The Boston Bruins weren’t running or hiding the fact that the Carolina Hurricanes absolutely owned them in the 2021-22 regular season as they prepared for Game 1 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinals series in Raleigh.
“I’m not sure we did anything well against this team in the regular season so we’re not going to go too far back on that; we just didn’t play well against them” Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy acknowledged following his team’s game-day skate Monday.
The Hurricanes went 3-0-0 against the Boston Bruins this season and outscored them 16-1. The Canes beat the Bruins 3-0 in Raleigh on October 28, and then 7-1 on Jan. 18 and 6-0 on Feb. 10 at TD Garden.
“I thought the game up here we did, it was a good hockey game, I think it was 3-0, they scored a couple that went in off our guys and it could’ve gone either way,” Cassidy recalled. “The goaltending was good; it was physical. …games at home we just weren’t very good, they were. So what I’ll take from those games is what they did and less about what we did. We just have to be better or we have no chance with the way we played them earlier in the year. We feel we are a different team than some of those nights, so I think that’s gone from our guys now.”
The Hurricanes (54-20-8, 116 pts), finished the regular season with the second-best record in the Eastern Conference, six points behind the President’s Trophy-winning Florida Panthers, and nine points ahead of the Bruins (51-26-5, 107 pts). They had the third best record overall in the NHL.
“They don’t mess around in their own end,” Cassidy pointed out. “It’s on and off their d-stick if they’re not wheeling and they’re supporting it quick, and they’re winning board battles. To me, it’s not rocket science to be honest with you. The teams that win board battles tend to be good hockey teams because a lot of the game is played there. There’s certainly some open-ice plays that every team makes but when the ice and the room gets smaller and tighter, those teams that win puck battles – usually they take place in the corners and along the boards – they’ll have more puck possession and more success, and that’s what thy were able to do against us.”