Post-game notes: Hurricanes vs. Bruins 2/3/12

Let me begin by saying we all want to forget last night. Now onto the recap where we’ll relive the nightmare of one of the most irritating losses of the season.

Why irritating? Because it was against the Carolina Hurricanes who sit at the very bottom of the Eastern Conference with a record of 19-25-9. Although, a team like Carolina cannot be overlooked. Just because they’re one of the worst teams in the league, doesn’t mean they can’t beat one of the best. Take a look at our buddies over in Montreal, who like Carolina, are having a less than decent season. While they consistently lose to the worst teams (i.e. Blue Jackets, Islanders) and are playing at a sub-par level, they somehow muster the ability to defeat the very best (i.e. Rangers, Red Wings). They defeated Detroit (who seem to “have the Bruins number”) by a score of 7-2.

Speaking of teams who have the Bruins number, how about we get back to the matter at hand? Last night’s horrific performance by the Bruins. The B’s dropped the first two games against Carolina in that dreaded month of October. Going into their third meeting we thought “hey so what if they beat us twice this season? We sucked in October and now we’re kickin’ butt night in and night out.” Unfortunately, the B’s dropped that game as well.

Their fourth and final meeting last night raised questions: Will the Bruins be able to exorcize these Carolina demons? Or will the Hurricanes sweep the season series against the Bruins for the first time in franchise history?

Boston came out guns blazing in the first period putting 22 shots on Cam Ward while the Canes posted a measly 8 shots on Tuukka Rask. The momentum briefly swung in Carolina’s favor when Johnny Boychuk went down awkwardly against the boards toward the end of the period (thank heavens he was alright). Carolina capitalized and captain Eric Staal tallied the first goal of the game, beating Rask on the glove side. That was where the night of misery began.

The Bruins came out slow in the second, unable to create any solid offensive chances. At 16:41 of the second Tuomo Ruutu caught Rask in a vulnerable position with a backhanded shot, putting the Canes up 2-0. At this point, we knew it was going to be a battle of the goaltenders and the only thing B’s fans could hope for was yet another 3rd period comeback.

When Brandon Sutter notched the third Carolina goal of the game at 3:13 of the third period, hopes of a comeback diminished. While a flurry of shots were put on Ward in the third (20), Ward remained strong in between the pipes making 47 saves by the end of the night and picking up his 3rd shutout of the season.

What we learned: So what if the Carolina sits at the very bottom of the Eastern Conference with a record under .500? They swept the season series against Boston, outscoring them 14-5. Even the worst teams in the league can beat the best. Let’s hope that our boys from Boston are ready to come out tomorrow afternoon and turn things around against the Pittsburgh Penguins. While this will be no easy task, the Bruins must find consistency. It’s important to come out strong, limit mistakes, and grab an early lead.

Just remember: It’s not about the first effort, but the second effort and the effort after that, and the effort after that. It’s about pressing forward and playing the full 60.



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