While the Boston Bruins won their series against the Carolina Hurricanes Wednesday night, there is still plenty to improve upon before the second round begin.
However, one thing that is for certain, it’s that the Bruins power play has found their game. Five out of the 15 goals they scored against the Hurricanes came on the man-advantage.
“I liked our special teams, our power play eventually found its way,” said coach Bruce Cassidy Wednesday after the game. “We haven’t practiced it a lot, but the guys have played together. We made some tweaks on it, obviously putting Krech in with Pasta’s line on the first one, moving Marchy in front, so kind of really loading up the first group.”
But, is that necessarily a good thing? The Bruins may not be given the breaks on the power play that had been given during the Hurricanes’ series. And, Cassidy acknowledged that even-strength scoring was something that his team lacked during the series, but that he hopes they improve upon for round two.
“Especially right now we’re not getting the five on five scoring we need on a regular basis, so you got to find ways to win and I guess that’s probably the best way to put it,” said Cassidy.
Bruins Finding Ways To Win
The Bruins were without forward David Pastrnak for three of the five games of the series. But, that appeared to have no effect on the Bruins’ play. The elite goal-scorer returned to the lineup for Wednesday’s game, and acknowledged David Krejci’s performance on the power play in his spot.
“The power play is just, I can’t even tell how good of a player he is,” said Pastrnak. “He always seems like he makes a great play. Just when you think he’s going to lose it, he always finds a way to recover and make a great play. Great power play…We scored some big goals and obviously Krech was a big key on the power play.”
The President’s Trophy winners also had their starting goaltender opt-out of the Stanley Cup Finals. Tuukka Rask left after two games into the series against Carolina to return back to his family.
Regardless of the absence of notable players, the Bruins were able to brace the storm and move on.
“We found ways to win, probably different ways each game, different people in the lineup, different goaltenders playing,” said Cassidy. “So that was the best part of this first round. And I think our lineup now will get a little more solidified as we go. Hopefully Pasta is no worse for the wear tomorrow, Jaro’s got the net, make a few tweaks here and there on the third line so to speak and you put Cliffy in, but in general it looks like we’re better prepared now in terms of chemistry and stability in our lineup going forward.”
What Went Well?
While even-strength scoring was one area Cassidy hopes to see more of in round two, there is plenty that he believes his team has the advantage in.
“[The] penalty kill was excellent tonight,” said Cassidy. “I thought we were little too lacks at our blue line allowing them to gain entry but in zone we were better with the clears, shooting lanes were good, we blocked shots when we needed to. So I love that part tonight and pretty much for the whole series I think we had the advantage in that area.”
The opponent for the Bruins in the second round has yet to be determined, but if there’s one thing for certain, the Bruins will be going into it with confidence.