A Bunch of Jerks versus Actual Jerks – Canes vs. Bruins

Carolina Hurricanes vs Boston Bruins: By The Numbers

Here at theBRKDWN we have coined this match up to be a Bunch of Jerks vs Actual Jerks. With a strong Boston and Toronto fan contingent here you can imagine the tension between the Leafs/Bruins first round series and how this matchup name came about.

Let’s take a look at the Hurricanes and Bruins advanced stats this season courtesy of Natural Stat Trick. Check out my viz for 2018-19 5v5 stats here!

Regular Season 5v5

Carolina: 54.80 CF% (2nd), 51.95 GF% (12th), 92.07 SV% (14th), 7.17 SH% (28th), .992 PDO  (25th)

Boston: 53.07 CF% (6th), 55.12 GF% (4th), .931 SV% (3rd), 7.34 SH% (26th), 1.005 PDO (10th)

Regular Season Team Stats

Carolina: 17.8 PP% (20th), 81.6 PK% (8th), 243 GF (16th), 221 GA (8th)

Boston: 25.9 PP% (3rd), 79.9 PK% (16th), 257 GF (11th), 212 GA (3rd)

Playoff Team Stats

Carolina: 10.5 PP% (14th), 75.0 PK% (12th), 3.09 GF/G (2nd), 2.27 GA/G (2nd)

Boston: 28.6 PP% (1st), 83.8 PK% (6th), 3.08 GF/G (3rd), 2.15 GA/G (1st)

Head-To-Head Record

Carolina: 1-1-1

Boston: 2-1-0

The Hurricanes success this post season may have taken some by surprise but the analytics community has seen this coming for a while. Carolina prides itself on controlling possession and have continued that style of play throughout the postseason putting almost 60% of the shot attempts on Washington in the first round. The Hurricanes had a better share of shot attempt percentage than every other team heading into the second round.

When teams are down in a game they tend to hold the greater share of possession as they are trying to put on pressure and the leading team goes into defensive mode. The Hurricanes have larger possession stats even when leading games showing a mindset to keep the pressure on regardless of the score of the game. When they’ve been ahead in the postseason, they have controlled 55.61 percent of the 5-on-5 shot attempts which is unheard of statistically.

In their first round series the Bruins had to manage the skill and speed of the Maple Leafs and an offence ready to explode at any time. Their second round series dealt with a tougher, more physical team in Columbus. The Blue Jackets played more of the Bruins style of hockey and ultimately they were more comfortable in that series. Now the Bruins have to switch back to facing an offense firing on all cylinders.

Obviously controlling the majority of shot attempts doesn’t win you a pass to the Stanley Cup Final but the Hurricanes have made it this far. Boston is a team that has historically been able to count on outshooting the opposition. In the past five seasons, Boston ranks second in shot attempt percentage (52.76) and Carolina is fourth (52.48). The Bruins could give the Hurricanes a run for their money in the advanced stats department this series.


This series has a few players that could stand to make the difference for a team. Charlie McAvoy has to serve a one-game suspension for a vicious head check in game 6 of their second round series. With McAvoy absent the Hurricanes may dominate in the Bruins zone in game 1 and allow them to win a game on the road in Boston to take home ice advantage away.

The Hurricanes goaltending has been solid all year running a tandem operation. Now that Mrazek is questionable, can McElhinney step up and continue his dominant performance from round 2? And it goes without saying, if this series goes the distance, watch out for clutch “Mr. Game 7” Justin Williams.
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