Bruins

Bruce Cassidy on Don Cherry comments: 'That's not the way that I think'

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Bruce Cassidy on Don Cherry comments: 'That's not the way that I think'

BRIGHTON, Mass. — Bruce Cassidy was an unabashed Bruins fan growing up, so it’s no surprise that he was a fan of the “Lunch Pail AC” crew in the 1970’s coached by Don Cherry when he was a young hockey fan growing up in Ontario.

As a Canadian and a lover of hockey, Cassidy undoubtedly grew up with Coach’s Corner on Hockey Night in Canada and was one of the millions of Canadians who waited to see what Cherry was going to say every Saturday night. So it probably wasn’t easy for Cassidy to say he disagreed with Cherry’s comments from last weekend's Coach’s Corner that ended up getting him fired from his job as analyst with Hockey Night in Canada as a result.

But that’s exactly what the Bruins head coach did when asked about it following Tuesday’s morning skate as the Cherry firing remains a hot topic for discussions between his ardent supporters, and those that saw his divisive, offensive comments as going too far.

“Hockey vs. politics, I try to stay away from that. I don’t agree with what he said,” said Cassidy. “I love the fact that he was a great coach for the Bruins years ago. I love the way the team played. But that’s just my…not the way that I think.”

Cherry addressed the issue of Remembrance Day this past weekend during Coach’s Corner when it came to the subject of wearing a poppy symbolic of supporting the troops, and spoke up for the military as he often has during his nearly 40 years of work for Hockey Night in Canada. Unfortunately, Cherry also used that space to single out immigrants using the line “you people that come here”, and that was what ended being totally unnecessary and problematic.

"You people ... that come here, whatever it is. You love our way of life, you love our milk and honey, at least you can pay a couple bucks for a poppy or something like that," Cherry said on Saturday night. "These guys paid for your way of life that you enjoy in Canada. These guys paid the biggest price.”

Clearly nobody is going to argue with Cherry’s wish that more people show symbolic support for the troops, but it was his reference to “you people…that come here” that was divisive, offensive and certainly pointed toward immigrants to Canada.

It was also something that plenty of hockey people, like Cassidy, can’t get behind when one of the NHL’s biggest initiatives right now is “Hockey is For Everyone” that should be welcoming everybody rather than seeking ways to divide.

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Highlights: Bruins can't seize momentum, fall 4-1 to Avs

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Highlights: Bruins can't seize momentum, fall 4-1 to Avs

FINAL SCORE: Avalanche 4, Bruins 1

IN BRIEF: The Bruins tied it early with a Chris Wagner tip-in off a John Moore shot from the point, but from there the Avs dictated play to hand Boston its first home loss in regulation at TD Garden in the 2019-20 season. It was a Pyrrhic victory for the Avs, though, who lost Calder Trophy favorite and former UMass star Cale Makar to injury.

BOX SCORE

BRUINS RECORD: 20-4-6 (46 points, 1st in Atlantic Division)

HIGHLIGHTS

WAGNER TIPS HOME MOORE’S SHOT FROM POINT

AVS LOSE MAKAR

UP NEXT:

At Ottawa, Monday, 7:30 p.m., NESN

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Ritchie returns to B's lineup vs Avs, brings size and toughness

Ritchie returns to B's lineup vs Avs, brings size and toughness

At a time when David Pastrnak is getting knocked around a little bit with teams targeting him physically, the Bruins will get a little bigger, stronger and nastier in their own lineup with Brett Ritchie returning to good health.

Ritchie will draw back in on Saturday night against the Colorado Avalanche, but Bruce Cassidy said the Bruins still aren’t sure about who might be coming out of the lineup for the Black and Gold as they battle through some illness issues.

“Ritchie is going to go in. Right now we’re not sure because we’ve got a game time decision to make. One of the guys is not feeling well. I don’t want to get ahead of myself right now, but that’s the decision,” said Cassidy. “The reason Donnie [Sweeney] brought him in is that we were looking to get some size, get a guy that can get inside and help us score some goals that way. Be a presence. Unfortunately for Brett it’s been a stop-and-start sort of season for him. We don’t have a great evaluation on him right now. At times he’s looked the part and other times we don’t know because he’s been getting up to speed. That’s what he’ll be doing [against Colorado].”  

Perhaps Ritchie can bring a willingness to police any liberties taken against Pastrnak as well if that continues to be trend going against the NHL's leading scorer. 

Ritchie has missed the previous seven games with a nagging infection issue and has missed 14 of Boston’s 29 games already this season while still looking to establish himself among the B’s forward group. He’s got two goals and four points in 15 games for the Black and Gold this season, but certainly has to be looking for a healthy stretch where he can bring his 6-foot-3, 220-pound size, his toughness and his inside offensive presence to a top-9 role for the Bruins.

Cassidy also mentioned that Jaroslav Halak will be getting the start for the Bruins against the Avalanche as they prepare for a four game road trip through a number of Eastern Conference opponents next week. Here are the projected Bruins line combos and D-pairings without a confirmation on who might be coming out of Boston’s lineup:

Marchand-Krejci-Pastrnak
DeBrusk-Coyle-Heinen
Bjork-Kuraly-Ritchie
Nordstrom-Lindholm-Wagner

Chara-McAvoy
Krug-Carlo
Moore-Grzelcyk

Halak

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