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Recent Carolina Hurricanes News

Mental angles for Hurricanes/Capitals game 7

The normal game preview will cover the on-ice watch points for Wednesday’s game 7 between the Carolina Hurricanes and the Washington Capitals. With the pressure for a winner takes all game 7, today’s Daily Cup of Joe looks at some mental angles for the game.   The series so far Having won three consecutive games at home, the Capitals should rightfully feel confident that they can win a fourth game to claim victory for the series. By the same token, the Hurricanes do have an obstacle to clear to prevail in the series. The Hurricanes were close after slow starts in games 1 and 2, so it is not like they have not been competitive at all, but even still there is an element of DC momentum on the Capitals side.   The Capitals’ history The Capitals are the reigning Stanley Cup champions and did successfully battle through the ups and downs of the NHL postseason. So based on last season alone, the Capitals could be labeled as a veteran group that knows the ropes. But past that single season was largely about conquering the demons that had haunted the Capitals for the better part of a decade that featured strong regular season play followed by disappointing post-season failures. Facing a game 7 in a series that the experts expected to be much shorter, might the Hurricanes have stirred up the demons from years past and the self-doubt that comes with them?   Rod Brind’Amour Cliches along the lines of ‘never being satisfied’, ‘having bigger goals,’ etc. are commonplace this time of year. There can sometimes be an element... read more

Top priorities for game 7

For Monday’s Daily Cup of Joe, I wrote a wish list for each of 21 Hurricanes players.  That article detailed what the team needed to do to win the series based on individual player data. Today’s Daily Cup of Joe also looks at what it takes to win but comes at it more from a high level. Here is what I think the Canes need to do differently to win game 7.   1) Establish the forecheck and prevent the opposition from doing the same From the beginning, I said that the series outcome would be determined by which team could more effectively move the puck and also keep the opponent from doing the same. That has held true. When the Hurricanes forecheck is effective, the rest of the team’s game has flowed from that starting point. There is less pressure on the blue line to defend, and the forecheck also generates scoring chances. The result is a game with significantly more chances for the Hurricanes.   2) Be better at sorting out the Capitals rush A major Achilles’ heel in the Hurricanes three losses in Washington, D.C. has been the team’s struggles sorting things out defensively off the rush. As I detailed in the game 5 recap, the Capitals’ general approach on the rush has been to split the first two forwards into the zone wide. With the puck on the wing and the middle open, the Capitals have regularly slashed a player into the wide open middle lane for scoring chances and goals. (1) and (2) actually work as a combination. When the Hurricanes are unable to get... read more

Rd1 Gm6 Vs. Was: Canes surge to game 6 win forcing winner takes all game 7 on Wednesday

Quick hitters –More than anything, this was a team win. After being unable to respond in Saturday’s loss, the Hurricanes punched back on Monday such that when the Capitals pulled ahead twice, the Canes just fought harder. –Jordan Staal was the best player in the game. He did the heavy lifting in a game that required a bunch of heavy, and of course the game-winning goal was a big contribution too. –The Hurricanes defense just completed a run of three home games holding down a very good offense. All six of the defensemen played well. It will be critical to carry that over to the road on Wednesday. – The pressure is now on the Caps more so than the Canes. Despite the three road losses, Wednesday’s game is a 50/50 shot. Game 7s are a unique animal. Any kind of random first goal off a skate or whatever can start a game 7 on a path to its final outcome.   Making memories Playoff hockey brings back so many memories. Based on the recent drought, one might not expect it, but the Hurricanes history is rich with absolutely tremendous playoff memories. Each and every time the Hurricanes have made the playoffs (yes, I realize it has not been often enough) has been absolutely spectacular. And on cue, the 2019 playoffs are living up to that reputation. In thinking about Hurricanes playoff history on Monday afternoon, Monday’s game if it ended in a loss would have been very reminiscent of the 2001 playoffs. In the 2001 playoffs, the Hurricanes faced the Devils who were the defending Stanley Cup Champions. Prior to... read more

Hurricanes player by player — What it takes

Today’s Daily Cup of Joe works through the Canes roster with quick hitters on what each player needs to contribute to win game 6 at home and follow that up with an improbable series win on Wednesday.   Sebastian Aho: Aho needs to find a couple of his better offensive games and look like the dynamic playmaking center that he was for most of the 2018-19 season. I think it starts with finding some combination of courage and comfort to carry the puck into the teeth of the Capitals defense instead of reverting to his v1.0 playmaking from his first year pulling up just inside the blue line to safely assess things offensively. Clark Bishop: (Bishop was recalled on Sunday with Saarela returned to Charlotte, so he figures to be in Monday’s lineup.) I think he would have been the first call up had he not been out of the Checkers lineup and on the shelf since late March. More than any other call up possibility, Bishop brings the hard-skating forechecking that fits with what Brind’Amour wants to do right now. He needs to parachute in at full speed and be a disruptive force on the forecheck. Patrick Brown: His role is that of another aggressive, hard-skating forechecker. He will likely play limited minutes but needs to finish checks and ideally force errant passes when he is in the game. Calvin de Haan: If the Hurricanes have to kill penalties, de Haan has a significant role as one of the leaders on the penalty kill Justin Faulk: His series has been Jekyl and Hyde. Faulk has played very well... read more

