Boston vs Carolina Game 2 Breakdown

Top photo

(Photo Credit:  Mark Blinch/NHLI via Getty Images)

By Leon Lifschutz  |  Follow me on Twitter @LeonLifschutz 

Carolina was able to even up the series at 1-1 after a 3rd-period goal by Dougie Hamilton put the ‘Canes ahead 3-2.  Before the Bs hit the road and travel all the way to the far bench for their away set, let’s break down game 2.

Recap

The Bruins took the lead on David Krejci’s powerplay goal in the first.  Carolina managed two quick ones in the middle frame with a powerplay goal from Teuvo Teravainen and a strike from the slot by Andrei Svechnikov.  A late second-period powerplay goal by Brad Marchand at the goalmouth tied things up heading into the third.  In the third, Dougie Hamilton put a slapshot from the top of the circle by Tuukka Rask for the definitive goal after some strong forechecking from his teammates.

Be sure to check out a full recap of all the action from my colleague Liz Rizzo.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nleq_cIA3d8?start=248&w=560&h=315]

The Storylines

David Pastrnak – The Bruins star winger was a surprise scratch and is currently listed as day-to-day.  On tonight’s NESN broadcast they speculated he was injured during the game 1 goal celebration.  Pastrnak is a game-breaker who finally broke through in the restart with a standout performance in game 1 after a bumpy return to the squad.  Pasta’s absence had a domino effect on the lineup.  Anders Bjork put in his best effort with the top line but as a group, they only managed 43% of the expected goals at 5v5 and no actual goals at even strength.  Minus the puck transportation of Bjork, Charlie Coyle’s unit really struggled, posting only 22% of the expected goals.

Bruins Powerplay – The Bruins did score two on the powerplay, something that seemed a matter of time with the Bs potent attack.  That they did it without Pastrnak was perhaps a surprise.  David Krejci, though, is a very capable fill-in and displayed his patience, playmaking, and sneaky shot on several occasions.  The Bruins scored twice on the man advantage and generally speaking created more opportunities than the last several games.  They posted 11 shot attempts and 0.93 expected goals, more in line with their usual production.  Important to this was improvements they made on their entries, trying to skate through Carolina less and chipping pucks behind them instead.

Carolina’s Forecheck – The Bruins largely evaded the ‘Canes forecheck in game 1.  However, Carolina had much more success in this one forcing the Bs into a number of giveaways.  Even when they didn’t turn the puck over, Bs defenders and wingers were forced to make some uncomfortable plays and had to concede possession of the puck to their opponent in the neutral zone.  This will be the focus of tonight’s video breakdown.

The Stats

Corsi (shot attempts), Scoring Chances, and Expected Goals

BOSTON

5v5CFCACF%SCFSCASCF%xGFxGAxGF%
Period 1141745.20%3633.30%0.220.435.20%
Period 2181554.60%7750%0.530.4454.70%
Period 3171553.10%5838.50.340.5537.90%
Overall494751.00%152154.60%1.091.3943.80%

Data courtesy of naturalstattrick.com 

The Bruins attempted more shots than Carolina, not something that common for ‘Canes opponents.  However, Carolina carried the more dangerous of the play over the course of the game.  Their tenacious forecheck created giveaways in opportunistic spots leading to high-quality chances.

HeatMap

Understanding Heatmaps

Heat Map Taken from naturalstattrick.com

While the Bruins did manage to get to the net a few times, notably Brad Marchand’s goal, the heatmap indicates that much of their shots came from the outside.  Bs fans will be happy the team is shooting the puck more but getting tips and rebounds off those situations will be key to putting the puck behind Carolina’s netminders.  The Bruins, with few exceptions, didn’t get as many shots off the rush in this game.

Carolina managed to get a number of shots from the high slot, often after winning a board battle on the forecheck.  They also made their usual low to high plays leading to a number of shots from the point including the game-winner by former Bruin Dougie Hamilton.

Game Score

Understanding Game Score

Marchand and Krejci made their names on the powerplay tonight, each registering 2 points and leading to strong game scores.  Other than the powerplay, the Bruins top-9 forwards showed a noticeable drop off from their performance in game 1.

The pair of Torey Krug and Brandon Carlo had a tough matchup against Carolina’s first line.  It did not go great for them.  Carlo, in particular, had some noticeable giveaways and got hammered by all advanced statistics including expected goals.  He was also on the ice for a goal against at even strength and on the penalty kill.  Zdeno Chara, though he didn’t look as slow as earlier on in the restart, continues to struggle by most metrics and has seen his ice time cut by the coaching staff only play under 16 minutes in the contest.

On the flip side, Matt Grzelyck continues to make his case for more minutes.  His ability to evade pressure and move the puck has been valuable against the hard pressing ‘Canes.  He, and his partner Jeremy Lauzon, were the only 2 Bruins to post a positive expected goals rates.  For his efforts, Cassidy continues to find Grzelyck extra minutes and he finished 3rd in ice time amongst Bruins defenseman.

Tuukka Rask playing on short rest, posted a .885 save percentage, not overly impressive.  Rask never got square or out on his angle on the first goal, was a little late on the pass on goal 2, and was sniped from the top of the circle on goal 3.  They were all however quality chances on the sticks of very talented opponents.

Video Breakdown

Bruce Cassidy discussed the need to get pucks out of the zone when under pressure and, “live to fight another day,” something he didn’t believe his team did on Carolina’s 2nd and 3rd goal.

For tonight’s breakdown, let’s take a look at goal 2 and the pressure Carolina applies to force the issue.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nleq_cIA3d8?start=248&w=560&h=315]

Key Points from the video:

Van Riemsdyk does not hesitate to get the puck forward and deep as soon as he crosses the red line.  However, he purposely rims it as hard as he can.

Despite the hard rim, Rask is able to stop the puck behind the net in an attempt to help his D.

Anticipating the hard rim, the first ‘Canes forward, F1 is hard on the puck and takes away Carlo as an option for Rask by beating him to the goal line.  Rask is forced to fire the puck up the boards.

Krejci is at an outlet spot.  But between the hurried rim from Rask and the immediate pressure on him from Necas, he cannot handle it.  Like that, Carolina has gained possession at the point.

From here Carolina is just quicker switching from defense to offense.  While Kase fills the lane in front of the point man, Krejci is not able to close on Necas leaving him open for the pass and with time to make a play.

In the meantime, Debrusk is still moving up ice and hasn’t stopped on the play.  He then gets caught watching the play develop on the sideboard before realizing he needs to get to his spot in the slot and pick up the 3rd ‘Canes forward, Svechnikov.

Svechnikov finds the soft space before Debrusk can react and has ample time to receive the pass from Necas and send the puck past Rask who is late on his slide.

Carolina thrives on creating chaos and turnovers and turning that into shots on net as quickly as possible.  Their plan worked twice tonight and coupled with a powerplay goal, was a recipe for the win.

Moment of the Night

Jack Edwards, gets our moment of the night for the second game in a row, he is truly in playoff form.  After David Krejci scored the Bruins first goal on the powerplay he had the following to say:

“Patience.  Find the vulnerability.  PUNISH IT!”  -Jack Edwards

Agreed, Jack!  The Bruins will need to do exactly that this Saturday in game 3.  #Letsgooo

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 189 that we recorded below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

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