On Wednesday, the Boston Bruins and general manager Don Sweeney announced that the team has signed head coach Bruce Cassidy to a multi-year contract extension with the club.
Cassidy is the 28th coach in franchise history and took over for the club in 2017 following the departure of long-time head coach Claude Julien.
Cassidy’s Bruins Last Season
Last season was Cassidy’s second full season behind the Bruins’ bench and he helped lead the team to a 49-24-9 record. The team finished second in the Eastern Conference and it was the second season in a row that the club reached the 100-point plateau.
Cassidy led the team to second place finishes in the NHL in wins (49), points (107), goal differential (plus-44) and power play percentage (25.9) while embracing the same sort of unforgiving mentality that their coach brought to the bench.
On top of that, the Bruins had a 19-game point streak that stretched form Jan. 29 to Mar. 9, second-longest streak in franchise history, and one that helped the Bruins secure their second-place finish by season’s end.
The Bruins took that second-place finish and turned it into a Stanley Cup Final berth after beating the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round (4-3), the Columbus Blue Jackets (4-2) and the Carolina Hurricanes in the Conference Final (4-0). While the Bruins came out on the losing end, they did push the St. Louis Blues to the brink forcing a Game 7 in the Cup Final, encompassing the gritty play that the Bruins are known for.
The Cassidy Regime
As for what he’s done since taking over for Julien at the end of the 2017-18 campaign, Cassidy has rejuvenated the Bruins with the same core players that have donned the gold and black for the past decade.
He holds a 117-52-22 record in 191 games as the Bruins’ head coach which gives hime the fourth-best winning percentage in team history (.670). On top of that, only the Tampa Bay Lightning have more points over that span.
It took Cassidy just 166 games to reach the 100-win plateau, good enough for second fewest among Bruins’ coaches behind only Tom Johnson who achieved the mark in 138 games, according to NHL.com.
Cassidy took over for Julien at the tail end of the 2017-18 season and coached the final 33 games of the team’s season (including playoffs). He compiled a record of 18-8-1 during the regular season and helped the Bruins to a playoff berth for the first time since 2013-14.
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The team became one of the better defensive clubs which led to a more productive offence with Cassidy at the helm – including first in the NHL in goals per game (3.37) following the coaching change.
Cassidy has been a part of the franchise for some time, having served as an assistant with the Bruins as well as a head coach and assistant with the Providence Bruins of the AHL.