In the first round, we pointed out how the Carolina Hurricanes had a marked advantage in goal over the Boston Bruins. That mostly held up, with the Hurricanes scoring 21 goals on an expected-goals number of 21.1 at 5-on-5, and the Bruins scoring 18 (on the same exact expected goals number, oddly enough).
Jeremy Swayman was a bit better than advertised, Antti Raanta saved the day a couple of times, and as expected, the true challenge for the Hurricanes was breaking through the Bruins’ defense to get a shot on net. Once they did so, good things happened.
That…won’t be the case this round.
Igor Shesterkin might win the Hart Trophy, and if he does, it would be the first such honor for a goaltender since Jose Theodore won it 20 years ago (coincidentally, in a season where his team was eliminated by the Hurricanes). He’s essentially a shoo-in for the Vezina; I mean, if Freddie Andersen can’t even be named as a finalist, sincere apologies to Jacob Markstrom and Juuse Saros, but they ain’t winning.
And when your shot chart looks like this, it’s little wonder:
We’d all better do one of those summoning circle things for Jaccob Slavin and Brady Skjei, because shots from the left point are going to be of significant importance in this series, it appears.
Shesterkin was absolutely hung out to dry in the first round against the Penguins. In seven games,…