Eastern Conference Final Game 1 Preview – Hurricanes at Bruins

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photo credit: Associated Press 

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.

Examples:

  • 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!

Game Details:

  • 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:

Forwards:

Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – David Pastrnak

Jake DeBrusk – David Krejci – David Backes

Marcus Johansson – Charlie Coyle – Danton Heinen

Joakim Nordstrom – Sean Kuraly – Chris Wagner

Defense:

Zdeno Chara – Connor Clifton

Torey Krug – Brandon Carlo

Matt Grzelcyk – Steven Kampfer

Goalies:

Tuukka Rask

Jaroslav Halak

Carolina Hurricanes Lines:

Forwards:

Andrei Svechnikov – Sebastian Aho – Teuvo Teravainen

Nino Niederreiter – Jordan Staal – Justin Williams

Warren Foegele – Lucas Wallmark – Brock McGinn

Micheal Ferland – Greg McKregg – Jordan Martinook

Defense:

Jaccob Slavin – Dougie Hamilton

Brett Pesce – Justin Faulk

Haydn Fleury – Calvin de Haan

Goalies:

Petr Mrazek

Curtis McElhinney

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.

 

Bruins’ Johansson Sustains Lung Contusion

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photo credit: Getty Images

By: Mandi Mahoney | Check me out on Twitter @phonymahoney

The Boston Bruins announced this evening that Bruins forward Marcus Johansson has sustained a lung contusion. Tuesday night in Boston, the newly acquired Johansson was injured during the first period of a 4-3 win against the Carolina Hurricanes. Johansson collided with Hurricanes wing Micheal Ferland immediately after dishing the puck to linemate Jake DeBrusk. Johansson would not return to the game after the hit.

As it turns out, Johansson was brought to Massachusetts General Hospital, where he was admitted and stayed overnight for observation. The 28-year-old Swede suffered a lung contusion and will be re-evaluated by specialists in a week’s time. Cross your fingers, Bruins fans.

Johansson being sidelined for an extended period would be quite the blow against the Bruins’ postseason aspirations, but given the timeline announced by the team, that likely will not happen. MoJo has a history of concussions — one of them thanks to the antics of new teammate Brad Marchand — so there is almost definitely a feeling of relief in regard to today’s diagnosis.

As for the Bruins’ lineup in Johansson’s absence, expect Slovak wing Peter Cehlarik to continue to play right wing on the second line with David Krejci and Jake DeBrusk. Cehlarik did an admirable job filling in for the injured Johansson for the remainder of the game against Carolina and is the best choice out of the options the Bruins have (Joakim Nordstrom and David Backes) to slide into Johansson’s roster spot.

With any luck, this will only be a temporary setback for Johansson and the Bruins. Acquiring him was a smart trade deadline move on Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney’s part, and he certainly has a lot to offer.  Let’s hope for a smooth recovery and return to the lineup.

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“Bruins Ballot” Features Tough Choices

(Photo Credit: Enlight)

By: Evan Michael  |  Follow Me On Twitter @EVAN007onTV

Happy Election Day, Bruins Fans!

I hope you’re going to the polls, or have already voted, as it is the most important, essential and empowering democratic tool individually given to each and everyone one of us (although it did take a bit too long for the “everyone of us” part to finally kick in). Speaking of impactful votes, if the B’s were on the ballot this November, which way would your support lean? Would you be liberal with your praise and positivity, or more conservative when it comes to the team’s success so far? Or are you more down the middle with the Bruins’ record, play & consistency at the “Midterm” mark of the season?

Well, now’s your chance to “vote” on the following three Black N’ Gold referendums — all decisive (if not divisive) in terms of what could be in store for the B’s as the season progressively progresses!

1. Who Should Be The Bruins Third Line Center?

A. David Backes

B. Sean Kuraly

C. Joakim Nordstrom

D. OTHER

Image result for boston bruins third line(Photo Credit: Boston Globe)

The B’s tried Kuraly in this role to start the season and didn’t like what they saw. They even threw his 4th-line battery mate Noel Acciari in for a game. That didn’t work either. Then it was newbie Nordstrom who flashed some offensive capabilities for a few games but nothing consistent stuck so he didn’t stick. Now it’s been back to Backes but with zero results to back it up! As a result, I say VOTE OTHER in the hopes either Cassidy (in house) or Sweeney/Neely (trade) can fix this very glaring roster & ballot box issue that was recently bandied about by fellow BNG writer @phonymahoney!

2. Who Should Be The Bruins Number One Netminder?

A. Tuukka Rask

B. Jaroslav Halak

C. Goalie Platoon

Image result for rask halak(Photo Credit: NESN)

Why don’t you netMIND your own business, buddy!? Yeah, I get this is a sensitive topic… it’s one of those votes you cover with both hands because you don’t even trust the dividers to Steve Shields your answer from prying (Russian) eyes. BUT, it is a major issue right now in B’s nation with the early exit polls heavily favoring Halak for his consistently stellar play, and record and numbers and stats and attitude. However, as we’ve seen in previous administrations, a “Rask Revival” is always in the cards with bandwagon support quickly following. So, perhaps for the time being, I’d VOTE GOALIE PLATOON aka riding-the-hot-hand so as to give the team the best shot at getting on a roll ahead of the all-important Thanksgiving Day record indicator.

3. Who Gets The Next Call Up From Providence?

Image result for bruins prospects(Photo Credit: Boston Bruins)

A. Ryan Donato

B. Trent Frederic

C. Zach Senyshyn

D. OTHER

If you are a betting kind of voter, or one who consistently goes with “the favorite” on the ballot, then Donato would seem like the obvious choice since he was only recently sent down after his slow start to the season in Boston. But, perhaps a few solid weeks of play in Providence with no TD Garden cameos is exactly what the youngster needs. As a result, the likes of some Center depth being called up could look good for Frederic (especially if the B’s 3rd line keeps struggling–see referendum one again if you need a reminder), as well as a shake up on the wing, perhaps, for Senyshyn if the Heinen’s and Bjork’s of the B’s world don’t produce soon. Or, none of those names will cruise up to Causeway leaving the door open for another young D-man, and Z-man, like Jakub Zboril to make his debut mark. This is a tough choice. For me, I’m VOTING DONATO because I think he’s currently motivated as hell to prove he can consistently score in Providence and thus earn a promotion back to Beantown (and ideally just in time for the holidays as the BNG’s own @michaelderosa88 profiled recently).

Of course, all votes will be kept confidential–hanging Chad Johnsons not included–and tallied by puck drop of the next game! Or, we’ll just pretend to do that since this was an exercise in civic (center?) entertainment as opposed to civic duty. Nevertheless, IT IS your duty to stay on top of all things Boston Bruins and between the BNG Blog, The Athletic BOS (click on the link to save 40% on your subscription) and our friends at Seat Giant below, we’ve truly got you covered this Election Day AND every day!

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