Cam Ward made 47 saves. Brandon Sutter racked up a goal and an assist, to pave the path for the Hurricanes first season sweep of the Bruins with a 3-0 victory on Thursday night.
Currently, the Hurricanes are stuck at the bottom of their conference. They are (15-25-9) overall in the NHL; however, they outscored Boston 14-5 in the season sweep. Sweeping the Bruins has to be noted as quite an accomplishment, all though it does not look to pave a path to this season's Stanley Cup playoffs for the Hurricanes.
Boston could just be experiencing a 'back from the break' speed bump, as any NHL team can and the Bruins surely are not disappearing from playoff birth; however, adjustments obviously need to be made in their level of play recently. The Bruins will never go down without a fight, rest assured.
Ward was quoted as saying: “We have to play every team like they are the Bruins; it is a real compliment to our team to beat the champs four times.” Mr. Ward now stands (11-11-2) against the Bruins. This posts as his third shutout of the season and 19th of his NHL career overall.
Brandon Sutter had a goal and an assist for the Hurricanes, while Staal nailed a goal in the first, Tuomo Ruutu converted Sutter’s rebound in the second, and Sutter added a goal 3:13 into the third. Staal currently has 18 points in 15 games.
The Bruins did have some great scoring opportunities, but when you even up the penalties when on the power play...it can smack a team rather hard as was the case when with 15 seconds remaining on the power play of a Faulkner 'kneeing' penalty, Milan Lucic was called for roughing to even up their one man-advantage. Other penalties were accumulated: Jussi Jokinen was nabbed for slashing Chris Kelly and Brad Marchand was called for slashing just eight seconds into a power play opportunity.
Any team that won the Cup the year prior will get frustrated and even angry if they are not playing up to what they feel is their 'caliber', but acting on these strong emotions will only cost you minutes in the box...and goals in a game. The right 'kind' of motivation is what the Bruins need to find and tap into right now.
The Bruins were booed by the home crowd--Boston (not unlike my hometown of Philly) will indeed let their teams know when they are not performing up to par.
Hurricanes coach Kirk Muller did state that it may have been the team’s best game all season.
Coach Claude Julien summed it up like this: “Right now we’re playing more like a team that should be at the bottom of the standings then at the top of the standings, and that’s the reality of it.”
Their is plenty of hockey remaining this regular season and hopefully Boston will be able to realize their pitfalls at the moment and get back to the standard 'Bad Bruins' style of winning games. the All-Star break is not every teams 'friend'.
What comes to mind though most for me is how last season, in the Atlantic Division alone, the teams that were on top in the first half seemed to slip at this time – while, the teams that were fishing on the bottom rose to the top. Bruins fans need to keep this in mind: their start was not great last season…but they did indeed take home Lord Stanley in the end.