Bruce Cassidy Offers Initial Expectations For Bruins-Hurricanes Series

'It should be a great series'

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The Boston Bruins and Carolina Hurricanes are set to offer the hockey community something new.

Bruce Cassidy told reporters Friday night why he doesn’t expect the Bruins-Hurricanes first-round Stanley Cup Playoffs series to be anything like their 2021-22 regular-season matchups. The Hurricanes beat the Bruins in each of their three meetings by a combined score of 16-1. With the teams set to face off at 7 p.m. ET on Monday in Game 1, Cassidy explained why he doesn’t fear Carolina will continue to dominate Boston.

“Strong team obviously, they had their way with us this year,” Cassidy said at a press conference, following Boston’s 5-2 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs, as seen in video the Bruins provided. “Some of that was a while ago, and I think our teams are in a much better place than we played them earlier in the year. So we’re not going to take too much stock in that. We have had success against them in the playoffs recently. And again, two different teams. We can’t take too much stock in that either other than it does build some experience for you.

“We expect Carolina to be a difficult opponent, they press, they’re a great skating team they check well, we feel we can do the same thing, so it should be a great series.”

Cassidy believes the Bruins can avoid enduring more drubbings at the Hurricanes’ hands by managing the puck better in order to prevent them from using their speedy counter-attack effectively. If Boston manages to do so, Cassidy likes his team’s chances to produce that “great series” and even prevail.

“We’ve done that in the past against them not, not this year. We certainly feel we’re competitive with anybody in the Eastern Conference, and we’ve just got to find the right formula against them. Obviously, there’ll be some adjustments as you go along. That’s what I expect. I think it’ll be physical as well. The games have been against them earlier this year.

“So they’re excited to get going. They’ve had a great year, won their division. We’ve battled here the last little bit, very intense schedule. So (we have) a couple of days to catch our breath and we’re looking forward to it as well.”

For weeks the Bruins have been saying how little regular-season hockey resembles the game as teams play it in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. That alone should encourage Boston supporters, as the stakes spike in importance.

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