Carolina Hurricanes: Three Keys to Starting Conference Final vs. Bruins

BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 6: Riley Nash #20 and David Backes #42 of the Boston Bruins fight for the puck against Justin Williams #14 of the Carolina Hurricanes at the TD Garden on January 6, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 6: Riley Nash #20 and David Backes #42 of the Boston Bruins fight for the puck against Justin Williams #14 of the Carolina Hurricanes at the TD Garden on January 6, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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BOSTON – MARCH 5: Boston Bruins’ Jake DeBrusk (74), after taking the puck away from the Hurricanes Justin Faulk (27), eyes teammate David Krejci (not pictured) heading to the net. DeBrusk hit him with a pass and Krejci beat Hurricanes goalie Curtis McElhinney (35) in overtime to give Boston a 4-3 victory. The Boston Bruins host the Carolina Hurricanes in a regular season NHL hockey game at TD Garden in Boston on March 5, 2019. (Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
BOSTON – MARCH 5: Boston Bruins’ Jake DeBrusk (74), after taking the puck away from the Hurricanes Justin Faulk (27), eyes teammate David Krejci (not pictured) heading to the net. DeBrusk hit him with a pass and Krejci beat Hurricanes goalie Curtis McElhinney (35) in overtime to give Boston a 4-3 victory. The Boston Bruins host the Carolina Hurricanes in a regular season NHL hockey game at TD Garden in Boston on March 5, 2019. (Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images) /

2. Shut Down Their Forwards

The Bruins have an excellent forward core, Brad Marchand, despite his antics, has 13 points, which is tied for second in the playoffs right now. David Pastrnak is tied in fourth place in goals with six. If the Hurricanes do not shut down the Bruins’ offense, especially from the top-line, they’ll have a short series, and not in their favor.

The Hurricanes had a cakewalk with a team that valued their defense more than their offense in the New York Islanders, but with the Washington Capitals, it came down to the wire. This series will be more similar to the Capitals than to the Islanders.

The Bruins will be the toughest opponent the Hurricanes may see on the other side in all the playoffs, depending on who comes from the Western Conference Finals between the St Louis. Blues and San José Sharks.

The best strategy may not be to focus on back-checking, but actually an intense forecheck that chokes the life out of the Bruins. Throughout the regular season, the Tampa Bay Lightning, used their aggressive forecheck and choked the endurance out of the Bruins. In the defensive zone, the Hurricanes need to move quick and cover all passing lanes, forcing the Bruins to take weak shots.

The Hurricanes, at all costs, need to not allow high-scoring games in the series. It’s a fight that the Bruins would likely win, and the Hurricanes need to prevent it. The Hurricanes defensive core is given the advantage, by even hockey analysts, over the Boston Bruins, and the Hurricanes need to meet up to those expectations and exceed them.