BRIGHTON, Mass – There are plenty of adjustments that the Boston Bruins will need to make for things to go better in their first round series than they’ve gone in the first couple of games. Certainly the B’s may need to up their social media game after this smack talk from the Carolina Hurricanes twitter account.
Four sad dudes in Bruins sweaters
PNC Arena penalty box or a Dunkin Donuts in Boston tomorrow? pic.twitter.com/YWStrtxltM
— Carolina Hurricanes (@Canes) May 5, 2022
Obviously, the discipline is going to need to tighten up after the B’s handed Carolina nine power plays in the Game 2 loss, and the Boston Bruins have lamented not getting the “timely save” from their goalies in the first two games started by Linus Ullmark.
In particular, Cassidy talked about closing plays more quickly on opponents in the defensive zone and moving the puck more quickly up ice on the breakouts out of the defensive zone.
But the Bruins have also been outscored by a 10-3 margin in the first two games of the series and haven’t had a single lead against the Hurricanes, so the onus is really on the Black and Gold to score early and play with a lead to take away a little of Carolina’s speedy aggression. Easier said than done as the Boston Bruins have actually had good starts in both of the first two games in the series, but just haven’t been able to cash in against the NHL’s best defense and best penalty kill during the regular season.
“They’re going to keep playing the same way, but at the end of the day you’re just going to feel more comfortable [with a lead],” said Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy, whose B’s team has not had a single second of lead time in five games against the Hurricanes this season while being outscored by a 26-4 margin. “Especially now where we’re at, we haven’t had [a lead] against them all season and we recognize that. We’re a good team with the lead just like they are. It just helps everybody feel a little better about themselves, a little lighter on their stick and the other team maybe presses a little bit more than they normally would. That can lead to mistakes as well.
“And I think the first 10 minutes of both games, we’ve put ourselves in a position to [get a lead]. We’re prepared to play when the puck drops, but we just haven’t continued it through for 60 minutes and then they get back to their game. I like our starts, but we need to use them to our advantage and really build from it.”
Once that happens, particularly on home ice for Games 3 and 4, the momentum will shift for the Boston Bruins, and they can play a little more assertively rather than looking like they’ve been on their heels as has been the case for much of the first two games in their series. But it comes down to finishing off some of the offensive plays that the Boston Bruins have worked for in the first couple of minutes to make a statement that they can actually compete with Carolina in this series.
Trends that need to change for this happen: Zero points and a minus-3 for David Pastrnak and just one assist and a minus-3 with just five shots on net for Brad Marchand in the first couple of games. Zero points, just three shots on net and a minus-3 for Jake DeBrusk, who hasn’t shown the big game postseason ability to this point that he flashed during the early portions of his NHL career. Patrice Bergeron (2 goals in Game 2) and Taylor Hall (a goal and Boston’s best forward in Game 1) and the fourth line are the only forwards that can look in the mirror and say they’ve truly lived up to their potential to this point in the best-of-seven series against the Carolina Hurricanes. It’s time for the rest of those players to step and help get the Boston Bruins a lead after they’ve come up empty early in the first two playoff losses to a Carolina team that’s poised to usher them out of the postseason if things don’t begin to change.