The Boston Bruins will look to regain the edge in their First Round Stanley Cup Playoff series against the Carolina Hurricanes. After a 4-3 victory in Game 1 of the series, the Bruins fell 3-2 on Thursday night in Game 2 in Toronto. The series ‘shifts’ today as the Hurricanes will be the home team for Games 3 and 4.
Puck drop is set for 12:00 pm on NBC and 98.5 The Sports Hub.
“WE’RE GOING TO COMPETE”
Tuukka Rask’s comments on Thursday night shocked fans and media alike. Rask proclaimed that “It doesn’t really feel like playoff hockey” after the Game 2 loss. He pointed out that there were no fans, and that it felt more like an exhibition game than the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Brad Marchand defended his teammate when discussing the comments shortly after Rask spoke.
“No, I think maybe he was just talking about the round robin games,” Marchand offered. “I didn’t see his comments but the round robin games for us were exhibition games. They should not be labeled playoff games. And those were ones that we were trying to prepare for the game. Maybe he was talking about that.”
In addition, Marchand also proclaimed that the Bruins will compete. Regardless of the atmosphere, this is still the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
“These are playoff games; playoff atmosphere and we’re going to compete. We’re going to compete,” Marchand continued. “It’s definitely different. There is no question. It doesn’t have the same atmosphere and there is no home ice advantage. It’s just straight up hockey at this point. Unfortunately, that is the playoffs this year and at least we’re playing.”
BRUINS MUST ADAPT TO SURVIVE
Marchand wasn’t the only member of the Boston Bruins to address Rask’s comments. On Friday, head coach Bruce Cassidy discussed the comments. His message? The Bruins, like every other team in bubble, must adapt and overcome the different situation.
“I didn’t speak to him after his comments. Tuukka, I think the Boston media knows him well enough — he answers his questions the way he feels,” Cassidy said. “It is a unique environment, but to me, there’s playoff intensity on the ice. You’ve just gotta control what you can control when you’re a player. In my situation, as a coach, the way I look at it, at the end of the day, they’re gonna hand out the Stanley Cup this year.
So we’ve gotta play our best hockey if we want to be that team. That was our goal at the start of the year. We didn’t anticipate it would end up in an environment like this, but here it is, right? You play the hand you’re dealt, and you prepare yourself — and in my case prepare the team — in this case, for Game 3, to play our best hockey game and that’s what my focus is on right now, plain and simple. That’s what we’re gonna do tonight and puck drop tomorrow at noon, we’re gonna put our best foot forward.”
HURRICANES BACK INTO GROOVE
The Hurricanes played a much better game on Thursday night than they did on Wednesday morning. Their forecheck gave the Bruins all kinds of problems, and their top players were able to use their speed and skill to create issues in the offensive zone.
Teuvo Teravainen, who had a quiet Game 1, was a big reason for the response on Thursday.
“I feel like whenever we get in our game, get the pucks deep and get the forecheck going, we’re playing our best and I think we started to do that a little more last game. It was good playing that way,” Teravainen said. “It brought a lot of trouble for the other team and whenever we do that, I feel like we’re pretty dangerous.”
That forecheck and speed caught the eye of the Bruins. Matt Grzelcyk talked about it following the loss.
“Yeah, for sure. I think that that’s kind of what their team is predicated on and like Brad said, they work really hard. They kind of feed off that from their coach and we knew that going in,” Grzelcyk said postgame. “I think it’s on us, especially defenseman, to try to move it to the first guy who is available and get out of our zone cleanly.”
BOSTON BRUINS LINES
Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – Anders Bjork
Jake DeBrusk – David Krejci – Ondrej Kase
Nick Ritchie – Charlie Coyle – Karson Kuhlman
Joakim Nordstrom – Sean Kuraly – Chris Wagner
Zdeno Chara – Charlie McAvoy
Torey Krug – Brandon Carlo
Matt Grzelcyk – Jeremy Lauzon
Boston Bruins lines are subject to change. The team had a voluntary skate on Friday, so lines are based off of Game 2. Rask was the expected starter, as Cassidy said he “anticipates” the veteran back in goal Saturday. Rask, however, opted out on Saturday morning. Halak will now take over as the starter.
David Pastrnak, who missed Game 2, is a possibility to play. However, Cassidy admitted it would be difficult for Pastrnak to return after missing Friday’s skate. Other changes are possible.
CAROLINA HURRICANES LINES
Andrei Svechnikov – Sebastian Aho – Teuvo Teravainen
Ryan Dzingel – Vincent Trocheck – Martin Necas
Brock McGinn – Jordan Staal – Justin Williams
Nino Niederreiter – Morgan Geekie – Jordan Martinook
Jaccob Slavin – Dougie Hamilton
Brady Skjei – Sami Vatanen
Haydn Fleury – Trevor Van Riemsdyk
Carolina Hurricanes lines are subject to change. Reimer is expected to get the start after a strong performance on Thursday, but Rod Brind’Amour has not confirmed that. Williams, Vatanen and Van Riemsdyk made their series debuts on Thursday, and are expected to remain in the lineup on Saturday afternoon.