Bruins

How does an NHL team respond after a blowout loss? For Bruce Cassidy, patience & perseverance are prescribed

(Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

There wasn’t much that needed to be said following Boston’s 5-0 loss to the Panthers on Tuesday night.

If anything, harping on just about everything that went wrong for the Bruins — poor gaps, a listless power play, non-existent production from the bottom six and plenty more — would have had Bruce Cassidy droning on and on in his postgame rant.

So what does a team do the next time they arrive at the rink — especially in wake of a blowout loss?

For some, a bag skate (in which players are thrown into a near constant stretch of skating drills up and down the ice)  might be the best route — a wakeup call for a Bruins club that has dropped three of its last four matchups and is lagging behind some of the big guns in the Atlantic Division.

But given the intensity of Boston’s schedule — along with the number of flaws that need to be addressed ahead of Thursday’s matchup against the East-leading Lightning, Cassidy wasn’t ready to put his players through the gauntlet on Wednesday afternoon in Tampa.

“If you do it at the right time, the guys are okay with it,” Cassidy said of the feared bag skate. “It's like, ‘Bring it on.’ You've just got to pick the right time. I find in our season, (there’s) so limited time to practice. Now you go down in Providence, we had a few because you play, say Friday-Saturday-Sunday, you don't play against til Friday, so Tuesday, let's get after it.

“But I find at this level, you're really going to have to find that one time of the year where you have three days between games, it's probably the time you want to do it. If you're on a four-game winning streak, that doesn't usually go over well."

No, rather than a steady dose of “Herbies,” Cassidy kept things simple during Wednesday’s practice — focusing on a few key facets of the game that Boston has a chance of shoring up ahead of Thursday’s tilt.