Here are the Talking Points from the Boston Bruins 7-1 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday night at TD Garden when the B’s retired Willie O’Ree’s No. 22 up to the rafters.
GOLD STAR: Carolina defenseman Jaccob Slavin has experienced some truly rough games against the Boston Bruins over the last few seasons, particularly in playoff matchups where the B’s have gotten the best of the Hurricanes. But that was not the case on Tuesday night as the Carolina defenseman finished with a goal and three points along with a plus-4 rating in 22:30 of ice time. Slavin helped engineer the killer goal for the Hurricanes as he assisted on Jesperi Kotkaniemi’s goal just 13 seconds after the Bruins had clawed to a 2-1 score early in the first period. Then Slavin scored later on in the game to extend the lead in the third period and make certain that the game pushed into blowout territory.
BLACK EYE: There was plenty of blame to go around with the Boston Bruins, but the worst of the worst was their third line. They were on the ice for three goals against at even strength and managed to muster up a grand total of one shot on net during the game. In other words, they were completely outclassed by whomever the Hurricanes threw out there against them and provided zero pushback from Charlie Coyle, Jake DeBrusk and Oskar Steen. The fourth line wasn’t much better either as Boston’s bottom-6 was absolutely outclassed by Carolina as well en route to the blowout loss for the Black and Gold. Runner-up would be Connor Clifton, who looked like he had a ton of rust on his game in the first period while misplaying things on a pair of plays in the defensive zone that turned into pucks in the back of his net.
TURNING POINT: It was absolutely the Boston Bruins falling behind by a 2-0 score early, and then getting a little false hope when Patrice Bergeron scored to at least seize some momentum for the briefest of periods. But then Jesperi Kotkaniemi redirected a Jaccob Slavin point shot through Tuukka Rask and made it a 3-1 score just 13 seconds after the Bruins inched onto the board. That was a killer goal for the Bruins that destroyed any momentum they’d been trying to build and continued to buoy a Carolina team that feels like they’ve got a mental edge against the Black and Gold this season.
NHL Video Highlight – Just 13 seconds after the Bruins goal, the Hurricanes restore their two-goal lead thanks to Jesperi Kotkaniemi. pic.twitter.com/4qCFRzdXAm
— Hurricanes Gamebot (@HurricanesBot) January 19, 2022
HONORABLE MENTION: The entire Carolina Hurricanes has looked like world beaters against the Boston Bruins this season while piling up a pair of solid, mostly one-sided wins. Sure, the 3-0 shutout loss to the Hurricanes in Carolina at the end of October wasn’t quite so unsightly even if the Bruins couldn’t scratch for a single goal. In all the Hurricanes have outscored the Bruins by a 10-1 aggregate score in the two matchups between Boston and Carolina as the Canes are shaping up to be a Stanley Cup contending-level team that the B’s don’t want to match up with in the postseason. As it is this should be a bit of a wakeup call for the Black and Gold that they’ve still got some work to do despite elevating their level of of play in January.
BY THE NUMBERS: No. 22 – The only number that really mattered on Tuesday night was the No. 22 that the B’s raised to the rafters to retire Willie O’Ree’s number. It was great to see Anson Carter show up to physically raise the banner to the rafters after O’Ree had asked him to be present for the festivities at TD Garden.
QUOTE TO NOTE: “We had nothing. They were clearly better than us in every area.” –Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy on a rough 7-1 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes where Boston really never showed up.