Cassidy: 'Getting up and running early' one of B's biggest challenges

Cassidy: 'Getting up and running early' one of B's biggest challenges

BRIGHTON, Mass – While Bruce Cassidy clearly and deservedly got the necessary vote of confidence from Bruins management this spring when he was signed to a multi-year deal as the permanent head coach of the B’s, there is still a bit of unknown to be broached with the team in the coming months. Cassidy took over midseason after Claude Julien was relieved of his duties, and helped steer the Black and Gold into a playoff berth after it appeared that they were going to fall short for a third straight season before the coaching move was made. 

So this season will be Cassidy’s first full season running the Bruins bench, his first time putting the entire organization through NHL training camp and his first time pushing Boston toward the ultimate goal from the very first moments of the regular season. Asked whether that was a taller task than parachuting in midseason as he did last year, Cassidy reserved the right to have an opinion on it until he’s gone through it at least one time in Boston. 

Of course Cassidy has coached full seasons in the NHL prior to his time with the Bruins, but a lot has changed in the last 13 years since his previous stint as bench boss for the Washington Capitals. 

“We were up and running in a hurry. We had the luxury of a couple practices to sort of start the process of how we were trying to change. But, there wasn’t a lot of time to overthink it, and off we went. The urgency level was there for the players. They knew that. They wanted to get in. So, that was an advantage, I think,” said Cassidy, taking some time to talk with reporters at Bruins development camp. “Going into the year, in October, it’s important to get your message across that these points. You’ve got that Thanksgiving measuring stick, so that will be the challenge there. Each challenge has its own [challenges]. I don’t know if there’s a greater one or not. 

“Ask me again maybe once I go through this part and I can have a better answer for you. But that to me is the challenge is getting up and running early. It’s too hard to make up ground in this league. That’ll be our sole focus is to pick up where we left off in terms of our style of play and getting better and making sure we get our points.”

Clearly it might be difficult to match the strong 18-8-1 pace that the Bruins played at in the 20 games under Cassidy once he replaced Julien in early February, and getting consistent urgency out of this group of Boston players had been a challenge in recent season’s past. That will all be part of the challenge for Cassidy with a mostly returning group from last season that will also be sprinkled with more of the youthful prospects that Boston has pushing through the pro ranks as Brandon Carlo and Charlie McAvoy did last season. 

Morning Skate: Another setback for Flyers top pick Nolan Patrick

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Morning Skate: Another setback for Flyers top pick Nolan Patrick

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while wondering what Melissa McCarthy is going to do now that Spicey is gone.

*The debut for Philadelphia Flyers top pick Nolan Patrick has been scratched due to “an infection in his face.” Boy, this kid can’t get healthy, can he?

*Detroit Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill is 100 percent sure that the Winged Wheels will be making a return to the playoffs this season.

*PHT writer and FOH (Friend of Haggs) Jason Brough has hope returning to the city of Houston that they might get an NHL franchise one of these days.

*Travis Yost delves into shooting percentage and some of the nuances when properly trying to break it down statistically.

*There are new season ticket charges for Habs fans in Montreal, and boy are they pissed off about it. Feels like the kind of thing that could push them to riot in the streets or flood 911 emergency lines if the Canadiens aren’t too careful about it.

*Young Blues defenseman Colton Parayko signs a five-year deal with St. Louis to avoid salary arbitration while the D-man taken exactly one pick before him by the Bruins in the draft, Matt Grzelcyk, is going to be hard-pressed to move past the AHL level this season.

*For something completely different: What would Ivan Drago have been doing with his life after his showdown with Rocky in Mother Russia?