The Bruins' season keeps getting worse, despite being over.
Vegas came back late yesterday and then won in OT to take a 2-0 series lead with the coach the Bruins fired after last season for being too mean.
The optics are terrible. Jake deBrusk didn't like Bruce Cassidy on account of this alleged meanness, and Brandon Carlo complained about Cassidy yelling at him before Carlo got to the bench.
How soft do you need to be? Replace the bear logo with a big old cup of frozen yogurt and you might be on to something more accurate.
Now that disposed coach is two wins away from the Stanley Cup Finals? What if he wins the Cup? And in his first year after you fired him, no less, and then proved yourself to be the embodiment of a regular season paper tiger? Paper Bruin.
I wrote in these pages that I thought Cassidy would win at least one Cup before he was done. I think he's potentially a Hall of Fame coach. I could see him pulling a Mike Sullivan.
And the team--an eight seed, no less--that ousted the Bruins this year is themselves two wins away from advancing to the Finals?
It usually takes time for everyone to clock on to history, including sports history. But note these words: this Bruins loss is as bad a defeat as any in Boston sports history and its going to age that way and be seen by more people in that manner as time goes on.
It doesn't have the emotional component of the 1986 Red Sox, because of how the Red Sox lost and how long it'd been since they had won. But in the sense of a fall from a great height, this Bruins team and season is it. The ultimate in collapsing from what you had positioned yourself to be and what you were in the end.
I expect Jim Montgomery to start as the coach next year, but it also wouldn't surprise me at all if he's fired this offseason.
He wasn't the main problem. And it's clear to me that coaches don't make line-up decisions anymore. There are no true leaders in American life. There are committees and red tape. If you think Jim Montgomery was solely or even primarily responsible for the line-up or who was in net, then you're also going to want to look into investing in swampland in Tempe.
A coach is responsible, though, for setting and keeping a tone, an attitude.
Perhaps he's too nice. The guy has won everywhere he's ever gone at every level, though. He was even on that Maine hockey team, which no one seems to know or remember. He was the captain, actually. Winning is what he's always done.
But if the Bruins think they made a mistake in hiring him, they might just fix it now. Why delay?
You can't have another dreadful ouster. As bad as the outcome to this season was, it somehow gets even worse if there isn't postseason bounce-back next year. Can't monkey around with this. Personally, I think it's the culture.
You want to blame someone? It's Patrice Bergeron and the core. There is no way I'd bring back Bergeron even if he wanted to come back. You need an infusion of new blood. Not wholesale changes, but some new blood. Gamers. Guys were far too comfortable. Had far too much say. They should have little to zero input in how anything is run.
I think there's far too much of an emphasis on being a good guy and a buddy and palsy-walsy on that team. This safe space mentality. Too much locker room Wokeness, if you want to put it that way, and not enough locker room balls.
There's a great deal of entitlement, too, on that team. Entitlement has various forms. You can be good-natured and still be entitled. Like when you expect someone to cater to your feelings above doing what is necessary to get the best out of you and the team.