The Boston Bruins return to the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Tuesday night as they take on the Carolina Hurricanes. Here are some official Bruins-Hurricanes predictions from Sports Hub on-air and digital staff.
Tony Massarotti, Felger & Mazz
Bruins in 6. Can they turn on the switch? Yes. But it won’t happen overnight.
Jim Murray, Felger & Mazz
I dislike most people.
This shouldn’t come as any surprise.
That said, if there’s one type of person I dislike the most, it’s the smug a-hole.
And right now, after four straight duds in the bubble (yes, I’m counting the “exhibition” against Columbus) the Bruins are collectively acting like smug a-holes.
How this is even possible is beyond all comprehension.
What exactly has this group accomplished to be acting like how they played was no big deal?
We’re not talking the likes of some dominant wagon of a team that SHOULD be carrying themselves like the early '80s New York Islanders or early '90s Pittsburgh Penguins.
No, this is a team that won the worthless (and cursed!) Presidents Trophy and pissed down their leg in the worst possible way in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final just last season, and they’re all "Ehh, talk to me when it matters"?
The balls on them.
Talk all you want, my eyes work.
And what they’ve seen is a listless, slow-ass team who’s clearly been the worst one on the ice since the restart.
This is not a "flip the switch" type of team. Not with a glacial Zdeno Chara and ghosts like David Krejci (seriously, did anyone even notice him once in the last week or so?).
And Carolina’s speed will prove to be too much in this series, despite their putrid goaltending.
Anyway, Smug A-Holes typically get what’s coming to them.
So with that?
Carolina in 6.
Rob "Hardy" Poole, Zolak and Bertrand
If I learned anything from the 1983 classic "Eddie Macon's Run," it's this: a good hunter doesn't chase, he waits. The Bruins waited out the nonsensical round robin, waited out a few pesky unfit to participate designations, and now they will be rewarded with a supremely beatable first round opponent in the Carolina Hurricanes.
Bruins in 5.
Rich Shertenlieb, Toucher and Rich
Bruins in 4 ... because as we learned last year, angry hicks are funny.
Adam Jones, 98.5 The Sports Hub
The Bruins are the best team in hockey! Love their approach so far! They clearly have everything figured out!
Oh, and Carolina stinks.
Bruins in 3.
Jeremy Conley, Producer, The Adam Jones Show
We waited 5 months for THIS? The Bruins haven't shown up on the ice since March 10th. If we're lucky they'll show up once.
'Canes in 5.
Dan Lifshatz, Over/Under 98.5 Show
I expect the Bruins to have another slow start in Game 1, and maybe game 2, and then to kind of explode onto the scene. I think these teams match up pretty well against each other. I know what the B's did to the Canes last year, and I think most of us would expect a repeat, but Carolina got better and deeper and I think they match up better with Boston than most.
The Bruins' edge will be in net and Rask HAS to out play Petr Mrazek. Thats going to be the key matchup, and if it goes the way we expect it will, then Boston will win in 6 or 7.
Carolina is going to steal a few games, but I expect the B's to pull it out in a tight Game 7.
Bruins in 7.
Sean Sylver, 98.5 The Sports Hub
We've seen it a million times. The Bruins won't play like their hair is on fire until they can feel it on their scalps. Carolina has momentum, while the B's look like they still have some things to figure out. This might take a while.
Bruins in 6.
Alex Barth, 985TheSportsHub.com
The Bruins more or less admitted after their final round robin loss that they hadn't cared during the seeding round. Do you know how little professional athletes have to care for them to admit they don't care?
Unfortunately, the concept of 'flipping the switch' doesn't translate to hockey. It's such a momentum-driven sport, and the Hurricanes are coming off of a playoff series win, while the B's are just getting out of bed. I think things could get ugly early.
That being said, the Bruins are the more talented and more experienced team. Once they get their legs under them, look out.
I have the Bruins falling behind two games to one, but then winning three straight. Give me B's in 6.
Ryan Johnston, Johnston & Flynn/The Hockey Show
I just can't put much stock in the round robin. With their experience, I think the Bruins know when they really need to put their foot on the gas. I expect them to be much closer to the team we saw all season long once the games really count. Carolina is improved since last year, but I don't believe either Mrazek or Reimer are good enough to keep the Canes in this series. Bruins in 5.
Mike "Sarge" Riley, 98.5 The Sports Hub
Remember when the world was normal and these two teams met for a ticket to the Stanley Cup Final last year?
Sure, the Bruins have one of the best lines in hockey, Pastrnak-Bergeron-Marchand, and they've won six of their last seven regular season matchups with Carolina. But even in the round robin stage of this, it seems like the only thing that could have ruined the Bruins' chances at a run for the Cup would be a pandemic.
It's great to have sports back, but it will be even better for Carolina advancing out of this round.
Hurricanes in 7.
Ty Anderson, Sports Hub Sidelines Podcast
Remember in "Avengers: Endgame" when Professor Hulk sends Scott Lang back in time, but in reality just makes him really young, then really old, and then normal again? Everybody is pretty much completely mortified with the results, but there's Hulk, clapping and calling it an absolute win. I've decided that that's gonna be me when it comes to the B's round-robin results.
The Bruins' veterans clearly didn't take this seriously. Whether or not that was smart remains to be seen, but nobody got injured, and the players you wanted to see push for a solidified role or some renewed confidence (Anders Bjork on line three, Jake DeBrusk on line two) did exactly that. That, even with an 0-3-0 record, feels like an absolute win.
Now comes their next challenge: Successfully time-traveling back to May 2019 when they waxed Rod Brind'Amour's Hurricanes club. I think it'll be that easy this time around, but I'll take the Bruins in six games.
Matt Dolloff, Sports Hub Sidelines Podcast
I'll take Brad Marchand's word for it, and assume that the Bruins were only playing at something less than full speed and basically trying not to get injured in the round robin. So for that reason, I have to assume that the Bruins will look like a much better team against the Hurricanes than what we saw against the Flyers, Lightning, and Capitals.
To Marchand's point, the three round robin games felt like a gradual ramp-up to the "real" playoff games. They looked best against the Capitals, and while they still couldn't score to the level they need this time of year, there were things to like - and reasons to believe they'll be even better against Carolina.
On those 'Canes ... they don't have Braden Holtby in net, not even close, which should give Boston a huge advantage in goal. And on the back-end, there's no one beyond Jaccob Slavin who could truly take over a game defensively - even a healthy Dougie Hamilton hasn't played his best hockey in these big games.
So the Bruins should absolutely be able to generate more chances against Carolina than we've seen against tougher defensive opponents, and that's why they ultimately win this series - even if the 'Canes are improved over last year and take a game or three to make it interesting.
Bruins in 7.