2019’s hottest teams collide tonight in Boston as the Bruins welcome the Hurricanes to town. For Boston, it’s been about locking down that 2nd spot in the Atlantic while the Hurricanes are putting together a strong playoff push and now sit 3rd in the Metropolitan after being outside the playoffs as recently as a week and a half ago.
Both teams have had strong special teams but the key to tonight’s match-up is going to be even-strength play in the Bruins defensive zone. Since the calendar year changed to 2019, the Bruins have allowed the fewest even-strength goals per game while the Hurricanes have scored the most per game.
The Bruins have done a great job of shutting down the slot, not letting pucks get to the middle of the ice for high-danger scoring chances.
In turn, the Hurricanes have seen a change in their play from the earlier parts of the season where they were putting up ridiculous amounts of shots and scoring chances but couldn’t find the back of the net. In the new year, they’ve seen their scoring chances decline but are now finding ways to score. Specifically, Sebastian Aho who’s tied for the 5th most points over that time.
Tonight’s game will be decided in the Bruins defensive zone where the Hurricanes will have their work cut out for them trying to crack that strong defensive front. The Canes should focus on creating with a good forecheck and by moving the puck laterally low in the zone since it’s the only area where the Bruins have struggled as of late.
(Photo by Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images)