Connect with us

Stanley Cup Playoffs

Carolina Ate ‘A Poop Sandwich’, Changes to Come



Boston Bruins

BOSTON — The Carolina Hurricanes trail 2-0 in the Eastern Conference Final after a 6-2 blowout loss to the Boston Bruins. The Bunch of Jerks are searching for answers after they swallowed a dose of humble pie or something worse as described by Carolina forward Justin Williams, after Game 2.

Carolina was never comfortable in Game 2 Sunday afternoon in Boston. The Bruins scored the first six goals before Carolina added two goals late in the third period.

Williams summed up Carolina’s performance up thusly, “Sometimes you’ve got to eat a poop sandwich. It doesn’t taste good, but you have to chew on it for a little bit. We’ll have to do it for a couple of days and get the taste out of our mouth the next game.”

One player who has been far from comfortable in the series has been Petr Mrazek. Mrazek was pegged at the starter against Boston but many questioned if that was the right decision after he missed the final three games of the second round with a lower body injured. He has not looked like the player he was from previous rounds.

When asked about a goalie change after the second period Head Coach Rod Brind’Amour responded to reporters, “We talked about it.” Brind’Amour went on to say “but he doesn’t want to come out. He’s a battler. A lot of other guys on the bench deserve to come out if that’s how we’re doing it.”

You have to wonder about Mrazek’s health. He clearly does not have the ability to move side to side. Mrazek finished the first round of the playoffs with a sub .900 save percentage. While it rose against the game and a half against the Islanders, it is now at .894 through the 11 games he started. Mrazek allowed a soft first goal that set the tone for the rest of the game.

“I wasn’t happy about the first goal,” Mrazek said. “Honestly I have to have that. I knew it went through me.”

Ten goals through two games raised a lot of questions. Curtis McElhinney entered the series on a three-game winning streak. His play was outstanding, and the numbers showed it. McElhinney had a 1.56 GAA, and .947 save percentage. It is time to give the Bruins a different look in net. Goaltending will make or a break a series for a team. Down 0-2, Carolina needs to change something and fast.

Unlike the series against Washington when Carolina went down 0-2, this has a very different feel. Carolina was able to hang around against Washington. The Hurricanes deserved better in the first two games in Washington. Unlike that series, the Bruins have not let up on Carolina. Boston has kept its foot on the pedal and not allowed Carolina to establish their style of play.
Special teams played a factor in the outcome of this game. After Carolina scored a power-play goal in the first period of Game 1, the Hurricanes did not score a goal on the power play over the next five periods. One thing Carolina wanted to do in Game 2 was to limit Boston’s power-play chances. While Carolina held Boston to just two power plays, the Hurricanes gave up two more power play goals. Poor execution on the power play and penalty kill is a big reason Carolina trails in the series.
A loss like the one Carolina had Sunday afternoon in Boston is quickly erased from the memory bank.
“Whether you lose 1-0 or 2-1 in overtime or 10-0, it really doesn’t matter, you know?” Brind’Amour said. “It’s about the next game. We’re still alive.”
Two late third periods goals by Justin Williams  and Teuvo Teravainen could spark Carolina as the series shifts to Raleigh for Games 3 and 4. While coaches say momentum does not carry over from game to game, the fact that Carolina did not get shutout will undoubtedly help the players confidence.

Carolina is the only team unbeaten on home ice this postseason with a 5-0 record. Carolina feeds off the crowd energy and very confident in PNC Arena.

“We still feel confident that we can win at home,” Staal said. “We’re going to go into that building, do what we do best, give it all we got and find a way to get a win.”

As the old saying goes, it is not a series until a team loses at home. Boston held serve in the first two games. Now it is Carolina’s turn.

Game 3 is set for Tuesday night, and Game 4 is set for Thursday night.

Read More: 

Behind Enemy Lines: Adjustments Bruins Must Prepare For

Copyright ©2023 National Hockey Now and Boston Hockey Now. Not affiliated with the Boston Bruins or the NHL.