On Thursday, February 10th, the Carolina Hurricanes will travel up the coast to Boston to take on the Bruins in what should be an exciting matchup. The Hurricanes are currently in first place in the Metropolitan Division, while the Bruins are in fourth in the Atlantic. However, both teams are riding a bit of a hot streak so we should be in store for some great NHL action.
The Bruins and Hurricanes have already faced off twice so far this season, with the Hurricanes leading the season series 2-0. They’ve managed to win both games in a commanding fashion, beating the Bruin 3-0 and 7-1 respectively.
The Bruins however will try to keep their momentum rolling after going 11-5 in the month of January. The Bruins are 22-12-2 on the season, and the Hurricanes are 26-8-2.
How do the Hurricanes weather the storm?
The Hurricanes have the single best defense in the NHL right now, no questions about it. They’ve allowed just 98 goals so far on the season, and allow an NHL best 28 shots on goal per game. While they allow the fourth-most power-play chances to opposing offenses, the opposition only converts at a 10% clip.
In the entire month of January, the Hurricanes only allowed more than three goals in a game three times, and have allowed fewer than three goals five times.
While the entire defensive unit definitely deserves some credit, you can’t forget to thank the big man in the net. Hurricanes goalie Frederik Anderson is having a season to remember, allowing just over 2 goals per game while saving shots at a 93% rate.
He’ll definitely be called on a lot on Thursday against the Bruins, who average 35 shots on net per game.
Can the Bruins brew up an upset?
I think there’s great upset potential here, despite the Bruins’ history against the Hurricanes so far this season. As I mentioned earlier, the Hurricanes allow the fourth-most power-play chances to opposing offenses. It just so happens that the Bruins have the fourth–highest power-play conversion percentage in the NHL, scoring on power plays 26% of the time.
While the Hurricanes have been great at not allowing teams to capitalize on the opportunity, it may prove dangerous to give such a potent power play offense a chance.
Bruins Winger Brad Marchand is on a bit of a streak of his own, grabbing at least a point in five of his last six games. A majority of his points have come via assists, however, as Marchand has only scored one goal in his last eight games.
All in all, we should be in for a more competitive game between these two teams than we’ve seen so far this season. The Bruins have been playing well since these two teams last met in mid–January, and will definitely be looking to grab a much-needed win at home.
I expect this game to be very close and come down to the wire, but if the Bruins are able to capitalize on the Canes’ mistakes they should be able to leave TD Garden the winners.
Prediction: Bruins 3-Hurricanes 2