The Boston Bruins(14-6-2) have had a tough time of it lately. Even though the Bruins are leading the Atlantic Division and the Eastern Conference, they’ve not played to their identity. They’ve had fits and starts and periodic malfunctions on several of their forward lines. In several games, (the Rangers game being the most recent example) it was only the dogged tenacity of Tuukka Rask that saved the Bruins from a defeat.
The Carolina Hurricanes (8-10-4)are in a similar boat. They’ve had inconsistent performances from their top lines. The only major difference in their roster is that the Hurricanes have no one the quality of Tuukka Rask in net. The ‘Canes have given up four goals in each of their last three games (all losses). Cam Ward still doesn’t look one hundred percent. His stats verify that. He’s 2-3-3, with a 2.84 goals against and a .910 save percentage. The majority of the heavy lifting has been done by Justin Peters. Peters has been further burdened by the loss of former Bruin and backup goaltender Anton Khudobin. Peters stats are only marginally better. (4-7-1, 2.49 goals against, .920 save percentage.)
There are more similarities in tomorrow’s game. Both teams are coming off a loss. The Bruins lost in overtime to the St. Louis Blues and the ‘Canes to the Detroit Red Wings. The major bonus in this upcoming match is that we saw the Bruins play to their strengths throughout the game with the Blues. If not for that fluke goal that trickled in through Rask, the Bruins would have gotten both points out of that game. The Hurricanes are still trying to find their legs again after their last three losses.
It comes down to what the Bruins want to bring to the game. If we see the effort they brought against the Blues, they will devastate Carolina and reduce them to a tropical depression.