I think we all knew this was coming, right?
After a number of questionable calls went against his team in a 5-4 loss to the New York Islanders, Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy aired out all of his feelings on the officiating in this series.
“This is my take on it,” said Cassidy postgame. “We’re playing a team that has very respected management, coaching staff...they won a Stanley Cup. I think they sell a narrative over there that it’s more like the ‘New York Saints,’ not the New York Islanders.”
“They play hard and they play the right way,” Cassidy continued. “I feel we’re the same way. 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,” said Cassidy. “They’re at this point in the season for a reason. You’ve got continuous high sticks every game, the exact same high sticks.”
Cassidy went on to cite a few examples of high sticks that were called on his team before saying he could name more.
“Maybe we need to sell them more,” Cassidy continued. “Flop, but that’s not us. You just hope they’d see them. The same calls go against us. It’s not like I’m sitting there going, ‘well, every call against us sucks.’ It’s not true. It’s just...[at] the end of the day, the similar plays...they need to be penalized on those.”
“They’ve done a great job selling that narrative...that they’re clean,” he said. “They play hard. Hard brand of hockey...love the way they play. They commit as many infractions as we do, trust me. It’s just a matter of calling them.”
“It’s like Bergeron today,” he said. “He’s thrown out of the first two, three, four faceoffs he takes because someone mentioned...you know, have a little respect for Patrice Bergeron. He’s up for the Selke, he’s been a warrior in this league, he’s the face of the franchise, does everything right for hockey sells the game...and that’s the way you treat him? I mean, come on....because someone speaks out and says something.”
“They just need to be better than that,” he said. “Call the game what you see.”
“I don’t think they were great tonight,” he finished. “I’m not going to lie to you. They have been, and they’re good officials. I know those two guys, they’re good guys...I don’t know tonight, I just thought they were off.”
Whew. Did you catch all that?
Thus far, the Bruins have had 11 power plays in this series; the Islanders have had 15.
Truth be told, the Bruins’ beef would be a lot less had their penalty kill even remotely showed up tonight, as letting your opponent go 75% on the PP isn’t exactly a recipe for success.
This is, pretty plainly, a motivational tactic from Cassidy, who likely knows that officiating comes and goes in your favor, and that his team needs to be better.
That’s not to say that he doesn’t have a valid point, but that he knows the officiating isn’t the main reason why his team lost tonight.
Barry Trotz, predictably, feigned innocence after the game, saying that the Isles are always one of the less penalized teams and that he doesn’t know what Cassidy’s talking about.
This is the same Trotz, you may remember, who complained before Game 5 that Patrice Bergeron cheats on faceoffs.