Boston Bruins

Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour thinks the Bruins are up to something nefarious.

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With his team still without Frederik Andersen, and with Antti Raanta knocked out of the game following an early-game collision with David Pastrnak and a subsequent incident with Pyotr Kochetkov, Brind’Amour said (without directly saying it, of course) that he believes that decimating goaltenders has become a focus for the Bruins.

“What do you think?” Brind’Amour said when asked if he believes that the Bruins are ‘deliberately targeting’ Carolina’s goaltenders. “Can’t get any more obvious.”

Listen, credit where credit is due for Rod’s gumption here. It takes a lot of balls to basically demand more after getting nine power-play opportunities — and three separate five-on-three advantages — in the same game. But the man wants 10. He needs 10. And that’s a responsibility and commitment you just gotta respect.

It’s also hilarious to think that David Pastrnak is out here trying to go full Lucic-on-Miller while on a power play and with the Bruins looking to get out to their first lead of the series. Just next-level stuff.

The claim was enough to clearly befuddle Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy.

“It’s David Pastrnak,” Cassidy, who already has his hands full with adjustments for Game 3, said after the loss. “You think he’s gonna run — we’re on the power play. He’s trying to chase down a puck. That’s why they changed it from a five to a two. His foot caught his pad. He’s trying to block the clear and get out of the way.”

In addition to the Pastrnak incident, Brind’Amour took exception to how the Bruins approached Kochetkov, namely with Brad Marchand exchanging some stickwork with the Russian netminder in the second period of play.

“He got crosschecked and [slashed],” Brind’Amour said. “I mean, he’s competitive. We’ve got competitive guys. You wanna stay out of all that, but I certainly didn’t want him to get involved in anything.

“We got the memorandum before the game to stay out of the stuff, and I thought we did as good a job as we could have to do that.”

Of course, it’s entirely possible that Brind’Amour is just playing The Game™. It wouldn’t be the first time we’ve seen a coach do this, and it wouldn’t be the Bruins’ first experience with it. Blues head coach Craig Berube famously did it during the 2019 Stanley Cup Final, and the Bruins and Islanders traded media barbs during their second-round series last year.

Raanta, for what it’s worth, was in ‘good spirits’ following the game, and could be ready to return for Game 3 depending on how he feels Thursday. But the Hurricanes, up 2-0 in the series and with both Raanta and Kochetkov looking up to task through the first two games of this series, have to be feeling pretty good with either option heading into Game 3 in Boston.

Even with the Bruins trying to murder their goaltenders, apparently.

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