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Bruce Cassidy gets interim tag removed, named 28th coach of Bruins 04.26.17 at 8:36 am ET
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The Bruins officially named Bruce Cassidy their next coach. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

The Bruins officially named Bruce Cassidy their next coach. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

After his late season run following Claude Julien getting fired, Bruce Cassidy impressed the Bruins enough to be named the 28th coach of the team.

On Wednesday morning, the team announced Cassidy is now the full-time coach.

Cassidy served as interim coach for the Bruins’ final 33 regular and postseason games, compiling an 18-8-1 regular season record and propelling the team to a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since the 2013-14 season. Since Cassidy assumed head coaching responsibilities on Feb. 9, the Bruins ranked first in the NHL in goals per game (3.37), first in the NHL in fewest shots allowed (741), tied for second in the NHL in wins (18), tied for second in the NHL in power play percentage (27.8 percent) and tied for third in the NHL in goals allowed per game (2.30).

Prior to this year, he spent five seasons (2011-16) as head coach of the Providence Bruins, having spent the three previous seasons (2008-11) with the club as an assistant. He coached the Capitals from 2002-04 and led them to a 39-29-8-6 record and a postseason berth in his first season with the team.

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Bruins continue to tinker under Bruce Cassidy, and that’s perfectly fine for now 03.11.17 at 6:36 pm ET
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A new third line formed in-game wound up scoring the winning goal Saturday. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

A new third line formed in-game wound up scoring the winning goal Saturday. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

Teams that shuffle lines a lot are generally teams that aren’t playing well. They shuffle lines because nothing’s really clicking, because they can’t score goals, because they’re losing. Teams that are winning and scoring generally just stick with what’s working — if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

The Bruins have been winning and scoring since Bruce Cassidy took over from Claude Julien, but they’ve also been changing up their lines quite a bit, both on a game-to-game basis as well as in-game. Part of that has been out of necessity. Ryan Spooner (concussion) and Tim Schaller (lower body) are both currently unavailable, and trade deadline pickup Drew Stafford was naturally going to get some looks in a couple different spots.

But part of it has also been the fact that Cassidy simply doesn’t feel the need to settle on anything definitive, at least not yet.

“It happened to work out (Saturday), and I think you’ll see more of that, and you have since day one, moving people around in game,” Cassidy said. “And listen, when we find the best formula, we’ll keep it that way, but we’re still tinkering.”

As he has a handful of times in his 13 games as head coach, Cassidy shuffled his lines mid-game Saturday. After a bad second period (the Bruins mustered just four shots on goal in the frame), he moved Frank Vatrano up to the second line with David Krejci and David Pastrnak, moved Stafford from left wing over to his natural right wing, and bumped Matt Beleskey (who had been a healthy scratch in five of the previous six games) up to a newfound third line with Stafford and Riley Nash.

Cassidy also bumped Kevan Miller up to the top defense pairing with Zdeno Chara for the third period, and he experimented with using the same power-play unit for a full two minutes a couple times. Read the rest of this entry »

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Takeaways from Bruins’ preseason loss to Blue Jackets: Danton Heinen, Brandon Carlo make impression 09.26.16 at 9:43 pm ET
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Brandon Carlo

The Bruins opened preseason play Monday night with a 3-2 shootout loss to the Blue Jackets at TD Garden. Danton Heinen, Jimmy Hayes, Brandon Carlo, Jake DeBrusk, Jakub Zboril and Anton Khudobin were among those in uniform for the B’s, with Hayes and Heinen both scoring goals in regulation.

The B’s will next play Wednesday when they host the Red Wings. Here are some takeaways from Monday night’s exhibition:

– Two top prospects collaborated on the Bruins’ second goal Monday, as Heinen capped his first (preseason) NHL game by redirecting a point shot from Carlo.

Heinen, who stands a good chance of helping fill the void created by Frank Vatrano’s injury, was utilized heavily with mixed results. Skating with Riley Nash and Seth Griffith, Heinen moved the puck well for the most part in 5-on-5 play and also saw time on the power play and penalty kill, but a blind pass in the second period led to a turnover that yielded a Blue Jackets goal on the ensuing possession.

– Carlo was paired with John-Micheal Liles Monday. He looked mostly solid prior to his goal, with a bright spot coming when he skated the puck around Brandon Saad coming out of the defensive zone in the first period. He got caught high in the offensive zone after the B’s entered, however, and with better puck management Columbus could have had a 2-on-1 as a result.

“Arguably our best D, if not our best D,” Bruins assistant coach Bruce Cassidy said of Carlo’s performance against the Jackets. “Real good decision-making, gaps are good… he jumped up the ice, got his shot through when it was there. He matched up well with whoever was put out there, pushed back in front of our net. Lot of good things.”

– Boston’s first goal came from Hayes, who completed a give-and-go with DeBrusk after a pass from Austin Czarink in the neutral zone. Hayes going to the net and scoring was a welcomed sight for a Garden crowd that didn’t see it often enough last season. True to their concerns, Hayes couldn’t handle a bouncing loose puck in the slot during a third-period power play.

– Heinen wasn’t the only top notable Bruins prospect at fault for Columbus’ second goal. Jakub Zboril left Daniel Zaar alone in front of the net to tend to Sam Gagner, who fed the puck in front to the open Zaar to set up the goal. There appeared to be some confusion between Zboril and Seth Griffith as to who should have had whom, leading to some unsuccessful job duplication.

– It was an up-and-down night for Griffith overall. He missed the net on a good chance during a second-period 5-on-3, and though he appeared to make up for it moments later by setting up Danton Heinen, Curtis McElhinney robbed Heinen to keep the score 2-1. Griffith later picked up an assist on Heinen’s goal, sending the puck to Carlo from the wall. He was called for a delay of game minutes later for sending the puck over the glass.

