After Monday’s dominant 7-2 win over the Florida Panthers, Bruce Cassidy and the Vegas Golden Knights now hold a 2-0 series lead in the Stanley Cup Final and are two wins away from winning it all.
Meanwhile, Cassidy’s former team, the Boston Bruins, have been sitting at home for over a month after blowing a 3-1 series lead to the Panthers in the first round.
Obviously, it's going to be a pretty tough look for the Bruins if the coach they fired one year ago Tuesday wins the Cup in his first season with a new team.
WEEI’s Adam Jones believes it will be an especially tough look for Bruins players, who reportedly had grown tired of Cassidy’s coaching style, leading general manager Don Sweeney to conclude that a new “voice” was needed.
“Have we talked enough about how the Bruins – [Patrice] Bergeron, [David] Krejci, [Jake] DeBrusk just to name a few – how they should feel if Bruce Cassidy wins a Cup, when Bruce Cassidy wins a Cup?,” Jones asked during Tuesday’s Jones & Mego show (listen to the full discussion in the clip above). “How should they feel? Because they look like giant, giant losers. … They look like giant, capital L losers when Bruce Cassidy is about to win a Stanley Cup and they couldn’t stand playing for him.”
“They should certainly feel sheepish,” Meghan Ottolini added. “Especially, as the weeks have gone on, they got knocked out in the first round by the Panthers, and now the Panthers are there. Bruce Cassidy’s about to beat the Panthers and win a Stanley Cup.”
That said, Mego isn’t convinced that the Bruins would have gone any further in the playoffs this year if Cassidy were still in charge.
“I still don’t feel like they would be in a different position with Bruce Cassidy,” she said. “So much had gone down in terms of the six years Bruce Cassidy was coaching this team, it’s hard for me to believe that they would make so much more progress with Bruce Cassidy, if they survived going through having him as the coach for the regular season, with the turmoil that seemed to be there in the room with Bruce Cassidy last season.
“If they make it to the playoffs with Bruce Cassidy as the head coach, I don’t think the outcome is that different. And some of those guys wouldn’t even want to be there. How would Krejci feel? He would probably be feeling the sun in Europe. … How would Jake DeBrusk feel? He probably wouldn’t care because he’d be on another team.”
I weighed in with my own opinion on this a couple weeks ago, with my take basically being that Cassidy’s success in Vegas doesn’t necessarily mean the Bruins made a mistake. Cassidy has always been a very good coach. It’s not surprising that he’s been a major plus for the Golden Knights. But sometimes even very good coaches run their course in one spot, and it’s just time for a change. Cassidy himself replaced a very good coach in Boston (Claude Julien) and another in Vegas (Pete DeBoer). There are currently just three coaches in the NHL who have been with their current team longer than five years.
All that said, there’s no denying that Cassidy winning the Cup while the Bruins choked in the first round would be tough for many around the B’s to swallow.
“They should feel embarrassed,” Jones said. “They should feel like giant losers. You’re the ones who kicked him out, and now he’s two wins away from winning a Cup. Something DeBrusk hasn’t done. Bergeron and Krejci, to their credit, at least have done it. But like DeBrusk and [Brandon] Carlo, guys who were anti-Cassidy, [Brad] Marchand, Pastrnak – Pastrnak hasn’t won squat. At least Marchand and Bergeron and Krejci at one time many, many moons ago won a Stanley Cup. But these other guys who got rid of him? They don’t know what it feels like to win a Cup, and now Cassidy’s gonna beat them to it because he was too mean?”