Controversial calls and coaches challenges
Games one and two of the Hurricanes vs. Bruins series has seen controversial calls and coaches challenges.
Just over 24 hours after their round one was supposed to start, the Carolina Hurricanes and the Boston Bruins faced off. Their game-one was delayed as the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Tampa Bay Lightning game went into an astonishing fifth overtime. To be fair to the NHL, this is an unforeseen issue that the NHL could not have thought of when it proposed that teams would be playing inside a bubble. So, the Bruins would defeat Hurricanes in four to three in double overtime.
But, it had been days since the Hurricanes had taken the ice. They swept the New York Rangers in three games in the qualifying round of the Return to Play. Joel Edmundson of Carolina scored the first goal of the game with 6:58 left in the period. It was Edmundson’s first goal of the playoffs.
Then, David Pastrnak scored his first goal of the playoffs to tie the game up at one. The Bruins outshot the Hurricanes nine to four in the first period.
Yet, this game was not without controversy. At Charlie Coyle scored to bring the Bruins ahead two to one. In reality, the puck was frozen by goaltender Petr Mrazek. Referee Chris Lee ruled that Mrazek had possession of the puck, wiping out the hand pass. This was an admission that the officials botched the play. Moreover, rule 610 subsection A states that ‘a minor penalty shall be assessed to a goalkeeper who has an opportunity to play the puck prior to being pressured by an attacking player, but instead intentionally causes a stoppage of play.’
Head coach for the Hurricanes, Rod Brind’Amour said that the referees would not give him an explanation about the call and the ice. ‘This is why the league’s a joke, in my opinion, on these things. That one is a crime scene.’
Controversy about the second goal aside, Mrazek made 36 saves on 40 shot attempts by the Bruins. Mrazek was selected in the fifth round of the 2010 NHL draft by the Detroit Red Wings. Yet, after six seasons with Detroit, Mrazek was traded to the Philadelphia Flyers in 2018. Additionally, Mrazek would then sign a one-year contract with the Hurricanes and was supposed to be the “number one” goalie. Therefore, if the Hurricanes are going to get past the Bruins, Mrazek will have to prove that he can be that.
So, the day after the Blue Jackets and the Lightning played into five overtimes, Carolina and Boston would play two overtimes. Patrice Bergeron would score the game-winner with an assist from Pasternak at 1:13 of the second overtime. So, The Bruins would defeat Hurricanes four to three in double overtime to take a one-game to none lead.
Above all, this is the kind of experience that is beneficial for the Bruins. Bergeron and Pasternak both have plenty of playoff experience that the younger Bruins can lean on in a tough series with the Hurricanes.
And that was just game one!
The Storm Surge Starts in Game Two
The Boston Bruins and Carolina Hurricanes played a heavy-hitting, low scoring, and very entertaining game two. With quick-strike goals and fighting after the whistle the game had lots of blood starting to boil and will make for a fantastic finish to the rest of the series.
The Bruins came out flying in the first period. Anders Bjork registered the first shot of the game on James Reimer in the first minute of play. The Hurricanes and Bruins traded chances for most of the period but at 15:41 in the first period, David Krejci rifled a wrist shot past the right shoulder of Reimer to give Boston the 1-0 lead. The Bruins and Canes continued to trade chances for the rest of the first period.
The second period started off slowly and didn’t pick up until Chris Wagner took a late penalty for elbowing. The Hurricanes took advantage of Wagner’s costly mistake when Teuvo Teravainen scored a crafty goal on Tuukka Rask. Teravainen was standing all alone on the right faceoff dot when teammate Andrei Svechnikov spun a pass over to Teravainen. Catching the pass with his right skate, Teravainen kicked the puck onto his stick and took a wrist shot that beat Rask over his blocker hand to tie the game at one.
Shortly after the Canes scored the go-ahead goal on an absolute snipe from Svechnikov. The play started on a dump in that Rask tried to pass to his teammate. Rask’s pass went over all of his teammates’ sticks and right onto Trevor Van Riemsdyk’s stick. Van Riemsdyk passed the puck back down the boards to his teammate Martin Necas. Necas immediately sent a pass right across the middle of the offensive zone to Svechnikov. Svechnikov caught the pass on his forehand and fired a shot over Rask’s right shoulder to grab the 2-1 lead.
Three minutes after scoring the tying goal, Teravainen took a costly interference penalty at 18:18. The Bruins got right to work on the power play when they fired multiple shots at Reimer and finally broke through with 5 seconds remaining in the period. Brad Marchand buried the rebound that came off of Reimer’s right pad from a Patrice Bergeron wrist shot from the hash marks.
Entering the third period the Hurricanes and Bruins were deadlocked at two until former Bruin Dougie Hamilton wired a shot from the top of the circle to beat Tuukka Rask over his glove. Necas carried the puck behind the net and sent a backhand pass to Hamilton. Hamilton one-timed the puck right past Rask to regain the lead.
The Bruins started creating lots of offense zone pressure in the last twenty seconds. The Bruins pressured the Hurricanes very late in the game and peppered Reimer. Charlie Coyle and Torey Krug each fired shots into Reimer and created an ensuing scrum and some pushing and shoving after the whistle. Reimer was able to keep the puck out of the net and capture the victory for the Hurricanes.
Although the Bruins outshot the Hurricanes 35-26 and largely outplayed them for most of the game James Reimer was able to hold them off. With some fantastic play from Tuevo Teravainen, Martin Necas, and James Reimer the Storm Surge has begun and will set up for a very entertaining game 3.
One player who will not be on the ice for game three is Tuuka Rask. Rask has opted out of the playoffs shortly before the start of game three.
Many things have happened in games one and two of the Hurricanes vs. Bruins series. It will be interesting to see where this series goes from here. Whatever happens, a recap of the controversial calls and coaches challenges is sure to follow.
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