UDPATE 9:00pm: If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s to expect the unexpected.
The Carolina Hurricanes and Boston Bruins were scheduled to play Game 1 of their first-round series Tuesday night at 8 p.m. Thanks to the Tampa Bay Lightning and Columbus Blue Jackets going into plenitude overtime last night, that didn’t happen. The NHL requires about 90 minutes between games in order to complete the changeover process which includes sanitizing benches, changing out the ad signage, maintaining the ice, and other arena tasks. After the fourth overtime concluded, the NHL made the call to move game one of the Canes-Bruins series to 11 a.m. Wednesday.
At this time Game 2 is still scheduled for Thursday at 8 p.m. With the tighter turnaround time due to the game delay, this series could now feature two sets of back-to-backs, as games five and six (if necessary) are also scheduled for consecutive days.
If there are any other changes we’ll post them here or in the comments. See you tomorrow.
It’s the first time that the Canes have made the playoffs in back-to-back years since 2001-02, after making easy work of the New York Rangers in a three-game, qualifying-round sweep. Carolina outscored New York 11-4 in that series and carries a good amount of momentum into the seven-game series with Boston.
The Hurricanes may also have an added boost to the lineup to start the series Wednesday, as there is a chance that Dougie Hamilton may return to the ice for the first time since Jan. 16. Rod Brind’Amour said Tuesday morning that he expects Hamilton to play in game one, but he’s a game-time decision.
With Hamilton back in the lineup, the question becomes which other defenseman is taken out. It’ll be one of Jake Gardiner, Haydn Fleury, Joel Edmundson or Sami Vatanen who will sit. The pairing of Brady Skjei and Edmundson had a strong series against the Rangers, so the chances of it being Edmundson that sits are probably pretty low. Hamilton will pair up with his regular-season partner Jaccob Slavin, who skated with Vatanen in the qualifiers.
UPDATE: The projected lineup from Michael Smith appears to have Gardiner as the odd man out.
After putting together the best record in the NHL during the regular season, the Bruins lost all three of their seeding round-robin games to set up this matchup with the Canes. Star forward David Pastrnak and goaltender Tuukka Rask missed practice the other day for the Bruins, but both are expected to play Tuesday night, with Rask starting in net.
Community Guidelines Reminder
With the playoffs starting up tonight and everyone excited for the best months of the hockey calendar (though pushed back a bit this year), here’s a reminder of our community guidelines at Canes Country to make this a fun, respectful place for hockey fans to gather.
We wrote this last year before the beginning of the playoffs, but the guidelines still apply. Check it out here, and enjoy some Hurricanes playoff hockey!
Carolina Hurricanes (if Hamilton plays, updated from Michael Smith’s projections)
Andrei Svechnikov - Sebastian Aho - Teuvo Teravainen
Nino Niederreiter - Vincent Trocheck - Martin Necas
Warren Foegele - Jordan Staal - Justin Williams
Brock McGinn - Morgan Geekie - Jordan Martinook
Jaccob Slavin - Dougie Hamilton
Brady Skjei - Joel Edmundson
Haydn Fleury - Sami Vatanen
Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk - David Krejci - Ondrej Kase
Nick Ritchie - Charlie Coyle - Anders Bjork
Joakim Nordstrom - Sean Kuraly - Chris Wagner
Zdeno Chara - Charlie McAvoy
Torey Krug - Brandon Carlo
Matt Grzelcyk - Jeremy Lauzon