Once again the Bruins have been stymied. The defense needs to tighten up. Carolina big man Sebastian Aho continues to expose the Bruins. Hurricanes goalie Antti Raanta left the game after a vicious collision with David Pastrnak. The Bruins continue to argue with the referees. In this post, we will review three areas the Bruins need to improve on.
Historically, the teams met four times since 2019. In 2019, the Bruins swept the Hurricanes. In 2020 the Bruins won in five games. This year is a different story. Carolina has shut out the Bruins through four periods.
Overall, the Hurricanes dominated the Bruins this year winning all three games. Scoring_ wise, the Bruins cannot score against the Hurricanes. The Canes were the best defensive team in the NHL in 2022. Also, they were the number one penalty kill team in the league.
If the Bruins want to even the series, they need scoring from all four lines. If the Bruins cannot find the net it will be an early exit.
Rejuvenate Brad Marchand
The second area is Brad Marchand needs to wake up. In _game one, Marchand earned a minus 3 in performance. He continues to fight with the referees and makes life easy for Carolina.
The Bruin’s top line is non_existent and the Hurricanes are outplaying the Bruins. The team only scored one goal in the three matches this season. If the Bruins intend to get going it starts with the Marchand line.
Stay With Linus Ullmark
Linus Ullmark does not have one playoff series under his belt. In _game one, the Bruins out shot the Hurricanes. Ullmark made 20 saves out of 24 shots. This is life in the post,_ Tuukka era. Backup Jeremy Swayman has not appeared in a playoff either.
The way Bruce Cassidy breaks up the lines, a goalie switch would not be shocking. Swayman earned the title of number one goaltender midway through the season. Putting Swayman under pressure could backfire on the Bruins. The only hope of a victory is a total team effort.
The scoring drought continues for the Bruins. With only three goals in six periods, the confidence is low. Head coach Bruce Cassidy has some decisions to make. This may be, Hall of Famer Patrice Bergeron’s last appearance in a Bruins uniform. Reshuffling Hampus Lindholm and Matt Grzelcyk are not enough.