– Peter Mueller didn’t necessarily stand out in his preseason debut. The most notable thing the camp invite did Monday was take a second-period hooking penalty.

– Anton Khudobin played the first two periods and Zane McIntyre played the third and overtime. No major issues with either performance, although I still have no idea how/if Sonny Milano’s first-period power play goal went in.

– The lineup for the Bruins Monday was as fallows, with Kevan Miller and Liles both serving as alternate captains:


Zboril-Kevan Miller


Read More: Brandon Carlo, Bruce Cassidy, Danton Heinen, Jimmy Hayes
Kevin Dean named head coach of Providence Bruins 07.18.16 at 11:06 am ET
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The Bruins named Kevin Dean head coach of the Providence Bruins Monday, a move that had seemed a strong possibility since the promotion of Bruce Cassidy to Boston.

A former defenseman who played 347 games in the NHL after four years at the University of New Hampshire, Dean served as an assistant coach on Cassidy’s staff for the last five seasons. This is the first AHL head coaching job for the 47-year-old, who spent one season as head coach of the Trenton Devils of the ECHL and four seasons as an assistant coach for the Lowell Devils of the AHL.

Cassidy and Jay Pandolfo were both promoted to Boston in May as assistant coaches on Claude Julien’s staff. Pandolfo had spent last season as the team’s director of player development.

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Bruce Cassidy hopes for Bruins’ NHL gig, but planning for Providence return 07.10.14 at 7:50 pm ET
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When assistant coach Geoff Ward left the Bruins last month for a head-coaching gig in Germany, Providence coach Bruce Cassidy seemed a good candidate to replace him.

He’€™s been an effective coach at the AHL level and has developed a number of NHL players for Boston, most notably playing a big role in the organization’€™s knack for churning out NHL defensemen. Cassidy, who has already interviewed for the position, made clear Thursday at development camp that he wants the NHL gig.

“Do I want to be [in Boston]? I want to be in the NHL every year,”€ Cassidy said with a smile. “Simple as I can say.”

Despite his hopes, Cassidy’€™s tone and words in a press conference following Thursday’€™s development camp session suggested an expectation on his part that he might be back in Providence next year.

“That’€™s where I am now,”€ Cassidy explained. “€œSo whatever happens down the road with the vacancy here will happen, but I’m always preparing for Providence.”€

Peter Chiarelli said last week that though Cassidy may be a strong candidate, the team needs to weigh whether he is more valuable on the NHL staff or keeping the Providence-Boston pipeline strong.

“Claude and I have spoken with him and we have to decide that,” Chiarelli said last week. “We’€™ve got probably four or five other names and Claude is meeting with some of them over development camp. Bruce has been very instrumental in these young kids coming up and playing, so we have to decide that. I almost feel like he is part of our staff right now, there is so much interaction between Don Sweeney and him or myself and him and even Claude talks to him.

“Sometimes that position’€™s more valuable in certain instances than an assistant coaching position. Both are quite valuable and I just feel strongly about Bruce and I have had that discussion with him so we’€™ll see where that one goes but I know Claude has already talked to him and has had a good interview with him.”

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Claude Julien: Bruins ‘don’t have to redeem themselves for anything’ 05.16.13 at 1:39 pm ET
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Claude Julien isn’t apologizing for his team’s miracle in Game 7 Monday night that has them opening an Eastern Conference semifinal series with the Rangers.

He also doesn’t want his team apologizing for being there either.

“For some reason, this last series seems to have been looked upon as negative for some people,” Julien said after Thursday’s pre-game skate at TD Garden, hours before Game 1 with the Rangers.

“For us, it was a great character win, we’€™re looking forward to moving ahead and we’€™re not looking at it the way a lot of people are looking at it. It’€™s not a chance to redeem yourself because we’€™re in the second round, we don’€™t have to redeem ourselves for anything. What we have to do here is look forward to this series and do whatever we can to move ahead. The character win that this team showed in Game Seven should be looked upon as a positive. That’€™s the way I look at it.”

One thing is for certain, no one is going to feel sorry for the Bruins having three injured defenseman heading into the series. With Andrew Ference, Dennis Seidenberg and Wade Redden all missing Thursday’s skate, it’s high likely that Dougie Hamilton, Torey Krug and Matt Bartkowski will all play in Game 1 against the Rangers Thursday night.

The one advantage of it all, though, is the fact that two of the three, Krug and Bartkowski, have played the same defensive system with AHL Providence this year.

“It helps everybody because [Providence Head Coach] Bruce Cassidy and his coaching staff seem to see the game the same way we do,” Julien said. “There’€™s a good connection there in the way we coach our teams, very much the same approach. I know I’€™ve talked to Bruce; the things we do, he does as well.
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Bruce Cassidy named head coach of P-Bruins 06.25.11 at 11:18 am ET
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Bruce Cassidy was named the head coach of the Providence Bruins, the B’s minor-league affiliate in the American Hockey League, Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli announced Saturday morning.

Cassidy has some experience as a head coach at all levels of the professional game. He was head coach of the Capitals starting in 2002-03 and compiled a 47-45-9-6 record in parts of two seasons in Washington while leading the team to a playoff berth in his first year. Previous to that, he had spent one season as an AHL head coach, leading Grand Rapids to a 42-27-11-0 record in 2001-02 before moving on to the Caps. He had also headed teams in both the IHL and ECHL.

Cassidy had worked as an assistant for the P-Bruins for the past three seasons under Rob Murray, who was let go after the team failed to make the postseason for the second straight season. During those three years, the team had garnered a record of 117-103-10-10.

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