Jake DeBrusk signed a two-year, $7.35M contract with the Boston Bruins before the 2021 season, but he hasn’t lived up to his end of the bargain and was singled out by head coach Bruce Cassidy on Tuesday.
DeBrusk has stumbled out of the gate with a goal and five points in 17 games this season, as Cassidy rendered him a healthy scratch for Tuesday’s game against the division-leading New York Islanders.
“At the end of the day, we’re not quite getting out of Jake what we want. Some of that is circumstance and situational. He’s moved around, he’s been hurt, his center had been hurt,” Cassidy told reporters.
“I still feel he’s been given ice time to perform to the best of his ability. We just feel we’re not getting the effort required. It’s not always about the score sheet. It’s about being one of 20 guys helping you win. Some nights it’s there, some nights it’s not. We tried different messaging with the player, and sometimes sitting upstairs and taking a look is not a bad way to go and put a different perspective on it and have a better appreciation for being in there. And then maybe educating yourself on some things you see from up top that look a little easier than during live action.”
DeBrusk posted 19 goals and 35 points in 2019-20 and has been a key source of secondary offense for the Bruins over the past three seasons.
It’s a pretty damning assessment from Cassidy even though he tried to rationalize why DeBrusk’s production has regressed badly during the 2021 campaign. Perhaps a night in the box will help rejuvenate DeBrusk as the Bruins look to gain ground on the Islanders, as they sit five points back with with three games in hand.
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