The Bruins lost to the Canes in game two of the series--their first loss of the playoffs.
I did some reading of the Carolina media prior to the game, taking note of what the press, coaches, and players were saying after their loss in game one. Some phrases kept appearing over and over. One in particular was that the Canes would need to play "mistake free hockey" in order to beat our B's. At the time it sounded sort of desperate, like they didn't really know how to beat the talented Bruins except to hope that they could play smarter. Now I see what they really meant, and I have a lot more respect. These Canes are a sneaky lot--they can play very good team defense and take advantage of the scoring opportunities that come their way.
I knew the B's were in trouble late in the first period. Although they carried the play for much of the period the Bruins were unable to score. Every time they got a scoring opportunity a Cane would be on their back or have their stick on theirs. In short, it was an impressive display of last line defense in front of the net. Hockey can sometimes be a game of frustration, and I felt the frustration level grow toward the end of the first. When a team gets frustrated sometimes they lose their jump and their edge. This is exactly what happened as the B's came out in the second and the Canes were ready to pounce.
In the third the Bruins once again carried the play, turning up the heat in the offensive zone. But they seemed unaccustomed to such intense play and several players made mistakes with the puck. It seemed they were thinking ahead to the next move and forgetting to take care of what they were doing at the moment. This, combined with the sound defense in front of the net and excellent goaltending led to their failure to score.
One thing for sure: the Bruins are going to need to work on their power play if they expect to win this series.
So now the playoffs start in earnest! The Canes are going to be a formidable opponent. Now we get to see what happens when they have to step it up. With all the talent the B's can bring to (ahem) bear, I still believe they have an excellent chance to win the series.