Bruce Cassidy on Noel Acciari: 'There's a guy that I feel for'

Evan Marinofsky
June 07, 2019 - 8:53 pm

The story of the Bruins' 2-1 loss in Game 5 was the missed tripping call on Tyler Bozak that led to David Perron's eventual game-winning goal. Noel Acciari was blatantly brought down from behind right in front of referee Kelly Sutherland and there was no penalty on the play. 

Bruce Cassidy let the officials have it in the immediate aftermath of the loss on Thursday night. And although he did take some more shots at them on Friday after practice, he emphasized a new point regarding Noel Acciari. 

"You walk through the room and you see a guy and you can tell he's despondent," said Cassidy of Acciari. "He feels like he cost the team the game and there's a guy that I feel for. I've grown tight to this group, these players -- they lay it on the line. It feels bad for him as anything else. There's no call so he feels like he didn't win his puck battle. That's a tough one. 

"So I've got to pick that player up going forward. That's the emotion that comes into it after the game. The emotion is now we've got to put it behind us and win Game 6." 

Cassidy's time coaching Acciari goes back to their days with the Providence Bruins. 

When it came to the play's impact on No. 55, the message was simple: move on. 

"I thought it was a penalty," linemate Joakim Nordstrom said. "But the game is fast. Mistakes happen. The refs didn't call it, didn't see it. We've got to put it behind us. There was still a lot of time left in the game. I don't think anybody was dwelling on it. We did a good job moving on. We were able to score one pretty quickly after. We obviously didn't get the tying goal but we were certainly there and in position for it." 

When it came to the call itself, even after being able to sleep on it, Cassidy still felt the same way. 

"I think I was pretty honest about it yesterday," said Cassidy. "My feeling hasn't changed. Thought it was a missed call that impacted the game unfortunately in a negative way for us. Other than that, I've talked about this because there's been a few in the postseason cause I'm also a fan of the game. For me it's a privilege and an honor to be working in the National Hockey League and be in the Finals. 

"We're ambassadors of the game. We want to grow the game. We're mic'd up. We're trying to give them access. I'm all for that, that's what we're trying to do. I'd rather talk about that than a missed call that affects the game. That's the way it was last night."

We’ll see how Acciari and all the Bruins bounce back with their backs against the wall in Game 6 in St. Louis on Sunday.

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