BOSTON (CBS) — By Friday morning, Boston head coach Bruce Cassidy was done talking about the controversial missed call that bit the Bruins in Thursday night’s Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final. But there was one last thing he wanted to get off his chest.
Cassidy is still pretty ticked off that officials missed Tyler Bozak’s blatant trip of Noel Acciari late in the third period, which led to the eventual game-winning goal for the Blues. But he really feels bad for Acciari, who felt responsible for St. Louis’ second tally despite the fact he was sprawled out on the ice after Bozak’s trip.READ MORE: Rusted Out Stairs In Dorchester Removed After BU Professor David Jones' Death
“The other part, just to expand a little. I’ve coached Noel Acciari for a long time. He’s hard on the puck. That’s his job, to win pucks; he’s a penalty killer and a shot blocker. After the game, it’s tough when you lose and you generally don’t address the group. They will time to time, but you walk through the room and you see a guy who you can tell is despondent. He feels like he cost his team the game, and there’s a guy I feel for,” said Cassidy. “I’ve grown tight to this group, these players, because they lay it on the line. I feel as bad for him as anything else. There was no call so he feels like he didn’t win his puck battle, and that’s a tough one. I have to pick that player up as well, so that’s a little bit of the emotion after the game.”
As the Bruins prepare to leave for St. Louis on Friday, where they face a win-or-go-home Game 6 Sunday night, Cassidy said their emotions have changed pretty quickly.READ MORE: Missing Woman Dolly Thapa Found Safe
“The emotion now is we have to put it behind us and we have to win Game 6,” he said. “That’s what’s in front of us and that’s where my mindset is today.”
Cassidy was much more critical of NHL officiating Thursday night, but he wanted to make one thing clear on Friday: That missed call is in the past. The Bruins have bounced back from calls that didn’t go their way in previous rounds — such as a missed goalie interference by Toronto’s Auston Matthews in the first round and a missed puck that went into the protective netting against the Columbus Blue Jackets in the Eastern Conference semis — and Cassidy is confident they’ll do it again with their season on the line Sunday night.
“Our play should define us, not a call. That will be part of the message,” he said. “We’ve played through certain situations and we have to play through this one. It’s not going to be brought up in the locker room. It happened. I thought we responded fairly well, got ourselves back in the game and had a chance to win. But our play has to define us on the ice, not a non-call or whatever.MORE NEWS: Baker, Sununu Join Other Republican Governors In Demanding Border Security Meeting With Biden
“St. Louis has done a terrific job with it; they had one go against them and they pushed on,” added Cassidy, mentioning the horrendous missed hand pass that cost St. Louis a game in the Western Conference Final against the San Jose Sharks. “High character in their locker room and we have the same high character. I suspect we’ll put it behind us and off we go.”