They had to have one more sleep, but the Boston Bruins return to the NHL playoffs began today at 11am. On August 12th. A home game. In Toronto. Against Carolina. When you write things down, nothing really looks right in 2020. To add to the bizzaro scenario, the Presidents Trophy (for best record in the entire NHL) winning Bruins come into the Eastern Conference playoffs as the #4 seed. But like Tuukka Rask says “You have to beat everyone anyway.” Well, one win down…15 more to go.
The Boston Bruins bounced back in dramatic fashion with a 4-3 double overtime win over the Carolina Hurricanes, their first win since a 2-0 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on March 10th. The team that showed up today did not at all resemble the team that seemed to sleepwalk through the first 3 seeding games and there was an awful lot to like about this win.
- The second line looked tremendous all game. David Krejci was a surgeon with his passes and Jake DeBrusk was tremendous on the forecheck and could have easily had a couple goals, but was a bit snake bitten in this one. Even better news is Ondrej Kase looked right at home playing along side them on a line that has been desperate for a 3rd body for what seems like forever. It’s only one game, but this has to have Bruin fans feeling far more optimistic going ahead.
- The top line of Bergeron-Marchand-Pastrnak, may not have had their best overall game, but like so many times before, they got it done when it was needed. They orchestrated the 2nd goal and the double OT winner with was “perfection” by the maestro himself, Patrice Bergeron. If this team is going to make it back to the Stanley Cup final, this trio needs to continue to be the best line in hockey.
- The team got significant contributions from every single player on the ice. Charlie Coyle netted a big goal. Joakim Nordstrom blocked 5 shots. Charlie McAvoy made a number of HUGE defensive plays and tallied an assist. Nick Ritchie used his size and made some good hits and worked hard along the boards. Just an all around good game and feel from the boys in black.
They outplayed Carolina for large stretches of the game, out shooting their opponents 40-28, but by no means did they dominate this game. The Hurricanes are a very good hockey team. They outhit the Bruins 51-32 and pushed back EVERYTIME they were down. This will not be an easy series.
Tuukka Rask did not look sharp on the 1st goal by Joel Edmundson, a long shot from the point that seemed to handcuff him a bit. The 2nd goal was a bad give away by Patrnak on the power play that sprung Brock McGinn on a breakaway for the shorty to tie it at two. Would have been nice to get a save there, but it was a really good move and it’s hard to fault Rask there. Same with the 3rd goal, a floater from the point by Haydn Fleury with three bodies between Tuukka and the puck. He never saw it, and really had no chance. He wasn’t spectacular, but thankfully he did not need to be.
It will be a quick turn around as these teams go at it again tomorrow at 8pm EST, but the food will taste better and sleep will be sweeter with the win. I wouldn’t be surprised to see both backup goalies in net tomorrow as Halak and Reimer are as good as it gets in that department and it’s never easy to go back-to back, especially after 80+ minutes of hockey.
It was a long time coming, but it was worth the wait. Biggest win of the season. See you all tomorrow night. LETS GO BRUINS!!