What mattered most at the end of the afternoon for Bruce Cassidy was another two points scooped up for his club — with a 3-2 overtime victory over the Rangers Friday afternoon securing Boston's sixth win in a row and a point streak stretching back 10 games.
In the span of two months, Boston has managed to orchestrate a pair of 10-point streaks — becoming just the third team in NHL history to post two point streaks of 10+ games through its first 30 games or fewer (2000-01 Blues + 1974-75 Sabres).
And yet, when discussing another comeback victory at TD Garden, Cassidy was quick to take some of his players to task in what was largely an uninspiring effort for most of the first 40 minutes of play.
“I just didn’t think we had it as a group,” Cassidy said. “There was some guys – we had some passengers, not a trait of our team, but tonight, we did. ... I just didn’t think they weren’t hard enough on pucks. We shortened the bench; we’ve done that in the past to get people’s attention; we’ve done it in the past to get our game going, so guys that are going get out there a little more often to try to tilt the ice."
Playing in just his second game up in the NHL ranks, Jack Studnicka's usage was still restrained by Cassidy and his staff against New York, with the 20-year-old pivot logging just under 10 minutes of ice time in the victory. It's a bit to be expected for a green skater looking to find his footing up in the top pro league in the world, while Studnicka's ice time was also cut when his veteran winger, Charlie Coyle, missed the second half of the middle stanza while shaking off a blocked shot.
But even with Studnicka's limited TOI, Cassidy was quick to not lump the rookie in with the crop of skaters he had qualms with out on the ice.