BRIGHTON, Mass – Bruce Cassidy clearly isn’t in love with the coach’s challenge at the NHL level.
It disrupts the flow of the game when it comes into play, and it has seemed to absolutely crucify the Bruins at very inopportune times since its inception at the beginning of last season. But it’s also something that the Bruins coaching staff must be on top of to gain any possible edge against the opposition, and now the pressure will be on even more heavily after rule changes give the team a minor penalty for any incorrectly challenged off-side play.
According to the NHL release, the rule “will provide for the assessment of a two-minute minor penalty for unsuccessful Coach’s Challenges to alleged Off-Side infractions leading to goals. The penalty for the unsuccessful off-side challenge replaces the loss of a team’s time-out – which had been in place since the implementation of the Coach’s Challenge in 2015. Under the revised rule, a team does not have to possess its time-out in order to issue a challenge on the particular play – nor will it forfeit its time-out in the event of an unsuccessful challenge.”
Clearly the rule has been tweaked to lessen the amount of off-side coach’s challenges seen in the league last season, and to also add more power plays, and therefore more offense theoretically, to a league that’s always looking to boost goal-scoring. The Bruins head coach liked the idea of fewer coach’s challenges, but hopes that a coaching staff will have the proper time to quickly review the video before play is resumed.
“I’m not against it. I prefer a game with flow, so to begin with the more challenges there are, the more it slows the game down and the more pressure is on me to get it right. So I’m not a fan of all these different challenges,” said Cassidy. “Hopefully now if they’re going to punish you for getting the challenge wrong, they’ll give you an appropriate amount of time so you can get an accurate read from your video guys. 99 times out of 100 it’s so close that you’re going to need information from the people you’ve designated to give you that information.
“Last year they wanted it at a certain time. They looked at you after every goal looking for a ‘Yes’ or ‘No.’ This year because it’s punitive you’d hope they’d give you an extra five seconds to at least sort through it, or ten seconds … whatever it takes. Last year I think the officials said they’d try to give you 25 or 30 seconds while the other team is celebrating anyway. Maybe you want a line change. They’d tried to build all that in, but there was no hemming and hawing. As the year went on they tried to streamline things to get it going. As a coach you have to be fairly certain now because you’d hate to give up a goal on a power play. That would be a big momentum swing.”
Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while watching the Montreal Canadiens crash and burn in the Atlantic Division.
*Max Pacioretty is certainly falling on his sword up in Montreal calling himself “the worst one on the ice” as the Habs really struggle to get going this season.
*Brad Marchand was on the Twitter machine after Thursday night’s win and having some fun with what his video game controller probably looks like when he plays hockey.
*Pro Hockey Talk has the details of the Erik Gudbranson boarding hit on Frank Vatrano from last night that looks like it’s going to get the Vancouver D-man suspended.
*Oliver Ekman-Larsson is still adjusting to the changes that are taking place with the Arizona Coyotes as they struggle in the desert.
*The Maple Leafs are looking and acting like contenders early on up in Toronto, and that would be a very good thing for the NHL.
*For something completely different: The Backstreet Boys are going country? Now I’ve definitely seen it all.
BRIGHTON, Mass – Another serious injury has hit the Bruins in the first few weeks of the season.
Adam McQuaid’s right leg is broken, he'll have surgery Monday and he’ll miss some significant time after he blocked a shot that knocked him out of the Thursday night victory over the Vancouver Canucks. The rugged, stay-at-home defenseman took multiple pucks of in successive games off his leg in the past two games against the Golden Knights and the Canucks.
Bruins GM Don Sweeney, in a Bruins statement released after practice Friday, said McQuaid sustained a broken right fibula and is scheduled to have surgery on Monday at Mass. General Hospital. He is expected to miss approximately eight weeks.
It’s a tough blow for McQuaid, 31, after he was able to play 77 games last season before missing the playoffs with an injury and has consistently battled injuries in his career while playing a hard-nosed, fearless brand of hockey.
“Adam [McQuaid] is seeing the doctors as we speak, so there will be an announcement about him,” Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said earlier Friday at practice. “With Bergie [Patrice Bergeron] it’s a maintenance day where we felt it would be better after 20 minutes of ice to let it rest, and the same with [David] Krejci. Miller is a maintenance day as well. He got whacked, but he should be fine as well. We’ll have a better idea in the morning, but we expect all of the [maintenance players] to play.”
Bergeron, David Krejci and Kevan Miller were all missing from practice on Friday morning at Warrior Ice Arena, but it was maintenance days for all as they’re expected to be back in the lineup on Saturday against the Buffalo Sabres.
Tuukka Rask is out indefinitely while in the concussion protocol after his practice collision earlier this week, but the good news is that Bruins goaltender was up and around at the practice facility on Friday rather than at home convalescing in a dark room.
Here are the line combos and D-pairings for the Black and Gold with a few bodies missing from practice: