NHL Eastern Conference Finals Game #2 Recap

You could not tell that it was Mother’s Day inside the TD Garden.  You did have the premonition that it would be interesting to see how both teams responded from the highs and lows of their Game #1. 

One thing for sure was a definitive entering Game #2, the Boston Bruins  Charlie McAvoy one of their top defensemen would return.  McAvoy was back after his one game suspension which was carried over from the previous series against the Columbus Blue Jackets. 

Once the puck dropped there was a little bit of a stale mate as there were only 3 shots in the first seven plus minutes of the games and no real scoring chances.  On almost every face-off the physical play was noticeable, many players looked to be sending a message to the opposite team, however, nothing ever came of it and we played on.

A scoring chance finally presented itself as David Pasternak found himself all in alone with Petr Mrazek and he tried to go five-hole but was shut down leaving the scoreboard at 0-0 but inturn giving Mrazek some confidence.  This new given confidence would not last long. The Hurricanes offense had a bit of a surge and eventually drew a penalty on Zdeno Chara for tripping with eight minutes left in the 1st.  It was at this moment that Tuukka Rask reintroduced himself making a couple of saves and leading the Bruins to kill off penalty with ease.

Minutes after the penalty kill the Bruins struck.  Marcus Johansson was cycling through the offensive zone and although many were screaming to shoot the puck he decided to pass it off to Grzelcyk who shot it on goal.  Petr Mrazek at that point gave up a very soft goal.  The puck hit Mrazek in the side and trickled through to just cross the goal.  The Bruins or anyone else in the TD Garden did not care how soft or hard the goal was all they knew is they lead 1-0.

The Bruins saw an opportunity at the end of the 1st period to grab this series by the jugular.  Johansson started the surge with a semi breakaway chance that Mrazek was able to stop.  That was followed up by a flurry of Bruins in front of the Hurricanes goal.  This eventually lead to tripping penalty by Justin Williams.  The Bruins wasted no time winning the face-off back to Pastrnak who then fed it down low to DeBrusk. DeBrusk slapped at it three times to get it by the Carolina net-minder giving the Bruins a 2-0 lead heading into the 2nd intermission. 

The Carolina Hurricanes must have had a come to Jesus speech in the locker room because they came out ready to play in the 2nd period.  Within the first minute of play they gained the offensive zone and peppered Rask with a  variety of shots that eventually lead to a penalty on the Bruins.  Patrice Bergeron was called for a tripping giving the Hurricanes their second power play of the game.  

That was the extent of the “surge”.  The Hurricanes could not even gain the zone on the power play and gave up multiple short handed opportunities.  On top of that, the Bruins having killed off the penalty scored to make it 3-0.  Johansson again was the contributor with giving patience a new name that allowed Clifton to setup back door and slam the puck into an empty net.

The Bruins now in complete control of the game moments later had another wide open net but Mrazek was able to get a stick on it. Literally he got the shaft of his stick on the puck and it somehow stayed out of the goal.  This miraculous goal keep the Hurricanes within 3, not a unattainable comeback but one more would surely put it out of reach and have the Hurricanes looking ahead to Game #3. 

Most of the second period took place in the neutral zone until the Hurricanes drew a penalty on the Bruins Wagner.  If the Hurricanes were going to turn this game around in their favor this was the moment to do it.  Slavin and Hamilton had a couple opportunities but Tuuka Rask showed his skills once again allowing the Bruins to kill the penalty off and not giving any ground up.

This went from bad to worse for the Hurricanes late in the 2nd period when Justin Williams was called for a hold again putting the Bruins on a power play.  On the power play Coyle entered the zone and found Grezlcyk for his second goal of the game putting the Bruins up 4-0 heading into the locker room at the end of the 2nd.

Remarkably Petr Mrazek was allowed to stay in the goal entering the 3rd period and about one minute later every Hurricanes fan was screaming “WHY”.  To be fair the Hurricanes defensemen did a horrible job clearing the puck which lead to a shot on goal and a rebound by Backes to make it 5-0.  It was out of hand and even though the Hurricanes immediately went on the power play, this game was over.  Point and case…Bruins kill off penalty then Bergeron makes it 6-0 Bruins.

Justin Williams put one in the back of the net with eight minutes left in the game to take away the shutout from Rask…the lone silver lining of the day for the Canes.  

Even though the Hurricanes play could be considered a comedy, the real comedy came with minutes remaining. Tuuka Rask had an unfortunate miscue trying to clear a puck as he was WELL out of the net allowing Carolina to add a second goal for a 6-2 final. There were other things that happened in the 3rd period but who cared. The Bruins were on the flight to North Carolina maybe before the Hurricanes were. 

We are not sure if this game showed us that the Bruins are this good or if the Carolina Hurricanes are that big of a fraud.  The term “Jerks” in reference to the chip on the Hurricanes shoulder has probably run its ground, but don’t tell them.  In Round 1 the Canes were down 2-0 going home and came back to win the series against the Capitals so who knows, anything COULD happen.

Grandstand Player of the Game:

  • The Bruins – this was an absolute demolishing of the Carolina Hurricanes, there is really no person to put above any of the rest it was a total team effort.  If this type of play continues in Raleigh this will be a very short series. 

Betting Results:

  • Moneyline Winner – Bruins -140
  • Over / Under Winner – Over 5.5 +115
  • Puckline Winner – Bruins -1.5 +140