The Boston Bruins are probably riding pretty high right now. They are on the verge of competing for the Stanley Cup in the 2019 Stanley Cup Final and considering just how badly they dominated the Carolina Hurricanes it seems likely that they will be entering that final series as the odds on favorite to win it all this season.
No small amount of credit for how successful the Boston Bruins have been all season long has to go to their head coach, Bruce Cassidy, a man who seemingly revived the Boston Bruins roster after the team had seemingly tuned out former head coach Claude Julien. Not everyone however has been impressed with the performance of Cassidy behind the Bruins bench however, although that may be due largely to ignorance, and one former player was quick to throw his former coach under the bus.
During an interview on the Spittin Chiclets podcast this week former National Hockey League forward Bates Battaglia absolutely went off on the Boston Bruins head coach. I have to admit this came off a lot as the comments of a disgruntled former player with a personal grudge to settle than it did any type of objective analysis. In fact throughout the interview it became rather clear that Battaglia, even by his own admission, did not play very close attention to the modern day Bruce Cassidy and his success behind the bench.
"Oh yeah, piece of [expletive]," said Battaglia, who played for Cassidy during his time as a member of the Washington Capitals. "Tip to tail. Never liked that guy. I don’t know how he is still a coach. It boggles my mind. I honestly didn’t even know he was still coaching."
"I randomly saw a highlight… as you can I tell I don’t follow a whole lot, I watch some but I’m not a diehard.. but I saw him on the screen and I couldn’t believe it," Battaglia said as per 98.5 The Sports Hub. "It just shows how good Boston is, that they’re playing despite him."
I obviously can not speak to Battaglia's motivations here and when you consider that Cassidy reportedly lost the room in Washington it is possible that the Bruins coach was not the man he is today back when Battaglia was playing for him. That being said when pressed as to why he felt Cassidy was a bad coach, Battaglia did not have a lot to offer.
"Unprepared," Battaglia said. "Never knew what we were doing. Just unorganized. Maybe things have changed. I hope they have. But that was not my bread and butter there with him."
Something tells me Cassidy will not be losing too much sleep over this, especially not if he walks away a Stanley Cup Champion after this season.