What’s Bruin? A Stanley Cup title, that’s what
“We want the Cup.”
Boston Bruins fans chanting that these days know a good thing when they see it. And a bad thing too.
The good: Their team is destined to win their second Stanley Cup this decade. They know it, and they said it loud throughout the B’s 6-2 in Sunday’s Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals at the TD Garden.
The bad: The Carolina Hurricanes.
This poor excuse for the Stanley Cup playoff game had that Patriots feel to it. It was like watching the Houston Texans or Indianapolis Colts in Foxborough become New England AFC Divisional Playoff fodder. Too bad the Celtics couldn’t have gotten the Hurricanes in the second round, huh? (Oh, forgot, their gift was the Pacers in Round 1.
The Hurricanes looked like they cared for about 10 of Sunday’s 60 minutes, acting with all the heart and desire of a teenager told to turn off the video games and go out and mow the front lawn.
Surprisingly, Hurricanes coach Rob Brind’Amour, former tough guy as a player, didn’t throw his players under the bus afterward.
“They’re a good team,” he said of the Bruins. “It’s always difficult when you’re playing a good team. We didn’t help ourselves. …They’re (the Bruins) playing their game. We haven’t gotten to ours.”
You wonder if they will at all, even when they take the ice in front of their fans on Tuesday night. Even though they’ve already come back from being down 2-0 in these playoffs already.
Those are the things the Bruins pointed to after Sunday’s game, talking the cautious talk as one might expect. Carolina tried the physical thing as Michael Ferland nailed Bruin defenseman Matt Grzelck with a huge hit early on in the first period.
His response? His first career two-goal game. It’s like that for these Bruins; the goals are coming from everywhere as they’ve tied a franchise record set in 1988 with 19 different goal scorers in the playoffs. That year they were beaten by Edmonton and Wayne Gretzky. There’s no Edmonton left in these playoffs.
“We were expecting a very physical game out of them,” a humble Grzelcyk said of the ‘Canes. “We had experience with that in the second round vs. Columbus; we don’t get fazed by it.”
Nothing seems to rattle these Bruins. They know that in this series they own the special teams battle; they scored two more power play goals on Sunday while Carolina went 0-for-4. In fact, to call the ‘Canes’ man-advantage unit a power play is insulting to the term. Conversely, it took Boston just six seconds on their first power play to beat embattled Hurricanes goalie Petr Mrazek, who every time he blinked there was a Bruin allowed to virtually be on his doorstep, close enough to shake hands.
Carolina’s chance was Game 1. Boston was without Charlie McAovy (suspended) and led 2-1 after two periods. Boston has outscored Carolina 10-2 since.
“Certainly,” Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said, “we elevated our game from Game 1.”
Cassidy knows this thing is rolling along and it will take a lot to stop it. Carolina can’t. Neither St. Louis or San Jose don’t look the type that can do it. He knows that when Boston is skating well and moving the puck, “we can play with any skating team in the league. Whatever game is out there, we can play it.”
And that’s why guys like Grzelcyk can be a threat.
“I think that it’s nice to see players that aren’t known for scoring goals getting rewarded for hard work,” Bruins ageless defenseman Zdeno Chara said. “You know, that’s something that at this time of the year nobody really cares who scores the goals, as long as we keep winning games.”
Oh, they keep winning all right. It’s going to take a huge turnaround to stop the B Train. McAvoy talked about how the Bruins “played to our culture”. It’s a culture right now of confidence.
“They’re going to keep coming out hard,” Bruin Marcus Johansson said. “It’s not going to be easy to go in there and play in their building. It’s going to be a tough one.”
It won’t be as easy as Sunday, for certain. Brind’Amour talked about how his team had to “digest” this game and go forward. Carolina’s game was the clear definition of indigestion.
Bruins fans want the Cup, and it sure looks like they’re going to get it.
Tom King can be reached at 594-1251,firstname.lastname@example.org., or @Telegraph_TomK.