Hurricanes Bruins playoff series even as Canes undisciplined


Carolina Hurricanes’ Tony DeAngelo (77) and Boston Bruins’ Curtis Lazar (20) tangle within the second interval of Game 4 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first-round playoff collection, Sunday, May 8, 2022, in Boston. The Bruins gained 5-2. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)


What may, and possibly ought to, have been a snug first-round collection for the Carolina Hurricanes has changed into a nightmare they will’t cease reliving.

For the second yr in a row, they’ve taken a winnable collection in opposition to an opponent they dominated and turned it into each a knife-edge precipice and a soul-sapping slog. Their lack of ability to deal rapidly with the Nashville Predators 12 months in the past left them much less battle-tested than weary once they went up in opposition to the mighty Tampa Bay Lightning, a collection they’d have needed to be at their very best to win.

Here they’re once more doing the identical factor, letting the Boston Bruins again into this first-round collection and again into their heads, possibly extra the latter than the previous. By the time a totally-on-tilt Tony DeAngelo flung his stick at Brad Marchand’s empty-netter that made it a 5-2 win and an excellent collection — he missed, the one penalty the Hurricanes averted all evening — the Hurricanes had assured a return journey to this palace of ache for Game 6.

Less than 48 hours after the Hurricanes berated themselves for his or her utter lack of self-discipline and promised to be higher, they really managed to worsen. DeAngelo obtained many of the consideration for his operating scraps with Marchand and Curtis Lazar, however the undisciplined play was endemic and common.

Vincent Trocheck gave the Bruins their first 5-on-3 by flipping the puck over the glass; Sebastian Aho gave the Bruins their second by high-sticking Patrice Bergeron proper below his proper eye. Those penalties have been black-letter legislation. There’s no complaining in regards to the officiating there.

“We got to stay out of the box,” Hurricanes captain Jordan Staal stated. “It’s pretty obvious. We’ve got to do a better job of … staying out of the box.”

The Hurricanes compounded issues with a goaltender-interference problem on Jake DeBrusk’s objective that made it 2-2, and whereas they definitely had grounds for criticism, there’s additionally the cost-benefit evaluation of whether or not enjoying replay roulette is price it when a loss can be the fifth straight penalty in opposition to your group. Which it was. Aho’s double-minor, shortly after Trocheck missed the online on a short-handed breakaway, was the sixth.

As righteously indignant because the Hurricanes wish to be about it, Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour nonetheless challenged a borderline name at a time they completely, positively couldn’t afford one other penalty, and at a time when the rating was nonetheless tied. Discretion and valor and all that.

In a collection the Hurricanes proceed to dominate five-on-five — and admittedly, it’s not even shut — their lack of ability to maintain their cool, their composure, and their sticks down has let the Bruins proper again into it. Sunday, the Bruins have been lacking not solely Hampus Lindholm — nonetheless out, after Andrei Svechnikov’s punishing hit Wednesday — however Charlie McAvoy, who entered COVID-19 protocols Sunday morning.

HurricanesBruinsHockey (15).JPG
Carolina Hurricanes’ Tony DeAngelo (77) and Boston Bruins’ Curtis Lazar (20) tangle within the second interval of Game 4 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first-round playoff collection, Sunday, May 8, 2022, in Boston. The Bruins gained 5-2. (AP Photo/Steven Senne) Steven Senne AP

Imagine the Hurricanes with out Jaccob Slavin and Brett Pesce, and the Bruins aren’t almost as deep on the blue line behind them. Without their high two defenseman, the one method the Bruins may even compete was with a bushel of energy performs.

Nine, together with two two-man benefits, match the invoice properly.

“Listen, you can’t give them — the rest of the penalties are real penalties,” Brind’Amour stated. “We took too many. I don’t know what they ended up with, how many, it just felt like the whole game we were short-handed. Their top guys are elite as they come. You just can’t give them those looks.”

So the Hurricanes will go dwelling having prolonged the collection to no less than six video games in a firestorm of self-inflicted injury. A yr in the past, the vitality expended early absolutely mattered. Their aspirations have been even larger this season, though they’ll now should be recalibrated within the brief time period to merely surviving this collection first.

Postseason vitality administration doesn’t all the time make sense. In 2019, the Hurricanes emerged from a hard-fought seven-game collection with the Washington Capitals to comb the New York Islanders, who had swept the PIttsburgh Penguins within the first spherical, and the Hurricanes have been then swept themselves by the Bruins.

Still, there’s no query this might have been over in 4 or 5 video games if the Hurricanes had maintained the sting that they had constructed at dwelling. Surely, it’s more durable to win on the highway, and the Bruins have finished a masterful job of selecting their spots and their matchups, as evidenced by the Boston objective that made it 1-1, with Bergeron and Marchand benefiting from Ian Cole and Brendan Smith and Carolina’s fourth line. But the hole between the groups after the primary two video games was sufficiently big to beat that.

“Just keep our heads up and we’re going to be fine,” Hurricanes ahead Andrei Svechnikov stated. “We’ve been in this situation. Obviously, it’s a little bit tough the last couple games, but it’s fine. We’re going to be fine.”

The Hurricanes, as a lot because the Bruins, turned this right into a collection. They’ll should take care of that reckoning, not solely Tuesday and Thursday and probably in Game 7, however down the highway ought to they repair their points and advance.

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This story was initially printed May 8, 2022 5:47 PM.

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Sports columnist Luke DeCock joined The News & Observer in 2000 and has lined six Final Fours, the Summer Olympics, the Super Bowl and the Carolina Hurricanes’ Stanley Cup. He is the present president of the U.S. Basketball Writers Association, was the 2020 winner of the National Headliner Award because the nation’s high sports activities columnist and has twice been named North Carolina Sportswriter of the Year.

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