Sometimes, according to Don Cherry, a little anger — or a lot — is the best approach a coach can take.
When the Boston Bruins, facing elimination in Game 5 on Friday night, were at the losing end of a number of questionable calls — the team saw not one but two potential game-winners ruled “no goal” in the first overtime — coach Bruce Cassidy looked nothing short of livid.
The 51-year-old, who took over after Claude Julien was fired in February, could be seen yelling and gesticulating wildly from behind the Bruins’ bench.
And if you ask Cherry, Cassidy’s passionate, angry display was exactly what his team needed.
Of course, some coaches take a calmer approach, but not Cherry. “I was not like that. I was like Cassidy,” he said during Coach’s Corner on Hockey Night in Canada.
“He’s taking the frustration,” Cherry explained. “The players are calm. They’ll never get a misconduct — and that’s the way to do it.”
“They had, what, six things overturned? And he had them calmed down. He’s a good coach.”
Cassidy’s journey from his playing days to a coaching career that led him to to his current role with the Bruins is, in Cherry’s view, a lesson in resilience. “Claude Julien got fired, and there he is,” he said. “You can’t get any higher than coaching the Boston Bruins.”
Boston will host the Ottawa Senators for Game 6 on Sunday. The Bruins will once again be fighting for their playoff lives — the Sens are up 3–2 in the series — so you can be sure that Cassidy will be wearing his emotions on his sleeve once again.