Speed Kills. Just ask the Carolina Hurricanes. The Boston Bruins proved that with their dominant performance in a 6-2 victory in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Carolina could not handle the pressure and the Bruins never looked back.
The Bruins have adapted their style to fit their opponent and are now two wins away from a Stanley Cup Final appearance. Theynare a physical team and engaged in a physical war in Round Two against Columbus. Sunday, they used their speed in Game 2. The combination of styles makes the Bruins perhaps the best team remaining in the NHL’s final four.
The Bruins knew recognized deficiencies after their Game 1 performance. The Bruins were much better during the Game 2 Mother’s-Day matinee.
The way to beat a neutral zone trap is with speed. Boston had trouble with Carolina’s scheme in Game 1. The Bruins worked on penetrating the offensive zone quicker. The Bruins breakout was more effective with Charlie McAvoy back in the lineup. This allowed the forwards of Boston to pick up speed through the neutral zone as they entered the offensive zone — as you can see on Matt Grzelcyk‘s second goal on the game.
Once the Bruins entered the zone, their cycle game took over. Boston broke down Carolina’s man to man coverage which allowed shooting lanes to open. For example on the first goal of the game, Marcus Johansson picks up the puck in the corner, skates around the defense into the middle and makes a nice pass to Matt Grzelcyk for his first of two on the night. Who would have thought the Bruins speed would be the talking point of the series instead of Carolina’s speed?
Another key to the Bruins success in Game 2 was their patience. Patience with the puck allowed Boston to take advantage of Carolina’s aggressiveness. Especially against Carolina goaltender Petr Mrazek. Mrazek tried to make too much happen in net for Carolina. Connor Clifton scored his first goal of his NHL career after Johansson is patient with the puck. Johansson lured Mrazek out of the net which allowed Clifton to deposit the puck into an open net.
Boston will be happy with their performance in Game 2 as the series shifts to Raleigh for Games 3 and 4. Boston has won five straight games dating back to the Columbus series.