After six years the Boston Bruins are back to the Stanely Cup finals. Bruce Cassidy and his guys swept Carolina Hurricanes in the Eastern Conference finals, showing a tremendous amount of relentless and fury during the entire series.
Game 4 in Raleigh ended with them beating the hosts 4-0, not allowing the Hurricanes to score.
“Everyone in the room wanted to be at their best,” forward Brad Marchand said, “and everyone was at their best tonight.”
After a goalless first period, the Bruins have scored two goals in the second sequence, both during the powerplays. At the moment, they are best in the playoffs in that aspect of play, and during these series, they used 7 of 15 powerplay situations.
David Pasternak opened the store and beat Curtis McElhinney; then made an assist to Patrice Bergeron for 2-0. Until the end of the match, these two guys once again repeated the same scenario in which Pasternak assisted, and Bergeron scored.
On the other side, they allowed just one goal and killed 13 other penalties in the series with the Hurricanes. Coach Rob Brind’Amour spoke about that after the game, crediting the guests and saying that it was their huge advantage over his team.
“Everything’s going OK, then we get into [special teams] where it’s obviously a huge advantage for them, and they made us pay,” Carolina coach Rod Brind’Amour said.
The Bruins scored once more until the end of the game, and it was through Marchand who hit the back of an empty net. Hurricanes tried to end the season with a goal and decided the pull out the goalie, but that risk didn’t pay off.
Patrice Bergeron, who was the man of the match, spoke with the reporters after the game. The experienced center knows how it feels to be in the finals. He tasted both losses and victories at this stage.
Back in 2011 when Bruins took the last Stanley Cup, Bergeron at the age of 26 scored an opening goal in Game 7 of the finals against Vancouver, which opened the way for the Bruins to win the NHL title after 39 years of waiting. Two years later, the Blackhawks have defeated Bergeron and the company.
In general, he is familiar with the whole atmosphere.
” A lot of work ahead of us,” Bergeron said about Stanley Cup finals. “That is the biggest thing we are going to enjoy obviously. Be ready, for more to go.”
From this perspective, being older and more experienced, than in his past appearances in the finals, Bergeron now recognizes the difficulties of reaching this stage.
“As you get older, you realize how hard is to get to this point, so we have to make sure we appreciate it.”
The Bruins will play either against San Jose Sharks or the Saint Louis Blues. The Western Conference finals are more interesting than the Eastern were, and that could be of help for Bergeron’s team. If the series between the Blues and the Sharks lasts for a while, the winner of the same wouldn’t have enough time to recover.
When looking head to head records, the situation is like this. Bruins have the edge over Sharks this season, as they defeated them on both occasions. The first clash at the SAP Center ended with Boston’s OT win, 5-6. Eight days later the Eastern conference champs easily trashed the Sharks with 4-1 in Massachusets.
With the Blues, the situation is a bit different. Both sides have one win apiece. Bruins were convincing at home, 5-2, while St. Louis won on their ice, 2-1 after shootouts.
It is obvious that home-ice is a big deal in this situation. Bruins didn’t open the playoffs very well on that matter, losing two out of three against the Maple Leafs, but as the battles progressed, everything came back to normal.
Bergeron had a message for the fans at the end of the interview.
“Please continue to be the best fans in the world.”