Beating the Boston Bruins is no easy task for the Carolina Hurricanes. Let’s go inside this edition of Behind Enemy Lines to break down the specific keys to victory Carolina to be successful over the Boston Bruins.
The Carolina Hurricanes and Boston Bruins are meeting in the playoffsfor the first time since 2009. This time a berth in the Stanley Cup Final is on the line. The Bruins are making their first trip to the Eastern Conference Final since 2013. Carolina is looking to make their third trip to the final, and first since 2006, when the Hurricanes hoisted the Stanley Cup.
If Carolina wants any hope of getting back to the Stanley Cup Final, the following keys will ensure victory over Boston.
- Stop the Bruins Top Line – Stopping Boston’s top line of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, and David Pastrnak will be paramount. Carolina is relentless on the puck in both zones. If Carolina’s defense can continue to lock up the neutral zone and make the Bruins stars grind for goals, they will have a good shot of at least neutralizing the Bruins first line juggernaut.
- Be Better on Special Teams – Carolina’s special teams have been poor this postseason. Through 11 games, the Hurricanes power play ranks last at 10.5 percent. Their penalty kill is not much better, killing off penalties at a rate of 75 percent. The Bruins boast the best power play at 28.6 percent. Carolina must avoid the penalty box.
- Solid Goaltending – One of either Curtis McElhinneyand Petr Mrazekneed to match the play of Tuukka Rask. Rask has been great for the Boston Bruins. But, McElhinney and Mrazek are no pushovers either. Both goalies were vital in Carolina advancing in the playoffs. Either McElhinney or Mrazek has the ability to steal multiple games in this series.
- Relish the Underdog Role – In previous years when the Hurricanes made deep runs in the playoffs, they were the underdogs. The trend continued this postseason. Nobody is expecting Carolina to win against Boston. That is when the Hurricanes are most dangerous. Carolina is embracing the moment. Nothing seems too big for this team. The Hurricanes are loose and having fun on the ice.
Game 1 is set for Thursday Night at 8pm in TD Garden.