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Bruins interim head coach Bruce Cassidy ‘absolutely’ wants to return next season

04.23.17 at 10:20 pm ET
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Bruins interim head coach Bruce Cassidy wants to return next season. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

Bruins interim head coach Bruce Cassidy wants to return next season. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

Chalk it up to bad luck if you want, but there’s no doubt that the Bruins were a dead team walking and en route to their third straight playoff miss when Bruce Cassidy replaced Claude Julien in February.

Still, the decision to give Cassidy the keys to the Bruins and for his first NHL coaching gig since 2003 was a risk and a half for Bruins general manager Don Sweeney, but one that ultimately paid off as Cassidy helped lead the Bruins to an 18-8-1 record to finish the regular season and to their first playoff berth since 2014’s Presidents’ Trophy season.

And while the ending was not one that the Bruins wanted, as the Senators eliminated them by way of a Game 6 overtime win at TD Garden on Sunday, Cassidy has his backers in the Boston room.

“The results speak for themselves,” Bruins forward David Backes said of Cassidy’s tenure. “We were climbing uphill when he took over and we made our way in. It wasn’t easy. We had to streak some games together, we lost a couple that we really needed, and in the end we were really pull together as a group.

“I don’t know how you make an argument against [keeping him].”

Under Cassidy, the Bruins scored the fourth-most goals in the NHL (91) and allowed the second-fewest goals against (62).

As Backes said, the results did the talking in regards to Cassidy’s future in Boston, but he himself pumped the brakes when asked about any changes that the team will have to make for more success come this time next season.

“That will be determined going forward by management whether I continue to be the head coach and what players will be here will be determined by management. So, it’s a tough question to answer,” Cassidy said. “I think we scored some goals this year. We were good on the rush as well and the power play, we’ve gone back to February, and we were always a good forechecking team.”

As for if he wants to be back, Cassidy made it known with his final postgame question of the season.

“Absolutely,” Cassidy said without hesitation when asked if he wants to return as the coach next year. “100 percent.”

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