Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy understands that his team might be shorthanded on defense when the Stanley Cup Final returns to Boston for Game 5 on Thursday.
With Matt Grzelcyk already out (and uncertain to return), and Zdeno Chara’s status now up in the air after a Game 4 injury in Monday’s 4-2 loss, the Bruins could potentially be down multiple defensemen. The burden, in Cassidy’s view, now passes to Boston’s forwards.
“We’ve talked a lot about the defense here,” said Cassidy after the Game 4 loss. “Personally, I think our forwards have got to do a way better job with our [defense] out.
“The onus has to go on them,” Cassidy continued. “They’ve got to pull their weight in terms of puck support and helping out the [defense], finishing some plays.”
Boston’s inability to sustain any offense was clear in Game 4. The Bruins managed just one shot on goal during two power plays (following the four-goal special teams performance in Game 3). And Boston was outshot 38-23 in total.
Cassidy also pointed blame at himself and the rest of the coaching staff.
“Obviously with [Zdeno] out…the onus becomes on us more as far as a staff to coach,” Cassidy explained. The remaining defensemen are a younger contingent.
“They’re young. You’ve got Clifton, you’ve got McAvoy, you’ve got Carlo, these kids are young. Torey [Krug’s] been around, and [John] Moore, but they’re not old, grizzled veterans, so we have to coach them up. That’s our challenge going into Game 5. We have to do a better job with them as a staff.”