A drubbing, a thrashing, a pummelling, a pounding, a walloping, a thumping, a complete-and-utter domination.
Say it whichever way you like, but the Eastern Conference final was about as one-sided as they come. Through four games, the Bruins skated all over the Carolina Hurricanes, out-scored their third-round rivals by a dozen goals and completed the sweep in tidy fashion, with a fitting 4-0 scoreline putting the Prince of Wales Trophy firmly in Boston’s grasp – figuratively, of course, because they didn’t touch the darn thing – and punching their ticket to the Stanley Cup final.
Truly, there were few points in the series when the conference final felt all that close, and even by Carolina coach Rob Brind’Amour’s estimation, there was really only the one game in which the Hurricanes came to play. Brind’Amour called Wholesale nhl jerseys
the series-deciding Game 4 a “dud,” and after Game 3, the one outing in which Carolina looked especially dangerous, the first-year bench boss said that it was the first time all series the Hurricanes had actually given the Bruins something to think about. But that’s as much a criticism of Carolina’s play as it is praise for Boston’s performance. The Bruins put on a clinic against the Hurricanes.
Offensively, that was evident. Boston scored at a clip of more than four goals per game in the conference final, and the only outing in which they scored fewer than four was the aforementioned Game 3. The Bruins’ top players showed up, too. In Game 4, the trio of Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak were responsible for all four goals and finished the outing with eight combined points. As impressive as the offensive performances, though, was the defensive play of the group as a whole.
Entering the series, what Carolina had going for it was an ability to generate shots, shot attempts and scoring chances, and without true-blue superstar scoring power, it’s fair to say that it at times came down to quantity over quality for the Hurricanes. What Boston didn’t allow Carolina to do, however, was produce either. Through all four games, the Bruins controlled the middle of the ice and forced everything to the outside through both will and skill. They pressured perfectly to keep the Hurricanes to the edges, and when Carolina did get an opportunity to blast away or attempted to blast away and force something through, there were bodies in the way. Boston blocked 60 shots through four games and allowed a mere 107 shots against. That’s 26.8 per game against a Carolina outfit that was averaging 31.2 through the first two rounds.