Take advantage of a tired team
I mentioned in the introduction that Carolina is playing a Bostonian unit coming off a loss in Sunrise, Florida last night. They’re traveling from Florida to Carolina on the second half of a back-to-back. They’re going to come out one of two ways. Either Boston will turn up tonight and want to kill the Carolina Hurricanes to prove their good, or they’ll be tired and demoralized.
If the Bruins turn up and are tired, or still carrying some of the load from last night’s game, then Carolina will need to just play like we’ve seen them up to this point of the season and they will be fine. A tired team, even one as good as Boston, will not be able to keep up with Carolina’s relentless forecheck if they’re playing to the best of their abilities.
However, if Boston comes into this game and Carolina starts looking ahead to Chicago tomorrow night, then this could become a very tricky game. This is the game where this group of 23 could set a record for the best start in franchise history, and they cannot assume it’s a done deal to a team that has plagued them in the post-season.
To avoid this, getting pucks in deep, getting physical in the corners, and winning battles for the puck is going to be vital. This will not be a game where Carolina can throw the puck to their stars and go “Add to your highlight reel”. This will need to be a victory ground out, but it’s very doable. If Carolina is at their best with 2 days’ rest, they should beat Boston straight up.