BOSTON (CBS) — The Boston Bruins are back in the Eastern Conference Final, set to take on the Carolina Hurricanes for the right to play for a Stanley Cup.
It all gets underway Thursday night in Boston, and here is how the WBZ-TV/CBS Boston sports team sees the series playing out. As you’ll see, everyone is pretty confident that the Bruins will be playing for Lord Stanley’s cup in a few weeks:READ MORE: Swayman's 42 Saves Leads Bruins Over Predators 2-0
Dan Roche, WBZ-TV Sports
Carolina comes in on a roll, playing some great hockey. Their core defensemen — Jaccob Slavin, Dougie Hamilton, Brett Pesce and Justin Faulk — are really good. Petr Mrazek/Curtis McElhinney have been rock solid in goal. And don’t let Justin Williams into a Game 7.
With that said, the Bruins are peaking at the perfect time.
Bruins in 5
Levan Reid, WBZ-TV Sports
I will keep this extremely simple: As long as Tuukka Rask keeps playing lights out, the Bruins are going to be tough to beat. I think he’ll keep it up against the Hurricanes, and home ice will be a big advantage for Boston.
Let’s hope the Canes break out their Hartford Whalers jerseys one last time this series.
Bruins in 6
Scott Sullivan, WBZ-TV Sports
The Hurricanes have had a nice, unexpected run to the Eastern Conference Final beating the defending Stanley Cup champion Capitals in the first round followed up by a second round sweep of the Islanders. But their run is about to come to screeching halt.READ MORE: Boston Police Warn About Drinks Being Drugged At Bars
The Bruins are a well-oiled machine after beating two very good teams to get to this point. They’re capable of playing any style of hockey and they’ll adjust to Carolina’s speed and aggressive play quickly. The B’s are a much deeper team and their depth will overwhelm the Canes. Plus Tuukka Rask is playing Conn Smythe type hockey in net.
The Black and Gold appear well on their way back to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 2013. Expect the Hurricanes to be nothing much more than a speed bump along the way.
Bruins in 5
Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
The only question in my mind is whether or not Tuukka Rask can maintain this level, or something close to it. If he can, then Carolina doesn’t stand a chance. Nobody could.
I do think it should be an awesome series. Carolina has something special going on, and their coach is terrifying. You wouldn’t ever want to run into Rod Brind’Amour in a dark alley. I’m not entirely sure if that will have any effect on the series, but it’s worth noting.
Tale of the Tape: Bruins vs. Hurricanes
Anyway, it’s a crazy sport, and anything can happen, but I think the advantage of having a red-hot Tuukka Rask instead of a recovering-from-injury Petr Mrazek can make a huge difference. The other key will be special teams: The Bruins have the most successful power play in the postseason, and the Canes have one of the worst penalty kills. If the B’s get some calls in their favor, they could pile up the goals on the man advantage.
Bruins in 5
Matthew Geagan, CBS Boston
Tuukka Rask is on a ridiculous run in net right now, and I don’t think that is going to end anytime soon. And while the Hurricanes are a fun story, the Bruins are a battle-tested team after the first two rounds. It doesn’t look like anything will stop them from reaching the Stanley Cup Final.MORE NEWS: 9,909 At Massachusetts Schools Test Positive For COVID-19 In Last 2 Weeks
Bruins in 5