NHL Eastern Conference side of the bracket is complete. The Bruins have swept the Hurricanes in the Eastern Conference Finals. That is the fourth sweep to happen in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and all of them happened in the East. The Columbus Blue Jackets swept the Tampa Bay Lightning, the New York Islanders swept the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Carolina Hurricanes swept the New York Islanders, and now the Boston Bruins swept the Carolina Hurricanes. The Bruins will try an not become the fifth team to get swept when they play either the St. Louis Blues or the San Jose Sharks in the Stanley Cup Finals.
Bruins Sweep the Hurricanes
Hurricanes vs Bruins
The Boston Bruins have swept the Carolina Hurricanes in the Eastern Conference Finals. The Bruins have been the biggest team left in the playoffs for a while and now they show why. The Hurricanes just couldn’t solve anything the Bruins did. The Bruins just came after them and swarmed them and that’s why you see the Bruins in the Finals.
Reasons the Hurricanes got swept
1. Top Players Shutdown
The offense wasn’t there for the Hurricanes all series. It doesn’t help when the front six don’t help out. Their top players were hot coming into the series but the Bruins cooled them off a lot. Forwards Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen played great last series. This series, they both were held to just one goal apiece. Nobody really helped them either. Veteran Forward Justin Williams was the only other forward other than Greg McKegg to score outside of the top line and even they weren’t that good. The Eastern Conference Finals was not the time to lose the offensive numbers but they did and the result is a sweep.
One goaltender was great, the other, not so good. Hurricanes goaltender Petr Mrazek got injured in the series against the Islanders so in stepped in Curtis McElhinney. He was fantastic in that series but as soon as the next series started they put Mrazek back in. He wasn’t good at all. The Bruins swarmed him so much and he didn’t have an answer. They put McElhinney back in for games three and four but it didn’t matter. He was great in game three and gave them a chance to win by only giving up two but the offense again was nowhere to be found. Game four was just the icing on the cake for the Bruins and they finished it off.
On the other side of the ice, Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask was outstanding. He didn’t allow more than two goals in the series. Rask made some great saves as well. He fought through traffic and saw the puck all the way. The Hurricanes couldn’t figure him out and that’s part of the offensive struggle for the Hurricanes.
3. Special Teams Was Absent
The Hurricanes struggled mightily on the penalty kill. Coming in, the Bruins had the best conversion rate on the power play of all the remaining teams and it showed. They went 7-15 on the power play. The Bruins had back-to-back power-play goals in games one and four to win it. In game three, they scored a power-play goal for the game-winning goal. On the other hand, the Hurricanes power play was atrocious. They went a whopping 1-14 on the power play. Not only did it go 1-14 but the execution and the lack of stability on it were bad at times.
The Hurricanes overachieved this season and they took an empty book and wrote their story. Even though the story ended in the Eastern Conference Finals, it was pretty cool throughout. On the other side, the Bruins look to continue their dominance as they head to the Stanley Cup Finals where they will try to win for the first time since 2011.
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