‘What I’m watching’ — Rd1 Gm6 Vs. Was: Canes face elimination needing to demonstrate resolve and will

After getting thumped 6-0 in a pivotal game 6 in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, the Hurricanes return home for game 6 in what is now a potential handshake game. As one might expect based on the score, Saturday’s loss was bad in many respects but what jumps out at me most are two things. First was the Hurricanes inability to match the Caps in terms of intensity and physical play and therefore their complete inability to really push back at any point in the game. Second and somewhat related, the Hurricanes forecheck is very clearly the pillar upon which the team’s success is built right now. When the forecheck is winning, the Hurricanes are capable of smothering even good teams. But when the forecheck is ineffective, the Hurricanes are suddenly very light on offensive fire power and vulnerable on defense, especially off the rush. No doubt, the Hurricanes trajectory looking back only two days is not good and suggest an end to the series on Monday night in Raleigh. But that is also very short-sighted. Game 3 was one of the Hurricanes best all season, and the Canes were far and away better than the Capitals on that night. That was exactly seven days ago. And though not as dominant, the Hurricanes grinding 2-1 win in game 4 was also a solid effort that proved they could also beat the Caps with less than a perfect night. That was a mere four days ago. So anyone who feels like this series is over based on Saturday’s debacle needs only extend his/her memory by about five days. Shorter version: For... read more

Rd1 Gm5 @Was: Canes unable to answer Caps counter-punch in 6-0 loss

Quick hitters –The Capitals set a physical and fast-paced tone early, and the Canes never really were able to answer in either regard. Put simply, the Capitals were just better in terms of physicality and pace and that gradually seeped into every other facet of the game. –In Washington, D.C, the story has been fast Caps starts and the Capitals star players outplaying and outproducing the Hurricanes top offensive players. –When the forecheck is not going like it was at PNC Arena, the Hurricanes just are not generating much offensively right now, and that includes the sputtering power play. The offense is the forecheck or bust right now. –With the forecheck not as dominant the Canes had the same defensive issues defending the rush as in games 1 and 2. The Capitals intentionally get the puck out on the wing on the rush and work from the outside in. The Caps carry the puck on the wing and keep the second player to enter wide on the other side. The result is that the Canes defensemen are split wide and Caps players are slashing to the middle for scoring chances. Canes defensemen need to maybe give up more shots from the outside to better take away the passing lane to the center, and the Hurricanes forwards need to make sure they play angles to take away passing lanes to that center lane. –As ugly as the score was, I do not think it matters much. The Hurricanes know they can win at home and just need a repeat of that to force an ‘anything can happen’ game 7.  ... read more

Most Recent Comments

  • lessthanstable: Incredible game. The Caps came out flying with their crowd behind them. Hard to match that [...]
  • raleightj: Actually the Canes/Mavs comparison post change in ownership remains on-track. A major overhaul [...]
  • tenininumee: Wow. That was an ok game. A couple of players who probably won't get mentioned much but were [...]
  • ashevillecaniac: This has the feel of a magical season. While we are banged up and have only one night’s rest, [...]
  • icecobra: This team is close. That is one of the major differences. They take on the personality of their [...]

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Hot From Twitter!

April 25, 2019 at 7:58pm
@Jslavin74 Wow! Heckuva week in the Slavin household. Congratulations!
April 25, 2019 at 7:37pm
@ironmanwx23 I think Bishop was better and preferred option to begin with. But he was out of the lineup for a couple weeks, so trying to go from not playing straight to Stanley Cup playoffs was a no go, hence Brown.
April 25, 2019 at 7:29pm
@ironmanwx23 Agree. But if they thought Svechnikov or Ferland would be ready for Friday, Brown would be #13 and there to fill in for Martinook.
April 25, 2019 at 7:03pm
2/2 Of the possible AHL call ups at forward, I like Clark Bishop most simply because he fits the pace/pressure/forecheck that is the current engine for the team's offense more than other options. #TakeWarning
April 25, 2019 at 7:02pm
1/2 If Patrick Brown is not returned to Charlotte, this likely means bad news for Ferland or Svechnikov stepping back into the lineup and could also mean that Martinook could be back on the shelf after gutting out 2 games with a lower body injury. #TakeWarning
April 25, 2019 at 6:57pm
ICYMI...Today's Daily Cup of Joe shared credit for @NHLCanes spectacular series win over #allcaps across entire #Canes roster=>

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