Facing the top team in the Pacific Division, the Boston Bruins won their first game since firing coach Claude Julien on Tuesday.
The decision to fire Julien drew criticism for the timing of the news, which occurred during the New England Patriots championship parade the same day. But it also put Bruins management under further scrutiny for the club’s numerous shortfalls on its roster.
Yet despite the tumultuous times of the past few days and weeks, the Bruins came away victorious on a snowy night in Boston.
The Bruins capitalized early against the San Jose Sharks, chasing goalie Martin Jones from the net after taking a 3-1 lead in the first period. On this night, at least, the goals continued to flow as Boston scored a 6-3 victory to get back into the final wild card spot, getting a win for Bruce Cassidy in his debut behind the bench.
“I feel great. It’s been a busy two or three days. I’ll sleep well tonight. Everyone likes to win,” said Cassidy.
David Pastrnak scored twice, giving him 24 goals on the season.
The Bruins now lead the Philadelphia Flyers by a single point, and the New York Islanders by two points.
But despite their success tonight, Bruins president Cam Neely has acknowledged that this team’s roster still needs improvement.
“Getting in (the playoffs) gives you a chance, so yes, we want to get in, and I think it would be silly for us to say we’re not a playoff team with the bulk of the players that we have. Do we need to get better? One hundred percent,” Neely told a Boston radio station.
“The roster needs help. No question.”