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Murphy: Bruins Already In Playoff Postgame Mindset



Boston Bruins

Make no mistake about it: in a dismal 4-1 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday night, the Boston Bruins were not the team that had reeled off four straight wins prior to Tuesday.

In fact, the second Bruins-Hurricanes tilt in five days saw plenty of similarities to the one the Bruins won by the same score down in Raleigh last Thursday. The only difference was, when the Bruins won then, they played as if they were shot out of a cannon and had a commanding 3-0 lead in the first intermission. On Tuesday, the Hurricanes didn’t take command until the second period when they out-shot the Bruins 15-6 and went into the second intermission with a 2-1 lead. Boston Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy pointed that out in his postgame scrum on Tuesday night.

“Just to put it into context, we just played these guys four days ago, so that’s playoff hockey. We beat them, and then we lost to them. That’s how a seven-game series works,” the Bruins’ lone goal-scorer on Tuesday. “So, if there’s anything to learn about this or to use sort of in context, it’s that this is playoff hockey.

It is the same thing with Florida, except it was a week apart. But we’re going to see these teams again, and it’s who’s going to adapt and who’s going to be able to elevate from the beginning of the series to the end of the series.”

Boston Bruins goalie Jeremy Swayman had a similar response to the loss on Tuesday night.

“I think it’s good for us moving forward and understanding that no team is going to be soft on us just because we have four games left in the season,” Swayman said after allowing four goals on 26 shots and a ‘Michigan Goal’ to Hurricanes winger Andrei Svechnikov.

“It’s our job to get punched in the face and get back up. That’s what we did tonight.”

Well, the Bruins definitely got punched in the face, but they never got fully back up and eventually suffered a TKO when Hurricanes forward Seth Jarvis potted a shorthanded goal to put his team up 4-1 13:22 into the third period.

In what, to this puck scribe, seemed like a start by the Bruins that fell far from setting the tone that their start set in Carolina last Thursday, Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery actually saw some positives.

“I loved our first; I thought we were really physical. I thought we were engaged. A couple of good scoring chances, they had a couple,” Montgomery said in his postgame presser.

However, Montgomery was not impressed with that brutal second period and his team’s inability to seize a moment when they could’ve potentially staged a comeback late in the third period.

“Second period, I thought they came out, and they pushed hard. They were on top of us. I thought their checking skills were superior to ours, and it led to a lot of us playing in our D-zone. And then, obviously, they got ahead of us,” Montgomery pointed out. “We had life, right? We get a power play. You got seven minutes left, you score, you can be 3-2, but that [shorthanded goal] was the nail. We really had no transitional offense. Again, I give them credit, they checked, and that’s what we’re going to see in the playoffs.”

Montgomery then took the same playoff postgame approach that McAvoy and Swayman had.

“We had a good stretch here. We’ve been playing well. We got a couple of days off. We’ll reset. We’ll come back to work on Pittsburgh (Saturday),” Montgomery said. “Eighty-two games (on the schedule), we’re in first place. We’re OK.”


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