Bruce Cassidy: Islanders Have 'Done a Great Job' Selling 'New York Saints' Narrative

Jenna CiccotelliCorrespondent IIJune 8, 2021

Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy in the third period of Game 2 during an NHL hockey second-round playoff series against the New York Islanders, Monday, May 31, 2021, in Boston. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)
AP Photo/Winslow Townson

Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy had some thoughts on the officiating after Monday night's Game 5 loss to the New York Islanders, who won 5-4 and took a 3-2 series lead.

After the Islanders used three power-play goals to boost their chances over Boston, Cassidy told reporters the Islanders "sell a narrative" that allows them to get more whistles than their opponents:

Matt Porter @mattyports

Cassidy on the officiating: <br><br>"They sell a narrative over there ... It's more like the New York Saints, not the New York Islanders. <br><br>"Maybe we need to sell them more, flop, but that's not us.<br><br>"They've done a great job selling that narrative, that they're clean."

The Islanders had four power-play opportunities Monday, compared to two for Boston.

Cassidy shared a similar sentiment after Game 4, when the Bruins fell 4-1.

“I think the whole playoffs we haven’t gotten very many calls to put us on the power play,” Cassidy told reporters Saturday.

But New York Islanders head coach Barry Trotz didn't have an explanation for the comments when he was asked about Cassidy's frustration after his team's second consecutive victory: 

Islanders Videos @SNY_Islanders

Barry Trotz responds to Bruins Head Coach Bruce Cassidy's "New York Saints" comment<br><br>"We were one of the least penalized teams in the whole league, you'll have to ask him" pic.twitter.com/9pDN1gvfhM

The discourse was particularly reminiscent of the 2019 Stanley Cup Final, when St. Louis Blues head coach Craig Berube questioned the calls going against his team.

The Islanders have incurred 78 penalty minutes throughout the postseason, and they've drawn 42 penalties in 11 games played. That's just one more than the Bruins have had go their way, but Boston has 100 penalty minutes in their 10 postseason games.

Of those, 44 minutes have come in five games against the Islanders for an average of 3.58 penalties taken per 60 minutes.

During the regular season, the Islanders drew an average of 2.86 penalties per 60 minutes, ranking third-lowest in the league. Conversely, the Bruins drew an average of 3.54 penalties per game, ranking 10th.

With the extra usage the Bruins' penalty kill is getting, it's suffering. During the regular season, the team finished off penalties at a rate of 86.0 percent, trailing just the Vegas Golden Knights for the best rate in the league.

In the postseason, they're coming out successful on just 75 percent of calls.

With the series on the line in Wednesday's Game 6, the Bruins will have to be better when they're short-handed in order to save their season.