A drubbing, a thrashing, a pummelling, a pounding, a walloping, a thumping, a complete-and-utter domination.
Say it whichever method you want, however the Japanese Convention remaining was about as one-sided as they arrive. By 4 video games, the Bruins skated everywhere in the Carolina Hurricanes, out-scored their third-round rivals by a dozen targets and accomplished the sweep in tidy style, with a becoming Four-Zero scoreline placing the Prince of Wales Trophy firmly in Boston’s grasp – figuratively, after all, as a result of they didn’t contact the darn factor – and punching their ticket to the Stanley Cup remaining.
Actually, there have been few factors within the sequence when the convention remaining felt all that shut, and even by Carolina coach Rob Brind’Amour’s estimation, there was actually solely the one sport during which the Hurricanes got here to play. Brind’Amour known as the series-deciding Recreation Four a “dud,” and after Recreation three, the one outing during which Carolina regarded particularly harmful, the first-year bench boss stated that it was the primary time all sequence the Hurricanes had really given the Bruins one thing to consider. However that’s as a lot a criticism of Carolina’s play as it’s reward for Boston’s efficiency. The Bruins placed on a clinic towards the Hurricanes.
Offensively, that was evident. Boston scored at a clip of greater than 4 targets per sport within the convention remaining, and the one outing during which they scored fewer than 4 was the aforementioned Recreation three. The Bruins’ prime gamers confirmed up, too. In Recreation Four, the trio of Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak have been accountable for all 4 targets and completed the outing with eight mixed factors. As spectacular because the offensive performances, although, was the defensive play of the group as a complete.
Coming into the sequence, what Carolina had going for it was a capability to generate pictures, shot makes an attempt and scoring probabilities, and with out true-blue celebrity scoring energy, it’s truthful to say that it at occasions got here right down to amount over high quality for the Hurricanes. What Boston didn’t permit Carolina to do, nonetheless, was produce both. By all 4 video games, the Bruins managed the center of the ice and compelled all the things to the surface by way of each will and ability. They pressured completely to maintain the Hurricanes to the perimeters, and when Carolina did get a chance to blast away or tried to blast away and pressure one thing by way of, there have been our bodies in the way in which. Boston blocked 60 pictures by way of 4 video games and allowed a mere 107 pictures towards. That’s 26.eight per sport towards a Carolina outfit that was averaging 31.2 by way of the primary two rounds.
The defensive effort paid dividends in just a few methods. Primarily, it stored the Hurricanes off the board. Nevertheless it additionally supplied the insulation that allowed Bruins netminder Tuukka Rask to proceed to shine by way of what has already been a outstanding post-season for the goaltender. Not solely did he cap the sequence with a 24-save shutout, his second consecutive shutout in a sequence finale, however he posted a bonkers .956 save proportion and allowed a mere 5 targets towards. Now, Rask has elevated his post-season totals even additional. Coming into the ultimate, he’s posted a .942 SP and 1.84 goals-against common. Over his previous seven video games, all of which he’s gained, Rask has a .961 SP.
However what makes the Bruins particularly scary as they head in the direction of the ultimate, their third up to now 9 seasons, isn’t Rask’s play or the defensive buy-in and efficiency or the offensive excellence. It’s that every one of these components are coming collectively at precisely the suitable time, that all the things is clicking simply because the Bruins put together to struggle for his or her second Stanley Cup up to now decade. It offers this Boston group the texture of a snowball rolling down hill, one which’s gathering steam and able to run over whoever comes subsequent.
Give it some thought: at what level because the opening spherical, throughout which the Toronto Maple Leafs gave the Bruins reliable issues and practically stopped this run quick earlier than it started, has Boston proven any indicators of slowing down? Sure, they trailed in second-round towards the Blue Jackets at one level, however that was virtually solely because of the play of Sergei Bobrovsky, who made 99 saves by way of the primary three video games and paced Columbus to a 2-1 sequence lead. As soon as the Bruins have been capable of break down Bobrovsky, although, the tide turned in a rush. Boston rattled off three consecutive victories and outscored the Blue Jackets 11-Four within the course of. Add that to the third-round efficiency and the Bruins are undefeated and have outscored opponents 28-9 throughout their previous seven video games.
Even the secondary components are snapping into place, as a result of for pretty much as good as Boston was at 5-on-5 towards Carolina, the Bruins have been even higher on particular groups. No group has actually had a solution for Boston’s energy play within the post-season, however they have been particularly prolific towards Carolina, scoring seven occasions on 15 makes an attempt, together with the 2 targets that opened the scoring in Recreation Four towards the Hurricanes. The penalty kill was additionally close to good, as Carolina related as soon as on 14 makes an attempt within the convention remaining. All informed, Boston enters the ultimate with the highest energy play of any playoff group and a penalty kill bettered by no group left standing.
The identical success will be seen within the underlying numbers, too. Whereas the Bruins haven’t been the highest group in pictures or shot try percentages at five-a-side because the finish of Spherical 1, what Boston boasts is the highest scoring probabilities proportion, prime high-danger probabilities proportion and the best anticipated targets for proportion of any group that performed past the opening spherical. That has translated to the precise offensive ouput. Boston leads all groups in targets for proportion at 5-on-5, as one may count on.
The Bruins don’t know but who comes subsequent, and given the way in which the primary few video games of the Western Convention remaining between the San Jose Sharks and St. Louis Blues have gone, Boston won’t know till that sequence goes the gap. However at this level, it won’t matter. With the way in which they’ve performed over the previous few weeks, the Bruins appear to be a juggernaut that’s ready to storm into the ultimate and run proper over whoever dares problem them.
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Tags: boston bruins, carolina hurricanes, nhlConnect: Concerning the AuthorJared ClintonJared Clinton is a author and net editor with The Hockey Information. He is been with the group since 2014. He was born, raised and resides in Winnipeg, the place he will be discovered lacking the web on out of doors rinks throughout city.