Carolina Hurricanes: Series Preview Against the Boston Bruins

The Carolina Hurricanes will face the Boston Bruins in round one of the playoffs.

Starting tomorrow the Carolina Hurricanes begin their first true test of the playoffs as they take on the Boston Bruins in a best of seven.

The time to truly begin the playoffs is now. Once the dust settles on the Alexis Lafrenière sweepstakes, the real first round of the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs will begin. For the Carolina Hurricanes’ first opponent, we have the Boston Bruins who lost all three of their round-robin games and fell from the first seed all the way down to the fourth seed.

The Bruins will now have seen the Hurricanes for the second year in a row. The last year, during the Eastern Conference Finals, the Bruins knocked out the Hurricanes on route to a losing Stanley Cup Finals series that saw them get knocked out in seven games.

Now the Bruins prepare for a new series against the Hurricanes starting tomorrow. This will be the fourth time these two franchises meet, tying the New Jersey Devils for most series against the Carolina Hurricanes in the postseason.

The Schedule

So when will the Carolina Hurricanes and the Bruins play each other in the bubble and how can we watch? Glad you asked! Here is a quick rundown of the series moving forward in this week!

For the most part it seems that the Carolina Hurricanes have graduated from the noon eastern timezone with only a single weekend match-up scheduled for 12PM as of now. Every other game will be played at 8pm. If the series does go to seven games, this schedule will block out the next two weeks. So make sure to plan accordingly.

A game every other day is more than doable. Also look for that Aug 19-20 back to back set of games to mean that the 19th will more than likely be a day game followed up by an evening game on the 20th. Not necessarily, but most likely. These set of games may give Carolina an advantage thanks to their conditioning and training. Same advantage that saw them wipe out the Rangers.

The Players

Both teams will go into this series avoiding any major injuries in either the Qualifying or Round-Robin games. The Carolina Hurricanes will get back their All-Star defenseman in the form of Dougie Hamilton, who will finally get his first game of hockey since his injury in mid-January.

The Carolina offense will continue to rely on goal-scoring from it’s top trio of Andrei Svechnikov, Sebastian Aho, and Teuvo Teravainen while being supplemented by the other three lines who can do more than just grind out the minutes.

The Bruins feature a similarly dangerous first line feturing Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, and the current co-winner of the Rocket Richard David Pastrnak. These three were a big reason the Bruins blew past the Hurricanes last year. Many are looking for them to do so again. This is where the Hurricanes need to rely on their strengths.

Strengths such as their defense, which is now stronger with Hamilton and features guys like Sami Vatanen, Jaccob Slavin, and Brady Skjei who have all contributed to securing the win against the Rangers and are prepared to do so again.

The Goaltending in Boston begins and ends with Tuukka Rask. If the Hurricanes can get to him early as they did Henrik Lundqvist, do not be surprised if they dominate the Bruins the same way. This is a team that plays better with the lead, but can always sneak a goal with enough pressure down a goal. The Bruins will have their hands full.

The Hurricanes will look to Petr Mrazek and James Reimer to share the net and share the domination. Having two guys with excellent games already under their belt will be a scary thought for the opposition.

The Small Things

The Bruins will be the home team in this series. That means the first two games will be home games for Boston. That means that the Hurricanes will have to rely on the newly minted magic of their brand new away jerseys to try and carry them through the first two games. More importantly the Bruins will get last change during stoppages.

But that didn’t help the Rangers in game three and shouldn’t be much of an advantage against an excellent Hurricanes offense in this series. That said, Bergeron is 6th in the league in face-off percentages and having the option of putting him out whenever the Hurricanes unleash some of their high rated face-off players might be a changing factor in the end result.

This means that Carolina will have to fight that much harder to get the job done earlier in the series. After that two home games will give them the chance to don the black and perhaps close the series against Boston early or at least catch up.

The neutral site and lack of fans will otherwise remain the same with whomever can generate their own energy and passion getting the emotional upper hand. Something that the Hurricanes have excelled at but the Bruins have failed miserably to achieve.

Perhaps the Canes know that back home they have the best fans in the world rooting for them. They need to keep knowing that. That means bringing the noise from home. Don’t think that you weren’t noticed Caniacs!

Question for CC Readers: What is your prediction for the Series?