Tonight the Bruins took to the ice to prevent a series sweep against the Carolina Hurricanes. Though the teams are on completely opposite ends of the Eastern conference, you wouldn’t know that from the games that have been played. The Hurricanes are in a time to rebuild and what better way to do that than to say you swept the reigning Stanley Cup Champs?
Like I said in my Practice Predictions, tonight was TUUKKAAA TIME at the TD Garden against the Canes Cam Ward. The only good thing that came from this game was that I could yell TUUUUK…yeah it was that bad.
Right off of the opening face-off, it was made pretty clear that both teams were going to play strong. Early on I was very impressed with the Marchand-Bergeron-Seguin line, as they had a few early shots on net, a few that I really thought had a good chance of getting past Ward. The other thing I was happy about was seeing the million dollar mullet back on the ice. Adam McQuaidwas a game-time decision, literally switching up drills with Steven Kampfer until the start of the game, but it was he who got the start with fresh from suspension Andrew Ference.
Eric Staal and the Canes got the first goal of the evening with 8:50 to go in the first but it was quickly overshadowed by Johnny Boychuk hitting the boards hard and leaving the ice. Anytime a player gets injured in previous seasons and then goes down hard, I swear my heart stops beating for a second. The Canes also got the first power play opportunity of the night as David Krejci was sent to the box for boarding, or love tapping as I call it. Fortunately the Bruins are ranked 7th in the NHL for penalty kills and they did just that.
The good that I got out of the first; the Bruins got 22 shots on goal, and won 13 out of 16 face offs. The bad that I got out of the first; we’re losing and the Hurricanes only had 8 shots. The Bruins are 13-10-2 when the opposing team scores first.
Second period starts up and fortunately Boychuk is back on the ice! The period for the most part gets off to a slow start and then Jaroslav Spacek takes a Boychuk shot and needs to be looked at after, fortunately he does make his way to the Carolina bench on his own. That hit for some reason seemed to be the fire igniting under both teams skates because from then on the period was back and forth shots on net. Unfortunately Tuomo Ruutu took that fire and went with it scoring on an open net goal with 3:20 to go in the second. Rask is playing hard, but unfortunately the B’s defense just isn’t stepping up.And with 34.2 seconds to go, Dennis Seidenberg gives the Canes their second power play chance and makes me sit with my fingers crossed waiting for this period to end.
Well…at least we killed that power play. But three minutes later,Brandon Sutter scores making it 3-0. When the Bruins are down by this much, the idea of writing any recap hurts and this one hurts a lot. 12:06 to go and Bruins get their first power play, and because they are 7th in the league when it comes to power play goals, I had a lot of expectations. Their losing furthers the need to have those expectations. Well that power play was a bust and to further the hurt, Milan Lucic gets a roughing call before the power play even ends.
This is the 5th consecutive game that the Bruins have given up 3 or more goals and the 5th consecutive game to put this fan in a funk. The only good thing that is coming from any of this is that Carolina can’t score a power play goal. Thank you hockey gods for that one. Six minutes to go and the Canes take a slashing call and I cross my fingers because losing is one thing thing, but being shut out to a team at the bottom of the conference, well that’s unacceptable. Frustration = Brad Marchand to the box for slashing 8 seconds into our power play.
In the end, fourth time was in fact not a charm and the Hurricanes sweep the Bruins and Cam Ward gets a well fought shut out. Moving forward the Bruins return to the ice Saturday in a matinee game against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Hopefully by then they’ll figure out what works and what doesn’t. Claude will be having a nice chat with them tonight I’m sure.