ST LOUIS – St. Louis Blues coach Craig Berube definitely engaged in a little gamesmanship talking about the officiating on the off day between Game 3 and Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final at the Enterprise Center, but don’t expect Bruins bench boss Bruce Cassidy to follow suit.
Ironically, the Bruins were called for more penalties (8-7) than the Blues in the 7-2 Game 3 spanking on Saturday night, and St. Louis ended up with more power plays in the blowout loss as well. Still, Berube made it a point to say he “didn’t agree with all the calls” that have resulted in 14 penalties called against the Blues in the three Cup Final games played thus far, and certainly was trying to get the message out there as the head coach of a Blues team that would prefer more 5-on-5 play in the series moving forward.
NBC Sports’ own Mike Milbury called Berube’s comments “whining, for lack of a better term” while asking Bruce Cassidy about it on Monday morning, and the B’s bench boss sounded perfectly content with the way the series has been called thus far.
“If we have a beef, generally we’ll bring it up with the [NHL series] supervisor on the day of the game. That’s when we do it. I didn’t have too many beefs the other night, but apparently, they did. They voiced their [concerns],” said Bruce Cassidy. “We’re going to be ready to go. If they take penalties then hopefully we can capitalize on the power play. That’s the way to sometimes dampen their enthusiasm with their physicality if you can make them pay on the power play. That’s our ultimate goal.
“But we’re ready for a physical game. We’re not going to concern ourselves with the officials until they stink and they go against us. What did we kill the other night, five penalties? They killed three with one of them their own call [for the offside challenge], so really they only had three infractions against them. So I’m not really sure it favored us in any way, to be honest with you.”
While it’s true that the Bruins have a 14-10 advantage in power plays in this series and the Blues were the least penalized team in the first three rounds of the playoffs, there’s also little denying that St. Louis is playing a hard-hitting, envelope-pushing style that’s going to result in a few more penalties. So, it once again appears that Berube wants to have it both ways for his Blues where they punish the Bruins with their superior size, strength and physicality, but don’t ever want to be accountable when it goes over the line.
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