Saturday, October 3, 2009
Hurricanes/Bruins Preview and Prediction

The Bruins and the Hurricanes are about to drop the puck in 2 hours. Both Boston and Carolina are looking for its first win of the season as both teams lost at home. Boston was embarrassed by a high flying Washington Capitals team 4-1 in the Garden while the 'Canes were shutout 2-0 by Philadelphia.

This years Carolina team is a team that hasn't had much change. Cam Ward now has a 6 year contract extension and Carolina did add a few pieces in players like Aaron Ward and Stephan Yelle. Actually, there are 4 former Bruins who are now Hurricanes (Ward, Yelle, Alberts and Samsonov).

For those who tried to forget, the last time these two ended a game it was Carolina celebrating their overtime Game 7 win over the Bruins. The win sealed a trip to Pittsburgh for the Eastern Conference Finals where the Pens would win and eventually win the Stanley Cup.

From the limited game I saw on Thursday night (see previous post for explanation), the Bruins need to step up their game on all aspects of hockey if they want to beat a good Carolina squad. Even though "all aspects of hockey" is a pretty broad term, there are a few things I feel need to be improved on if the B's want a chance to win.

Bruins Keys To Winning:

1. An effective power play unit.
- The Bruins had 5 chances at the power play and they mustered 1 shot on goal. That's absolutely pathetic. If you expect to win in the NHL, you need to have an effective power play unit so teams are fearful of making a mistake.

2. Better defense.
- The Bruins have one of the better defensive groups in the NHL, but this isn't just about those six. The play that sticks out in my mind is where Ovechkin out muscled Milan Lucic to score for the Capitals. You need all 5 skaters on the ice playing defense at a high level. A good defense leads to a good offense.

3. Hit the net!
- I'm not talking about the number of shots on goal, because if you're playing fundamental hockey, those will come. What really pissed me off on Thursday night was watching the seemingly tens of shots (in good scoring chances) miss the net. I believe Ryder had 3 of them alone. If you want to win, you have to capitalize on scoring chances.

I hope you, Mr. Reader, are reading this and at the end of number 3 think to yourself "well no shit Pezell, every team must do this to win". Well no kidding, the reason they are up there is because the Bruins didn't do this!

If the Bruins are able to execute on 2 our of 3 of these, they will win.


Carolina 2 Boston 3

Carolina goals:
Staal, Larose

Boston goals:
Savard, Ryder, and Wideman

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