NHL fines Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy $25K for criticizing officials; but will it work for him like it did Peter DeBoer?

Jun 7, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy talks with his players during a timeout in the third period of game five of the second round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the New York Islanders at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

The NHL fined Boston Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy $25,000 Tuesday for criticizing officials following the team’s playoff loss to the New York Islanders.

The Islanders defeated the Bruins 5-4 in Game 5 of the second-round playoff series on Monday night to take a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series.

Bruce Cassidy criticizes officials

“This is my take on it: We’re playing a team that has a very well-respected management and coaching staff. But I think they sell a narrative over there that it’s more like the New York Saints, not the New York Islanders,” Cassidy said postgame. “They play hard and they play the right way, but I feel we’re the same way. And the exact calls that get called on us do not get called on them, and I don’t know why.”

Four penalties were assessed against the Bruins in Game 5, while the Islanders were called for two. New York converted its four power-play chances into three goals.

islanders bruins playoffs
Jun 3, 2021; Uniondale, New York, USA; Boston Bruins center Sean Kuraly (52) reacts after being called for cross checking New York Islanders right wing Kyle Palmieri (21) during the third period of game three of the second round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

“They commit as many infractions as we do. Trust me. It’s a matter of calling them,” Cassidy said.

The Bruins bench boss may have a point. Here’s a breakdown by game for minor infractions:

GAMEISLANDERS PENALTIESBRUINS PENALTIES
123
245
323
444
524

So far the Bruins have received 5 more penalties than the Islanders. The situation isn’t that much different than what Peter DeBoer expressed in Vegas.

Taking a page out of Peter DeBoer’s book

After going down 0-2 to the Avalanche on an OT PP goal, Golden Knights head coach Peter DeBoer had seen enough embellishment. “Just a soft call. But I can’t even blame the refs,” DeBoer said in his post game presser. “They’re fighting through the embellishment of grabbing your face or falling down or dropping your stick every period. I can’t even blame the ref. They fool them on it.”

At the time of those comments, the Knights were assessed 5 more penalties than the Avs. After DeBoer’s comments, Colorado has received two more penalties than Vegas. Coincidentally the Knights won both games and the series is tied at two.

The Bruins are facing elimination and Cassidy is pulling out all the stops. When he made those comments, it was intentional. If by calling attention to the situation at least evens the penalties, it will be worth the fine.

Nick Ritchie also fined

Also Tuesday, the NHL Department of Player Safety fined Bruins forward Nick Ritchie $5,000, the maximum allowed under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, for elbowing Islanders defenseman Scott Mayfield in the first period of Game 5. Officials did not call a penalty on the play.

Game 6 is set for Wednesday in Uniondale, N.Y.

–Field Level Media contributed to this article