Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind’Amour thinks the Bruins are ‘targeting’ his goalies. He thinks it’s obvious, too.
But the Bruins’ David Pastrnak, who would be the leader of the alleged targeting ploy by way of his run-in with Carolina netminder Antti Raanta, disagrees vehemently. And he’s not holding back when it comes to that accusation.
“Yeah, whoever thinks I tried to injure him obviously doesn’t understand hockey,” Pastrnak said following Friday’s morning skate at Warrior Ice Arena. “I’d rather say ‘no comment’ on that, but.”
David Pastrnak catches Antti Raanta up high and Raanta heads off the ice.— Evan Marinofsky (@EvanMarinofsky) May 4, 2022
Pastrnak got a minor for goalie interference: pic.twitter.com/3fsi0zJKdA
Assessed a minor on the incident, which knocked Raanta out of the game, Pastrnak explained that the collision was nothing intentional, but Raanta finding himself on the wrong end of an attempted set play by Boston’s man advantage.
“We’re doing a set play,” Pastrnak offered. “I’m coming with foot speed, trying to get the first touch, He’s trying to clear it, so obviously I wanted the puck to hit me. I’m not going there to bury the goalie, but [to] stop the puck and maybe bounce in. He’s getting out of the crease, but I just tried to stop the puck and set up our power play.”
To Pastrnak’s point, this is absolutely a play that the Bruins have run on their power play. They’ve run it frequently on home ice (and dating back to the Torey Krug days, too), with the B’s having a better feel for the TD Garden boards than the opposition. And given the way the Hurricanes were stalling Boston’s power-play rushes at the blue line repeatedly, the Bruins going to that play in search of the game’s first goal wasn’t a shock.
Antti Raanta was on the ice for Carolina’s morning skate at TD Garden, but it’s believed that Pyotr Kochetkov will get the start for the Hurricanes for Friday’s Game 3 in Boston.