Just the Facts:
The Time: 7pm EST
The Place: TD Garden, Boston
Place to Watch: NESN, Sportsnet, FOX Sports-Carolina, TVAS, ESPN+,
Place to Listen: 98.5 The Sports Hub, 99.9 The Fan
Opposing SBNation Blog: Canes Country
Know Your Enemy:
- Sebastian Aho is on another level right now. He leads the Canes in all scoring categories with 73 points, which ekes out to 27 goals, 46 assists, and 21 power play points in 65 games.
- Justin Williams has the most power play goals for the Canes with 8.
- Curtis McElhinney, a 35 year old man, is a starter for Carolina. He has a .921 SV% in 25 games.
- Dougie Hamilton is here. He’s Carolina’s leading scorer on the blueline with 28 points in 65 games.
- The Canes are one of the great fancy-stats darlings of the league, being first in CF% (54.60%) and FF% (54.00%) across all 31 teams. But they’ve been like this before, so what’s changed? Sure, the new talent helps, young guys taking off will get you there, and their galvanization around being “the team that has fun” certainly didn’t hurt, but one could say their biggest X-Factor for success this season has been the massive improvement in their High-Danger SV%. Last year it was 30th. You had to try basically to not cash in on good chances. This year, it’s shot up to 17th. You can still get good chances on them, but it’s like night and day with how they’re playing now. You might actually have to work to get it. Funny what half decent goaltending gets you!
And this time, it’s a handful.
The Hurricanes currently sport a 5 game winning streak right now, which was interrupted by the Rangers actually sitting up and doing something or it’d be almost a 9 game winning streak, and sit pretty in third place in their division, but still the Canes are hungry for points, because their division is currently not predicated on security like the Atlantic. Three points are all that separates them from being third and being out of the playoffs. One point gets them shunted back into the Wild Card. They play fast and crazy and they don’t care what the final score is so long as it’s a win for the Red, Black, and White.
Fans should definitely not underestimate them, as their last meeting with Boston had the B’s blow a 2-0 lead in particularly gruesome fashion.
Yesterday, Cassidy stated that one of the late season goals for the Bruins is to get into a secure enough place that he can start resting the stars like Bergeron, whose played almost 20 minutes a night for three weeks now. Well, it’s a nice idea anyway, but Boston would probably like to win tonight’s game to make sure Toronto stays slightly out of arm’s reach, and then start implementing that idea in the next couple of games, as they face teams that currently struggle. So!...let the stars run wild.
Should be a fun game, let’s hope the B’s aren’t stunned by a pair of short-handed goals again!