BOSTON (CBS) — The Bruins had a five day break between Sunday’s loss to the Islanders and Thursday’s home tilt against the Devils. With all that time to stew over a defeat, Bruce Cassidy expected a fired-up Bruins team to take the ice at TD Garden.
That was not the case though, as the Bruins generated very few solid scoring opportunities throughout the contest. The team’s offensive woes in 5-on-5 play continued, and Boston fell to the Devils, 3-2. It was the team’s first loss at home this season, and Cassidy was none too pleased with the offensive effort when he spoke with reporters after the game.READ MORE: 800 Nurses At Saint Vincent Hospital In Worcester Go On Strike
“You would think after four or five days of not playing, we would have been a hungrier team, but we weren’t. We’ll address that,” said Cassidy.
The Bruins did lose David Krejci to injury in the first period, which threw Cassidy’s line shuffling through a loop. Boston fell behind 3-1 in the second period, and while David Pastrnak’s power play goal with just over a minute left in regulation made it look like Boston would mount yet another comeback, the team came up short for its second straight defeat.
Both Pastrnak and Jake DeBrusk — who tallied his first goal of the season — scored on the man advantage Thursday night. With only 21 goals in 5-on-5 play on the season, the Bruins rank 28th in the NHL. Cassidy again highlighted the team’s tendency to over-pass leading to its scoring struggles, but he also didn’t like Boston’s effort in a lot of other areas against New Jersey.
“We just didn’t want to do what it took to get pucks back, win pucks, and hang onto pucks,” he said. “As a result, they came at us and were the better team.”READ MORE: Harry And Meghan Detail Royal Struggles, From Discussions Of Baby's Skin Tone To Suicidal Thoughts
Cassidy said that once the team takes the ice, the onus falls on the players to put the puck on the net. That didn’t happen nearly enough Thursday night.
“We just have to buy in a little bit more, and it was addressed. If we’re not, then we have to defend better than anybody in the National Hockey League every night, because it’s going to be a lot of 2-1 games if we’re not willing to put pucks on the net,” he vented. “That has kind of been the message. We’ll keep harping away. I think there’s more offense in that room. We have to get it out of them.
“That’s our job — my job — but at some point you do have to recognize what’s in front of you and get pucks on the net and get some second-chance opportunities,” he added.
The Bruins now hit the road for another lengthy road trip, as they won’t play on home ice again until March 3. The team’s next game is Sunday afternoon when Boston takes on the Philadelphia Flyers in at Lake Tahoe as part of the NHL Outdoor Games.MORE NEWS: Coronavirus In Massachusetts: Today's Developments