Bruins’ Cassidy fined $25K for criticizing officiating; Ritchie fined $5K

Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy was not happy with the officiating in Game 5 and says the New York Islanders are selling a narrative.

Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy has been fined $25,000 for publicly criticizing the officiating of his team’s second-round series against the New York Islanders, the league announced Tuesday.

Cassidy’s comments came after Game 5 on Monday, a 5-4 Islanders win that gave New York a 3-2 series lead.

Speaking to the media after the loss, Cassidy commented on what he believes to be inconsistent calls from the series’ officials, and suggested it is due in part to the perception of how the Islanders play.

“I think they sell a narrative over there that it’s more like the ‘New York Saints,’ not the New York Islanders. You know, they play hard and they play the right way. But I feel we’re the same way and the calls, the exact calls, that are getting called on us do not get called on them,” Cassidy said.

“And I don’t know why. These are very good officials — they’re at this point in the season for a reason. You’ve got continuous high sticks every game, the exact same high sticks… Maybe we need to sell them more, flop, but that’s not us. You just hope they’d see them. I mean, the same calls go against us. So, it’s not like I’m sitting there going, ‘Well, every call against us sucks.’ It’s not true.

“It’s just, at the end of the day, the similar plays, they need to be penalized on those plays. But like I said, I think they’ve done a great job selling that narrative that they’re clean.”

Cassidy also took exception to recent comments made by Barry Trotz about Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron — wherein the Islanders coach suggested Bergeron cheats in the faceoff circle — after the Bruins pivot was tossed from the faceoff multiple times in Game 5.

“They just need to be better than that. Just call the game what you see, quit listening to these outside influences, and get it done right,” Cassidy said. “Because I don’t think they were great tonight, I’m not going to lie to you. But they have been, and they’re good officials, I know those two guys — they’re good guys, good officials. I don’t know, tonight I just thought they were off.”

Boston’s Nick Ritchie was disciplined by the league on Tuesday as well, as the department of player safety announced a $5,000 fine for the Bruins winger for elbowing Islanders defenceman Scott Mayfield.

The incident in question occurred midway through the first period of Game 5, when Ritchie skated by Mayfield, who was down on his knees trying to get to his feet, and elbowed the defender in the head.

Ritchie was not penalized on the play.

After falling in Game 5, the Bruins and Islanders will head into Game 6 with the latter looking to close out the series and move on to Round 3. Watch the potential series-ender at 7:30 p.m. ET Wednesday on Sportsnet.

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