Bruce Cassidy on Lauzon & Crouse hits: ‘you’d like to see more consistency’

Matt Kalman
February 08, 2020 - 7:24 pm

The hits were similar but received vastly different penalties.

In the end it didn’t matter that the Bruins lost defenseman Jeremy Lauzon to a match penalty while the Arizona Coyotes lost forward Lawson Crouse for just two minutes because Boston extended its winning streak to six games and beat Arizona for the 16th straight time since 2010, 4-2 at TD Garden on Saturday.

But coach Bruce Cassidy, while shying away from publicly challenging the officials, would’ve liked to have seen Lauzon and Crouse’s hits earn similar punishment.

“Well, there is in this. Clearly they’re both very similar hits and you’d like to see more consistency, but again, I don’t want to get onto that soap box today,” Cassidy said. “They’re going to look at Lauzy’s [hit>. Listen, I don’t even know if it’s an automatic suspension, I assume it’s a review. I don’t believe last year when he was up he had any issues with the league. I guess we’ll see down the road. That would be my only concern, if there’s a suspension. Obviously he’s played well for us. That would be unfortunate.”

Lauzon came out of the penalty box late in the first period and missed the net on a breakaway. He then finished his check on Derek Stepan as the Coyotes center cleared the puck. Replays showed Lauzon making contact with Stepan’s head.

Although Stepan left the game, he returned in the second period. Lauzon, of course, did not.

After the game, Lauzon didn’t have much to say on the matter.

“I just went there and I tried to finish my check. I’m a player with a little bit of edge and when I have the opportunity to finish a check, I finish it. And I haven’t seen the hit, so …” he said.

Asked if he was surprised to get a match penalty, Lauzon didn’t want to risk a fine.

“It’s not my place to say anything about the refs’ calls. I didn’t really know what was happening at the time. Like I said, I just went there, a shot off net and tried to finish a check,” he said.

The Bruins let in just one goal, to Phil Kessel, during the ensuing five-minute Arizona power play.

Then Crouse nailed Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy in the head in a similar manner to Lauzon’s hit.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Lawson Crouse hits Charlie McAvoy right in the head. <br><br>Only a minor. <a href=""">"></a></p>&mdash; Evan Marinofsky (@emarinofsky) <a href=""">">February 8, 2020</a></blockquote> <script async src=""">" charset="utf-8"></script>

This time there was just a two-minute minor penalty assessed. But the Bruins still took advantage, scoring the tying goal four seconds after the penalty expired, as McAvoy set up Charlie Coyle for a goal in front. Coyle finished with two goals, Patrice Bergeron had one goal and two assists, and David Pastrnak had two assists for Boston.

“Listen, I didn’t think it was a match penalty, personally. I don’t know the exact factors of, OK, hit to the head? Is it unsuspecting? Injury? That’s the only discussion I had with the official,” Cassidy said.

“He was adamant that the player was out. I was like well, OK, [Stepan> got hurt but he’s in the game. He’s not out, out. There was a bit of a difference of opinion on that.

“At the end of the day, that’s what they called. I thought there was a very, very, very similar hit on McAvoy right after that that went a different direction. Again, that’ll be up to them now, the league. I think they tend to look at those after the fact and we’ll see what happens.”

Whether Lauzon gets suspended will determine what the Bruins do with their roster before they play at Detroit on Sunday afternoon. Brandon Carlo, who did not play because he left the team to attend to a personal matter, is expected to be back in time. The Bruins still might summon some defense help just in case Carlo gets held up.

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