BOSTON (CBS) — With a new man on the bench, the Boston Bruins look like a new team.
The B’s are 6-1 since Bruce Cassidy took over as interim coach, averaging four goals per game while scoring first in six of those contests. They exploded for six goals in Sunday’s matinee win over the Stars in Dallas, and 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Bruins analyst Bob Beers says he’s seen a much looser and more confident team take the ice since Cassidy took over for Claude Julien.
“They have a little more leash, and a little more freedom to make some plays. Not to the point where they’re being reckless or carried away, leaving themselves exposed at the other end, but they’re encouraged to make more plays offensively,” Beers told Toucher & Rich on Monday. “In the offensive end, they are getting less shots but maybe more quality shots than they were before.”
Beers said this doesn’t take away anything from Claude Julien’s success with the team, but Boston’s top-end players are playing up to their capabilities. That was on full display Sunday afternoon as Patrice Bergeron tallied a pair of goals and an assist while David Krejci netted his third goal in the last five games.
Their recent surge has the Bruins sitting third in the Atlantic Division, just two points behind Ottawa and four points behind the division-leading Canadiens. But Beers said their climb in the standings shouldn’t change the team’s approach to Wednesday’s trade deadline, and he doesn’t expect the B’s brass to sell off draft picks or prospects for rental players.
“I don’t believe that’s in their cards, but that could change if the right deal comes along. They have some prospects they’re very high on, some prospects they’re excited about and they don’t want to part with them right now. They want to continue to move forward with what they have in place. If that takes some time, so be it,” said Beers. “That’s part of the direction they’re going right now. If they can bring in a player they feel can be part of their future, that’s a different scenario.
“Those deals are hard to make at this time of the year. They’re not impossible, but most of those deals are done in the offseason,” he noted. “I just don’t think they go crazy mortgaging some future guys or even picks they feel will be important moving forward.”
Beers said it’s possible Don Sweeney will look to upgrade Tuukka Rask’s backup, but the team has been pleased with Anton Khudobin’s play as of late.
Beers also touched on the team’s young talent in the minors and the college ranks. Listen to the full podcast below:
And for an extra serving of Beers, check out his chat with Steve Burton on WBZ-TV’s Sports Final on Sunday night in the video above. You can see Sports Final and Sports Final OT every Sunday night at 11:35 p.m. on WBZ-TV!