By Mandi Mahoney | check me out on Twitter @phonymahoney
Here we are, the Eastern Conference Final! For the first time in a decade, the Carolina Hurricanes will be making an appearance in this round of playoff hockey. They will be facing the Bruins tonight at what is sure to be a rocking TD Garden. This will undoubtedly be a fun and interesting series, with all sorts of young players, old players, and goaltenders doing great things this season, and a multitude of fascinating storylines for everyone ti discuss.
- Can Tuukka Rask steal another series?
- How will Brad Marchand offend the entire league next?
- Is Greg McKegg’s full name Gregory McKeggory?
- Is Dougie Hamilton still a no-fun wet blanket? Will he miss a morning skate because he’s at the Botticelli exhibit at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum? Was he responsible for the heist?
- Can Petr Mrazek keep playing like this? Does he really hate vowels?
- Will the ghost of Scott Walker haunt the Bruins, help the Canes, or not appear?
- How will the Bruins defense hold up without convicted criminal Charlie McAvoy?
- How many times will Garden Organist Ron Poster play Brass Bonanza during the series?
We digress… let’s get the details down before the series begins!
- Where: TD Garden, Boston, 8:00pm
- Who: Carolina Hurricanes vs. Boston Bruins
- The game will be televised on NBC Sports
- Leading Scorers: Brad Marchand (BOS), 5 goals, 8 assists; Jaccob Slavin (CAR), 11 assists
- Goalies: Tuukka Rask (BOS) 8 wins, 5 losses | 2.02 goals against average, .930 save percentage; Petr Mrazek (CAR) 5 wins, 3 losses | 2.22 goals against average, .913 save percentage
- Injuries: Kevan Miller (BOS – lower body), Trevor van Riemsdyk (CAR – upper body), Saku Maenalenen (CAR – upper body)
- Miscellaneous: Charlie McAvoy will serve his one game suspension for a hit to the head on Columbus’ Josh Anderson tonight.
Boston Bruins Lines:
Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk – David Krejci – David Backes
Marcus Johansson – Charlie Coyle – Danton Heinen
Joakim Nordstrom – Sean Kuraly – Chris Wagner
Zdeno Chara – Connor Clifton
Torey Krug – Brandon Carlo
Matt Grzelcyk – Steven Kampfer
Carolina Hurricanes Lines:
Andrei Svechnikov – Sebastian Aho – Teuvo Teravainen
Nino Niederreiter – Jordan Staal – Justin Williams
Warren Foegele – Lucas Wallmark – Brock McGinn
Micheal Ferland – Greg McKregg – Jordan Martinook
Jaccob Slavin – Dougie Hamilton
Brett Pesce – Justin Faulk
Haydn Fleury – Calvin de Haan
Keys to the game:
- Team defense is going to be an important focus with Charlie McAvoy out of the lineup and Chara looking, well, old.
- Goaltending is going to need to be solid, as the Cane are a speedy team with some scoring threats in Ferland, Svechnikov, and Aho
- The Bruins cannot be a one or two line team. Things are clicking for Carolina lately, and all their lines are going to be buzzing. The Bruins’ entire roster needs to be engaged tonight.
- Special teams are going to be a factor – the Bruins have the best powerplay in the league this postseason, and their penalty kill is solid as well. Hopefully they stay out of the box, but if they do end up on the kill, Carolina may have some trouble converting, which is an obvious plus.
- The Bruins should not underestimate Carolina. They are a legitimate threat and have been playing some great hockey lately. Boston must take their opponent seriously, regardless of whether they’re a bunch of jerks.