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Bruins Coach Bruce Cassidy Whines Again, Gets Fined $25,000 for Officiating Rant

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Boston’s fearless leader doubles down on the woe-is-me act, calling the referees “good guys” who “were awful.”

New York Islanders Vs Boston Bruins At TD Garden
“IT’S ALL ABOUT THE NARRATIVE.”
Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Boston Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy must really be feeling the pressure, and now it’s costing him some money.

He was fined $25,000 by the NHL for public comments complaining about the officiating Monday night after his team lost Game 5, although this is now a three-day theme for the Bruins coach, who is one loss away from another season falling short of expectations.

After the Bruins lost Game 4 of their second-round NHL playoff series to the New York Islanders, Cassidy complained in a laughable break with reality that the Bruins haven’t gotten many power plays throughout the playoffs. (He was objectively wrong, of course.)

The hockey gods heard his complaint and gave the appropriate karmic response*, giving his team the first three penalties of Game 5. That was just the beginning of the karma: Somehow the Bruins gave up a goal on each one, becoming the first team to concede three power play goals to the Islanders since Barry Trotz took the helm.

*Mind you, Game 5 began with a Bruins goal that was made possible by three consecutive Brad Marchand slashes on Anthony Beauvillier to create a turnover. So maybe Cassidy’s point is “Hey, you let us get away with stuff on the opening goal, please let us get away with stuff all night, okay?”

Cassidy would have a point if he were just complaining about consistency; that’s a timeless and maddening fact of life in the NHL playoffs, where it can feel like referees draw a number out of a hat to determine when any particular infraction would be called.

But the coach has turned it into a Grand Conspiracy that will now dominate the talk between Game 5 and Game 6, and could end up being what this series is remembered for. It’s not a good look.

What makes this all worse (yet funny) is that Cassidy’s two-minute-plus diatribe was teed up by a Boston “hack” [EDIT: Sorry, I confused irritable Boston writers. The guy who asked the question is not the worst offender I had in mind, whose mad tweets are referenced here] who’s constantly... carrying ... water ... for them.

This is clearly the greatest team in the NHL, if only the league would give them all the power plays, allow them to play an extra five minutes when needed, and not make them occasionally play on the PK against one of the worst power play teams in the playoffs.

Nick Ritchie Also Fined, Unfairly I’m Sure

By the way, yet again today the Bruins were fined for something the refs missed, as Nick Ritchie has been fined for the uncalled elbow to Scott Mayfield’s head.

Here’s what Cassidy Said {Giggles}

For posterity’s sake, here is Cassidy’s full rant, which even goes into complaining that Patrice Bergeron is being unfairly targeted by linesmen, and says it’s all Barry Trotz’s fault because the Islanders coach said, between Games 3 and 4, that the best veteran faceoff centers like Bergeron are good at cheating at the dot.)

“We’re playing a team that has very respected management and coaching staff, they won a Stanley Cup. But I think they sell a narrative over there that it’s more like the New York Saints, not the New York Islanders, that they play hard and they play the right way. I feel we’re the same way. The calls, the exact calls that are getting called on us, do not get called on them. And I don’t know why. These are very good officials. They’re at this point of the season for a reason.”

“It’s not like I’m sitting there going, ‘Well, every call against us sucks.’ It’s not true. [ed. Except you kinda are.] At the end of the day, the similar plays, they need to be penalized on those plays. But like I said, they’ve done a great job selling that narrative that they’re clean. They play hard. A hard brand of hockey. Love the way they play. But they commit as many infractions as we do. Trust me.”

Continuing on, about Bergeron:

“It’s like with Bergeron today. He was thrown out of what, the first two, three, four faceoffs he takes because someone mentioned [ed.: THAT HE’S GOOD AT CHEATING AT THE DRAW. YOU LEFT OUT THAT PART BRUCE BUT THAT’S WHAT ‘SOMEONE’ MENTIONED]... Have a little respect for Patrice Bergeron. He’s up for the Selke. He’s been a warrior in this league, a face of the franchise, he does everything right for hockey and sells the game. And that’s the way you treat him? I mean come on, because someone speaks out and says something, like all of a sudden. They just need to be better than that. Call the game that you see and quit listening to these outside influences and get it done right because I don’t think they were great tonight, I’m not going to lie to ya. But they have been, they’re good officials, I know those two guys, they’re good guys, good officials, but I don’t know tonight I thought they were awful, you could say the same thing about us.”

Heavens, this guy deserves to lose.