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Recent Carolina Hurricanes News

2021 NHL Playoffs — Gm3 @Tam: Epic Sebastian Aho game leads Canes to must-have overtime win

I am completely spent after a really long week and then of course the draining in a good way Canes win. My hope is to write a bit more of a recap and add some more thoughts lunchtime-ish on Friday, but here are a few quick hitters to at least open the post if anyone wants to chime in in the comments.   Sebastian Aho I have said repeatedly since the playoffs began that for the Canes to go deep in the playoffs two things must happen. First, the Canes top players will need to be better than opponents’ top players. Second, Sebastian Aho must be a Conn Smyth front-runner. With an epic playoff performance, Sebastian Aho covered both with an explanation point. While Nikital Kucherov was collecting a couple more minor penalties, Aho was collecting points. On his first goal, Aho actually posterized Kucherov who was a step slow. Aho’s power play assist on the game-winner came on a penalty taken by Kucherov. In another game that did not always offer much for time and space, Aho capitalized when given the chance and was the best player on the ice.   Petr Mrazek As I said on Twitter shortly after the game ended, Mrazek’s start was reminiscent of Kevin Weeke’s game 5 start against the New Jersey Devils in the first round of the 2002 NHL Playoffs. Paul Maurice made the choice to go with Weekes in a pivotal game 5 after losing two straight in New Jersey. Weekes played in both games in relief but had not started a game in about a month. When he led... read more

‘What I’m watching’ — 2021 Playoffs —Gm3 @Tam: Backs against wall, Canes seek rebound

After two pretty evenly played games but no results in the win column, the Carolina Hurricanes head to Tampa Bay with the season on the line. A loss on Thursday does not officially end the series, but it represents whatever the closest thing to that is. With two tightly-contested affairs in which you could make a reasonable case that the Canes deserved better in either or both games, so there is a reasonable case for just staying the course. But in today’s Daily Cup of Joe pondered what, if anything, Brind’Amour should do to stir things up. With Vincent Trocheck likely out of the lineup, some change is necessary regardless. Aside from the lineup watch points, the drama is full force tonight. Is this a Hurricanes team that deserved better in games 1 and 2 and will dig down and get what it deserves in game 3? Or is it the group that struggled with basic puck-handling late in game 2 and suffering from waning confidence? Can a team that was at times an offensive juggernaut during the regular season find a higher gear after struggling mightily to put the puck in the net? Can Brind’Amour and his staff make adjustments to generate more offensive inside the offensive zone with Tampa Bay playing a conservative defensive style that offers very little for offense off the rush? After a season full of regular season heroes, can the team find one or two players to don a cape when the team desperately needs such a hero in the playoffs? Against that backdrop, my watch points follow:   ‘What I’m watching’ for the... read more

Playing Rod Brind’Amour heading into game three versus Tampa Bay

After two home losses, the Hurricanes are in an early hole against a good hockey team. Calling game three in Tampa a must-win is not an overstatement. That puts Head Coach Rod Brind’Amour front and center in terms of trying to pull a lever or two to gain an edge and ride it to a victory. In terms of personnel, with Vincent Trocheck likely out of the lineup, who draws into the lineup and how does Brind’Amour reconfigure the lines minus a top center? More generally, what does he try to spark the offense? After consecutive losses, might Brind’Amour go with Petr Mrazek just to try something different?   The biggest question? I think the biggest question facing Rod Brind’Amour is whether he interprets the first two games as generally the right formula just minus the break or two needed to win? Or if he instead thinks that he needs to drive a change in the current style of play and trajectory to climb back in the series. The case for staying the course is a decent one. I think the Hurricanes played their best defensive game in the playoffs in game one giving up incredibly little to a good offensive team. Take away the soft goal given up by Alex Nedeljkovic in the third period and the game heads to overtime. Add in a weird deflection or other lucky goal for the Canes and the series is tied at one. Game two was not as clear cut. On the one hand, the Hurricanes dominated in terms of shots, time of possession and most other metrics. But at the... read more

2021 NHL Playoffs — Gm2 Vs. Tam: Canes quieted again lose 2nd straight to start the series

Viewed through the lens of having lost both home games to start the series, I think there is a gap between the perception of the Canes level of play and its actual level.   Glass not as empty as results make it appear Results matter, so losing two games is horrible obviously. I did not like the volume of break downs for odd man rushes on Tuesday. And the offense is sputtering a bit. But that is the complete of negatives right now. On Sunday, the Hurricanes played their best defensive game of the playoffs. And aside from the break downs, the Hurricanes actually controlled play and gave up a miniscule 15 shots on net to a high-powered offense. Consider that despite a decent shot volume and reasonable effort to get bodies to the front of the net, the Hurricanes have yet to find a lucky bounce off a defenseman, a tip either intentional or luck, a rebound that just happened to find a Canes stick or any kind of break. Throw in even a single lucky but to some degree earned goal early in either game, and the complexion of that game and the whole series potentially changes. Do the Hurricanes deserve an A for two consecutive losses? Of course not. But are they playing C or D level hockey overall right now. Not even close. They deserve a B+ which can be good enough to win some hockey games if you catch a break or two. The Hurricanes have not.   Brief game recap The Hurricanes started fast and were the better team out of the game.... read more

