Bruce Cassidy, Torey Krug Laud Connor Clifton’s ‘Cliffy Hockey’ After Win


BOSTON — Connor Clifton had plenty reason to celebrate Sunday afternoon.

The Bruins defenseman scored the third goal for Boston in the second period of his team’s 6-2 shellacking of the Carolina Hurricanes at TD Garden in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Final. Boston now has a 2-0 series lead with Games 3 and 4 on the road.

The tally marked the first goal of Clifton’s NHL career, and he’s certainly been making an impact for the B’s this postseason — especially in the absence of Kevan Miller. Clifton wasn’t the only defenseman to score, though. Matt Grzelcyk potted a pair in the win after taking a massive hit from Michael Ferland in the first.

But Clifton was all smiles talking about his goal after the game.

“Had a little rush there ended up behind the goal line,” he said. “I threw it to, I think it was (Danton Heinen) there. Something bobbled around and I stayed net-front and had a wide-open net. It was pretty easy.

“It was great,” he said of his goal. “Something special. Something I will always remember. It was a solid effort by everyone and it was a great win.”

Head coach Bruce Cassidy noted the team has a lot of confidence in the 24-year-old because he’s “competitive.” But even though he’s a defensemen, did Cassidy see Clifton’s ability to score before he even came to the Bruins?

“That’s all we saw in him when we first saw him at development camp,” Cassidy said. “I thought he was a winger more than a defenseman at first. He was up and down the ice the whole time. … He always had that in him: his willingness to try and make a play.”

His teammate and fellow defenseman Torey Krug lauded Clifton saying the “strength of his game” is “fun to watch.”

“We call it ‘Cliffy Hockey,'” Krug said. “Because he just goes out there and plays like no one else and he thrives off instincts. … He’s been a great addition to this D group.”

It sure sounds like Clifton fits right in with the Bruins and only will look to continue to be a crucial part to the team as the ECF continues on.

Boston Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk; Carolina Hurricanes forward Micheal Ferland
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