Stanley Cup Playoffs Preview: Carolina Hurricanes vs. Boston Bruins
A sad reality of the Stanley Cup Playoffs is that great teams often face off in Round 1, forcing legitimate contenders to go home early purely through unavoidable luck of the draw. This might just be one of those cases.
The Carolina Hurricanes continue to roll, establishing themselves as one of the top teams of this generation and a perennial candidate to win it all. Meanwhile, the Boston Bruins are rapidly running out of chances to bring home one last Cup with the ageing Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand leading the way. No matter what, one of these groups is doomed to a first round exit.
These two teams faced off in the 2020 bubble playoffs, with the Bruins easily dispatching the Canes in six, but a lot has changed since then, and there's no telling how this series will play out.
My playoff previews are stats-based, going off of both macro- and micro-level statistics gathered by TopDownHockey and AllThreeZones respectively. This allows us to look not only at high-level results (like goals, shots, and expected goals) but also the stylistic process that creates them (like passes, shot types, and transition play) to get a better sense of how the teams match up. Instead of comparing offence to offence and defence to defence, I'll be breaking down the offence vs. defence matchups.
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