Antti Raanta returned to the ice Thursday afternoon for a short off-day skating session earlier than the Carolina Hurricanes flew out to Boston forward of Sport 3 of the Stanley Cup playoffs, working with goaltending coach Paul Shonfelder away from the remainder of the gamers who had been skating.
That was the excellent news.
What isn’t instantly clear is whether or not Raanta — who was pressured to go away Sport 2 Wednesday after a collision with Bruins ahead David Pastrnak — can be out there for Sport 3.
“We put him on the ice today, that’s a good sign,” Brind’Amour mentioned. “He’s still not 100 percent, so I’m not sure where we’ll be tomorrow, but hopefully he’ll be OK.”
Lower than 10 minutes into the primary interval Wednesday, Raanta performed the puck to his left, and Pastrnak shifted to keep away from the clearing try. In doing so, he lunged his arms ahead and clipped Raanta within the helmet, twisting it — and Raanta’s head — exhausting to the left. The Canes’ goalie crumbled to the ice. Pastrnak was initially assessed a five-minute penalty, however upon video assessment was in the end given a 2-minute minor.
Raanta, in the meantime, left the ice fairly rapidly, below his personal energy. He was bleeding from the mouth.
“He got a little cut, but something else was bothering him,” Brind’Amour mentioned. “At least he was out there today.”
The coach didn’t elaborate on what “something else” could be, however he reiterated that there was no likelihood he was going to return to the sport.
“That was easy,” Brind’Amour mentioned. “He took his stuff off.”
In got here Pyotr Kochetkov. All of the younger Russian netminder did was cease 30 of the 32 photographs he noticed to protect the win for the Canes a 5-2 victory that gave Carolina a 2-0 collection lead after a pair of house video games.
Brind’Amour mentioned Thursday the staff didn’t attempt to play any in another way in entrance of Kochetkov than they’d for Raanta, reiterating the staff’s belief in a keeper who’s performed in 4 NHL video games, and began solely two of these.
“It doesn’t matter who’s in there, if you’re not playing well in front of the goalie, it’s going to be tough. Regardless of who’s in the net, the guys, they have a job to do: Try to limit as many scoring opportunities as you can. On the flip side of it, it’s nice to know that we’ve seen this kid in action, and he’s held up well. The guys have a lot of faith in him.”
Staal echoed his coach’s phrases.
“I think he’s looked really good,” Staal mentioned. “Since the first time he got in the net, he’s looked really good. The guys feel comfortable with him. He’s looked good in practice, the guys have had a hard time finding the net with him. He battles hard. He works hard like everyone else in our room.”
As for that “other” Hurricanes goalie, Frederik Andersen – the staff’s prime netminder all season – nonetheless hasn’t skated since his harm on April 16.
“I haven’t even seen him today, he’s definitely getting closer,” Brind’Amour mentioned. “But until he gets to the ice, there’s really no update.”
Kochetkov holds his personal; Marchand fined
Brind’Amour wasn’t precisely happy that Kochetkov acquired right into a stick-swinging contest with famous Bruins pest Brad Marchand, noting that he wanted his keeper to cease pucks and keep wholesome. However, he mentioned, “boys will be boys.”
One boy needed to pay somewhat deeper for the altercation.
Thursday, the NHL introduced that Marchand has been fined $5,000 for slashing Kochetkov after the 2 exchanged shoves, and the Marchand slashed at Kochetkov’s midsection as officers got here in to interrupt issues up. That occurred at 17:52 of the second interval. Marchand was assessed a minor penalty for slashing on the play.
Additionally fined Thursday by the NHL was Bruins defenseman Derek Forbort, who was additionally requested to pay $5,000 for high-sticking Hurricanes ahead Teuvo Teravainen at 2:53 of the third interval, whereas killing an influence play. Forbort was assessed a double-minor penalty for high-sticking.
The Hurricanes held serve in Video games 1 and a couple of at PNC Area in Raleigh, scoring 5 objectives in every of the video games to take what seems to be a commanding 2-0 collection lead.
Not so quick.
The Hurricanes are a greater staff at house, the statistics bear that out. However so are the Bruins. And for all of Boston’s scoring woes in opposition to Carolina this season (the depend is as much as 26-4 in favor of the Canes), a house playoff crowd can present a psychological enhance.
It additionally helps to have the ultimate change earlier than faceoffs as the house staff.
The Canes performed the matchups they wished for the primary two video games, sending Jordan Staal’s line over the boards to fight Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and Jake DeBrusk (and Pastrnak, when Bruins’s coach Bruce Cassidy made the swap).
They received’t have that alternative in Video games 3 and 4. However does that matter?
“It definitely can be a big advantage or disadvantage, depending on how you’re looking at it,” Brind’Amour mentioned. “We’ll make that adjustment if we need to. But again, when you get to this point of the season, most teams are pretty deep. Matchups are a big part of it, but you trust your guys.”
The opposite good a part of taking part in at house is feeding off the vitality from the house followers. The Canes usually invoice PNC because the “loudest house in the NHL.”
The Backyard in Boston isn;t a lot quieter, and will definitely not be as pleasant towards the Hurricanes.
“They have a good team, and in that building, it’s going to be a tough matchup,” Staal mentioned. “We’ve so far done our business at home, but at some point you have to win on the road. It’s going to be a different feel, but our gane can’t change from most of Game 1 and all of Game 2. I thought our game was good, and if we play that way consistently, we’ll come out on the better side of the end result.”
Grinding out the offense
Recognized primarily as one of many higher checking strains within the NHL, Staal and wingers Jesper Quick and Nino Niederreiter had been a giant a part of the offense in Sport 2, as properly.
“Our line’s been pretty solid, especially the second half of the season, creating offense,” Staal mentioned. “I have two wingers who know how to put the puck in the net and are willing to work and help create offensive chances. We focus on that and playing against some of the best players in the world. We want to play in their end, create as many offensive chances as we can.”
Niederreiter had two objectives in Sport 2, together with one on an influence play, and one other on an ideal crossing feed.
“We try to do the grinding stuff, “but we have those two guys who have some skill, and when the time is right, where there are opportunities, we try to take them.”