Bruce Cassidy attempts to explain his decision to start Tuukka Rask in Game 6.

The Bruins head coach responds to the criticism.


The Boston Bruins are out of the Stanley Cup Playoffs and as is always the case in these situations, fans are left wondering what went wrong. This often results in the finger of blame being pointed in just about every direction, and one of the big points of contention this time around for the Bruins surrounds their head coach and his decisions when it comes to goaltending.

Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy made the decision to stick with veteran goaltender Tuukka Rask in their second round series against the New York Islanders and, regardless of whether or not that was the correct choice, the Bruins were in the end eliminated in 6 games. It has since been revealed that Rask was playing through a significant injury and this has in turn led to many fans openly questioning why Cassidy did not make the decision to go with red hot rookie goaltender Jeremy Swayman. Swayman's only appearance during the Bruins entire playoff run came in relief of Rask in Game 5 of the series against the Islanders, and I think it is fair to suggest that Swayman was put in at a point when the game was likely already out of reach.

On Monday Cassidy attempted to explain his decision to stick with the injured veteran in goal, suggesting that Rask's play against the Capitals had earned him the net.

"At the end of the day, Tuukka played so well against Washington that you didn't want to overthink yourself," said Cassidy.

Cassidy would go on to add that he does not second guess his decision to stick with the injured Rask over Swayman, although I will add that I do find that very hard to believe given the end result.

"No regrets on that," said Cassidy.

The reality of the matter is that over his 10 regular season games for the Bruins the 22 year old Swayman was nothing short of outstanding. He recorded 2 shutouts over those games on his way to a 1.50 goals against average and a .945 save percentage, numbers that many felt had earned him a shot to prove his worth in the playoffs.

Although Cassidy is perhaps genuinely not second guessing himself, the response on social media would appear to indicate that many fans in Boston certainly are doing so. This is not to suggest that swapping a goaltender would have changed the outcome of the series, but it is perhaps the choice fans would have prefered to see made by the Bruins bench boss.