The task at hand for the Carolina Hurricanes is to win a single hockey game and then go from there.
That ask is not that outlandish. The Hurricanes have been a great hockey team on home ice throughout the playoffs and the team’s first loss at PNC Arena on Tuesday was actually not that far off base on a night when the team arguably deserved better.
So asking for and receiving a win on Thursday is well within the realm of possibilities. Today’s Daily Cup of Joe writes the script for that win.
Repeat of the start
The start really needs to be no different than Tuesday’s. The Hurricanes had an 11-1 shots on goal advantage when Justin Williams and Torey Krug went off the ice with matching penalties, changed the flow of the game a bit and offered a small amount of relief for the Bruins. So in terms of intensity level, pace and just about everything else, the team is simply looking for a repeat of Tuesday without offering the Bruins breathing room by taking penalties.
…But with finishing
The difference in Tuesday’s game was the fact that the Hurricanes were unable to convert pretty much a full period of sheer dominance into anything on the scoreboard.
The Hurricanes simply missed the net multiple times with Teravainen’s miss 18 seconds in and Svechnikov’s back door miss being the most notable.
Tuukka Rask, who was also incredibly good on a number of shots, was also flat out lucky on multiple occasions. Justin Williams nicked the cross bar. Rask had one shot through a screen that he did not even appear to see wind up in his glove somehow. And he had another shot that he deflected with his stick that somehow found his glove after that. Thursday would be perfect timing to regression to the mean in terms of puck luck for Rask.
The Hurricanes are also way overdue to catch a random bounce and net a goal from it.
Seeking a snowball effect
Then if the Hurricanes can collect some volume of breaks, Tuukka Rask being human and some finishing, the objective is not just to win but to violently drag Rask and the Bruins in a way that introduces them to doubt for the first time in this series. The odds are long, but since the beginning I said that the trajectory of the series shifts significantly if at some point the Hurricanes can break Rask.
What say you Canes fans?
1) Is a single home win on Thursday out of the question?
2) What are the chances that the Hurricanes bust out in a big way such that a lopsided win has the potential to affect the Bruins even heading into game 5?