BOSTON (CBS) — The Boston Bruins played on Sunday afternoon, and head coach Bruce Cassidy was hoping that his team would get a little extra rest and start up the real postseason on Wednesday. The schedule-makers had different ideas, though, setting the Bruins to drop the puck on the first round on Tuesday night.
On the one hand, Cassidy might have preferred a little extra time. But he also said that the quick turnaround might help jump-start the team after its 0-3-0 showing in the round robin.
“The good news is now you’re in the [playing games] every second day mode. We’ve gotten over the hump in terms of filling days and sort of finding our playoff mode,” Cassidy said Monday over a video conference with reporters. “You feel a different energy around the room today about us starting, so that’s a positive. We need it to translate tomorrow.”
The Bruins just played three games over eight days, after spending roughly a week getting acclimated to life in the “bubble.” Cassidy admitted that filling the days was at times challenging, but the quick transition into playoff mode should prevent that from being a problem going forward.
“Now I think you’ll see the focus shift for every team in this hotel more on the day-to-day playoff atmosphere,” Cassidy said. “You’re playing every second day, you’re recovering on your day off — getting treatment, maybe a quick skate. I think the toughest part of being in the bubble is probably over in terms of killing time.”
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Still, as the Bruins prepare for the Carolina Hurricanes, health is at least somewhat of a minor concern for Boston. Tuukka Rask and David Pastrnak were absent from practice on Monday, with Cassidy deeming them “unfit to participate.” Nobody quite knows what that means these days, but Cassidy said he expects both players to be on the ice for Game 1.
“Of course, I would have liked another day, even just for rest after a Sunday game. But maybe for us in this case it’s good to get back at it right away,” Cassidy said. “Because we have not been involved in the sort of sudden death playoff atmosphere. We’ve been involved in good hard hockey games but it just re-seeded us. So for us I think the first game — take the health out of it — it can’t come soon enough.”