The “Bunch of Jerks” just won’t go away. The Carolina Hurricanes have scrapped their way into the 2019 Eastern Conference finals and will now matchup against a team that has a long track record of being the playground bully out East, the Boston Bruins.
Game 1 of the best-of-seven series between Carolina and Boston goes tonight at TD Garden in Boston. Puck drop is slated for 8:00 pm ET.
Opening Odds for Game 1
The Bruins are -150 home favorites for Game 1, which is the same as the series price.
The over/under started at 5.5, but it’s heavily shaded toward the under (-145) compared to the over (+132).
Hurricanes vs Bruins Statistical Comparison
|46-29-7 (24-14-3 away)||Reg. Season Record||49-24-9 (29-9-3 home)|
|8-3 (3-3 away)||Playoff Record||8-5 (4-3 home)|
|3.12 (12th)||Goals Per Game (Reg. Season)||3.13 (11th)|
|3.1 (T2nd)||Goals Per Game (Playoffs)||3.1 (T2nd)|
|2.70 (T 7th)||Goals Against Per Game (Reg. Season)||2.59 (T 3rd)|
|2.18 (3rd)||Goals Against Per Game (Playoffs)||2.08 (1st)|
|54.93 (1st)||Fenwick % (Reg. Season)||52.89 (5th)|
|53.14 (1st)||Fenwick % (Playoffs)||51.08 (7th)|
|90.57 (14th)||Save % (Reg. Season)||91.23 (7th)|
|91.83 (5th)||Save % (Playoffs)||93.58 (1st)|
|54.70 (4th)||High-Danger Chances % (Reg. Season)||51.14 (14th)|
|48.66 (12th)||High-Danger Chances % (Playoffs)||50.70 (6th)|
*Note: regular-season rankings are out of 31 teams; playoff rankings are out of only 16 teams.
Bruins Route to the Eastern Conference Finals
After dispatching the Leafs in a thrilling seven-game series in round one, the Bruins played with more consistency in round two.
In their six-game series victory over the Blue Jackets, the Bruins outscored Columbus 17-11 and won three straight games to close out the series.
They routinely were the better team out of the gate, scoring first in five of the six games, and forcing the Blue Jackets to play desperate hockey from behind.
Columbus was game and fired their share of shots on Tuukka Rask (Boston won the shots-on-goal battle 216-212 for the series); but the Finnish netminder was more than up to the challenge, stopping 201 of 212 shots (.948 SV%). He now leads the playoffs in save percentage and goals against average.
Offensively, Boston got huge contributions from secondary scorers. David Krejci was tied for the team lead with five points, while Charlie Coyle added four. Their big line of David Pastrnak (4 goals, 5 points), Brad Marchand (1 goal, 4 points) and Patrice Bergeron (2 goals, 3 points) wasn’t as dominant as usual, but was still relatively productive.
Marchand now leads the team with 13 points in 13 games in the playoffs.
Bruins Round 1 Scores
Bruins Round 2 Scores
Hurricanes Route to the Eastern Conference Finals
The Hurricanes were somewhat lucky to escape round one, needing to come back from 0-2 down against Washington, both in the series and in the deciding Game 7 on the road.
But after edging the defending champions in double-OT in the deciding game, the Hurricanes made quick work of the Islanders in round two.
The first two games on Long Island could have gone either way, and there’s a good argument that the Islanders should have been up 2-0 in the series. But Petr Mrazek stood on his head in the Carolina goal (until he got injured late in Game 2) and Canes found just enough offense to take an insurmountable two-game lead themselves.
When the series shifted back to Raleigh, Carolina looked just as dominant on home ice as they had in round one against Washington.
The Canes won a pair of 5-2 decisions in Games 3 and 4, running their home record to a perfect 5-0 in the postseason.
The offense in the playoffs has come from some unlikely sources. While regular season scoring leader Sebastian Aho has a respectable 4 goals and 9 points through 11 games, ice-time monster Jacob Slavin leads the team with 11 points (all assists) from the back-end.
Teuvo Teravainen has continued his breakout regular-season performance with 6 goals and 9 points in the playoffs. He’s joined by the unsuspecting Warren Foegele (5 goals, 8 points) at the top of Carolina’s goal-scoring leaders. Foegele had just 10 goals in the regular season.
Hurricanes Round 1 Scores
Hurricanes Round 2 Scores
In terms of the puckline, the Hurricanes are one game below .500 at 46-47, while the Bruins are a few games over at 49-46.