with] the homestand. We’ll get on the road a little more in February and early March, and sometimes that’s not a bad thing to to get your game in order and your team together.”
But before the Bruins could fully shift to vacation mode, the Kraken wiping out a two-goal lead in the third period saw Cassidy do something we’ve rarely seen during his time behind the bench and call his timeout with a significant chunk of time remaining in the third period. 12 and a half minutes, to be exact. The message from the former Jack Adams winner was simple.
“It was about trying to take a deep breath and not let the game get away from us,” Cassidy said when asked for the thinking behind the timeout. “It got into even [at 2-2]. We had a 12 and a half minute game in front of us. If we value the points, then we’ve gotta start playing the right way, and that was about it. You know, try to get their attention. These guys have been around.
“They know the importance of it. We just we didn’t value that [and] we weren’t very respectful of the game in a number of instances with the puck for whatever reason. And it was some of our veteran guys that typically don’t fall into that category.”
The Bruins bounced back from that wake-up call from their coach in the exact fashion the B’s bench boss wanted, too, as a heavy o-zone shift from the Bruins’ fourth line of Anton Blidh-Steve Fogarty-Oskar Steen (let’s call them the Swedish Clearwater Revival Line and give me $500,000 along the way) drew a penalty and put Boston’s power play back to work.
It was just the opening David Pastrnak needed — and with a little help from Chris Driedger’s glove — to put the B’s up 3-2.
Similar to last Friday in Arizona, this one had the feel of a game where you didn’t care about style points as much as the two points. The Bruins’ status as a wild card team — and as a team in need of a massive second-half surge to push themselves into the top three of a straight-up loaded Atlantic Division — confirms that with even a passing glance at the standings.
And the Bruins can’t help but feel better about their place in those standings by ending their pre-break slate with a victory, opposed to a potential slide that would’ve featured losses in four of their last five games.
“I’m sure some guys will appreciate the timing of it and use it to their advantage,” said Cassidy.
Here are some other thoughts and notes from a 3-2 win over the NHL’s newest team…