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Bruce Cassidy Compares Jack Ahcan to Former Bruins Defenseman

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With Matt Grzelcyk returning to the Boston Bruins lineup Saturday night and taking back the role Jack Ahcan played for the past two nights, Ahcan was compared to Torey Krug by head coach Bruce Cassidy.

Cassidy spoke about Ahcan being taken out of the lineup after scoring his first NHL goal, not wanting to move Derek Forbort and Connor Clifton from the third d-pairing despite Ahcan’s success, and more.

“Well it’s tough when a guy scores a goal and you take him out,” said Cassidy. “I think from where we are as a group of six back there. I think Forbort and Clifton have done a really good job back there as a third pair, so to bump someone, not sure they deserve that.

“Jack is a guy that will go in when a guy like Grizz is out,” Cassidy continued. “I think there’s comparable games, Grizz is obviously much further along in his career, but Jack, if he ever kind of gets to his ceiling, he’d be kind of a Grizz-Torey (Krug) kind of player.

“So what he’ll take from it is some confidence, he can make some plays offensively, a memory he’ll never forget — you’ll never forget your first goal, and hopefully next time he’s in he’s that much better for it, and what the ask is how to play,” Cassidy went on to say.

Cassidy compared Ahcan to Krug, who last played for Boston in 2020. The 30-year-old’s seven-year deal with the Blues ended his nine-year tenure in Boston.

“More so than Grizz,” Cassidy said when asked if he thinks Ahcan has a chip on his shoulder standing at just 5-foot-9. “Grizz is more of a quiet, go-about-your-business type of guy, certainly has confidence — more confidence than he had when he got here. I think the difference was when Grizz first got here, he needed a push to sort of play his game. You’ve got it in you, you’ve gotta bring it.

“Whereas Torey I think knew from day one that he was gonna play, he just had to go through the process in the American League,” Cassidy added. “I think he said it himself, there were some difficult days there to play in that league and work your way out of it. But I think Torey was always a little more self assured. And there’s nothing wrong with that, I think there’s a lot of players in the league that way.”

Boston will take on the Coyotes Saturday night, and Jeremy Swayman will get the start.

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