The Wraparound: Cassidy kept Bruins ‘on their toes’ during long layoff

The Wraparound is your daily look at the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs. We’ll break down each day’s matchups with the all-important television and live streaming information included.

We finally have some hockey to watch.

After a five-day break, the Stanley Cup Final is set to begin tonight in Boston (8 p.m. ET; NBC; live stream). If you thought five days between games was long, imagine how the Boston Bruins are feeling heading into Game 1. They eliminated the Carolina Hurricanes 10 days ago, which gave them more than enough time to get some added rest. But how much rest is too much rest at this time of year?

Over the last six years, the team with the longer layoff heading into the Stanley Cup Final has lost every time. That’s probably a stat the Bruins were aware of as soon as the Eastern Conference Final ended. So Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy decided to reach out to all the other teams in the city to get their perspective on how to approach a final after a long break.

“Listen, I’m going to keep that inhouse, but I spoke to both the football team and the baseball team, and I’ve had conversations with the basketball team, so I’ll let you figure it out from there … I don’t want to get into all our conversations, because that’s private,” Cassidy said. “But they’ve been very good to share whatever they can, very supportive. It’s been great for me.

“Listen, we practice differently than a football team. They’re typically used to having a week off [and] long stretches. They have that long window of preparation. For us it’s a little different. But at the end of the day, there’s a mental side of it I think is important. How to keep players on their toes and don’t let their mind drift and get their focus back. So I think that was more the discussion than anything. Even some ex-players in town, players that played in the Stanley Cup playoffs that had some time off. How did they react?”

[NBC 2019 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF HUB]

One thing the Bruins have going for them, is that they have a bunch of players with Stanley Cup Final experience. Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, David Krejci, Zdeno Chara, Torey Krug and Tuukka Rask have all been there before, so there shouldn’t be any surprises for them. That should definitely help calm the room down heading into Game 1. And they also held a scrimmage at TD Garden during their time off.

Whenever a new series begins, there always seems to be a feeling out process between the two teams. It’s rare to see a team come out of the gates flying to open series. It happens, but it doesn’t seem to occur very often.

Will the Bruins look rusty? Probably. The question is, how long will they look rusty for?

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Stanley Cup Final 2019 schedule, TV info

Joey Alfieri is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @joeyalfieri.

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