Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy didn't shy away from calling out his defense following the team's second straight loss beyond 60 minutes on Thursday night.
Cassidy challenged members of the back end to "buy in" to what he's trying to do.
"More self-inflicted damage from the back end tonight," Cassidy said to reporters. "Very disappointed. ... We gotta fix it. Guys gotta decide if they're gonna play the right way and buy in, and understand what we are right now."
Specifically, Cassidy called out Zdeno Chara, challenging him to be more of a leader on defense. Per 98.5 The Sports Hub:
"Listen, [Chara is] the captain of the hockey club. He won a Stanley Cup here by being a defensive stalwart, one of the best penalty killers in the league, so yes, he’s part of that group, and the biggest part of it. He’s a terrific leader. The next game, he [needs to] understand what makes us successful. We’ll have a conversation about it.
"But he is the leader back there. [Chara has] got to get Charlie [McAvoy] to buy in, got to get [Brandon] Carlo, he has, and that has to continue. Kevan Miller, I put him in that group too. They have to lead back there and understand what it takes to be successful right now for us. Right now for us [that] is team defense."
Here's a bit more of what Cassidy said to NESN's Jack Edwards and Andy Brickley:
Boston is now 27-17-7, good for fourth in the Eastern Conference, as only two points separate them from the second-place New York Islanders. So the team's in pretty good shape, definitely, but Cassidy wants to see more from the defense. Following the second straight game where the team could muster just a point in which they led after two periods, a strong message had to be sent. Because two points could've been four points, and every point matters in the battle for a top playoff seed.
On to Washington. Will the Bruins finally end their 14-game losing streak against the Capitals dating back to March 2014?
Tune in to NBC at 12:30 on Sunday to find out...