Random Canes notes between games

After losing the first game of a playoff series, a typical article would be writing about what the losing team needed to do to rebound in the next game. While there is a little bit of that below, I do not think the answer boils down very quickly to three things. First is to mostly do the same. The Hurricanes generally played a solid game and were even with the Lightning. Second is to eliminate costly mistakes. In a tight game, one mistake was the difference at the end. Third is to catch a break or two. In a game like Sunday’s, a bounce here or there can be the difference. With that taken care of pretty hastily, today’s Daily Cup of Joe offers some random notes between games.   1) Morgan Geekie I really like the idea of inserting him into the lineup in Cedric Paquette’s place. Geekie showed good ability to generate offense from behind the net in the latter half of the regular season. With Vasilevskiy seemingly dialed, trying to defend from behind to in front is a challenge for even the most dialed in goalie. Surrounded by Steven Lorentz and Jesper Fast, I would not be concerned about any downgrade defensively. With help on the wings, I do not see whatever small downgrade it might be being an issue, and possibly uncovering a source of offense would be huge.   2) Cat and mouse with Nedeljkovic’s puck-handling I had good intentions of writing a full article about this, but ran out of time to write it. The short version is that this continues to fascinate... read more

2021 NHL Playoffs — Gm1 Vs. Tam: Canes fall 2-1 in tightly-played first game of series

In the sense that collecting four wins any way possible is all that really matters in an NHL playoff series, losing the first game of the series at home did downgrade the Hurricanes chances in my mind. But in terms of the Hurricanes level of play and the game in general, the game was more positive than negative. Yes, the Hurricanes played the Tampa Bay Lightning even in the regular season series, but the playoffs are a different animal. Considered as a first measurement of how the Hurricanes stack up against the Lightning in the playoffs, who by the way added all-star Nikita Kucherov since the regular season ended, I was impressed by the Hurricanes’ play. My fight card had the Hurricanes winning the first and third periods by modest 10-9 margins and earning a tie in the second period. In a game in which even a single costly error had the potential to decide the game, that is what happened when Alex Nedeljkovic seemed to get twisted up like a pretzel and let an odd angle shot sneak through him to decide the game. But on a broader level, the Hurricanes played the Lightning even. If the Canes can repeat that in the games that follow, the series is destined to be a long one.   Player and other notes 1) Defensive play Most impressive on the Hurricanes front was how well the team defended and managed the puck. Against a team that rates high for both speed and skill, the Hurricanes gave up very little. Very early in the game a Lightning player got mostly behind the... read more

Most Recent Comments

  • raleightj: 1. He has been Jack Adams-quality as a HC the past two years - not sure how Cooper won it last [...]
  • lessthanstable: I am not surprised he won the Jack Adams. He's been building his resume for a few years now. [...]
  • breezy: Roddie is the Jack Adams award winner too! I admit I had huge doubts about him taking on the role [...]
  • breezy: Roddie will be back (signed a 3-year extension). As for roster tune-up, sounds like Buf is [...]
  • breezy: The Canes have given Hamilton the green light to talk to other teams. I hope they can at least do [...]

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Hot From Twitter!

June 21, 2021 at 10:23pm
Brayden Point is who Connor McDavid would be in the playoffs if McDavid was himself.
June 18, 2021 at 1:30pm
ICYMI...Today's Daily Cup of Joe has all things Rod Brind', Jack Adams Trophy and more=> #LetsGoCanes
June 18, 2021 at 9:38am
Daily Cup of Joe for Friday has all things Rod Brind', Jack Adams Trophy and more=> #LetsGoCanes
June 17, 2021 at 9:58pm
Once they knew @Canes Rod Brind'Amour was the winner, NHL should have held Jack Adams Trophy announcement for Thursday which is 15-year anniversary of Brind'Amour hoisting the Stanley Cup.
June 17, 2021 at 12:05pm
What a tremendous 3 years it has been with Rod Brind'Amour leading the @Canes. Here is looking forward to the next 3 (and more).

From my article entitled, "In Rod We Trust" when he was named the head coach only 3 years ago=>
CanesandCoffee photo
June 17, 2021 at 11:37am
Tremendous 'news' obviously, but the only real story here was the non-local media being so far off base on the situation and possible end results. (There was only ever one.) #LetsGoCanes

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