Sharing the credit across the Carolina Hurricanes roster

Sharing the credit across the Carolina Hurricanes roster

Today is a day to ever so briefly revel in what the 2018-19 Carolina Hurricanes just accomplished before turning to what is next (will have first look at Isles series up no later than Thursday night). To pull off a win against the defending Stanley Cup Champions in a war of a seven-game series requires contributions from everyone. Today’s Daily Cup of Joe dishes out well-deserved credit for the Canes series win.   Sebastian Aho Calling it like it is, he did not have a great series in total, but when the chips were down and it was a handshake game for certain, Sebastian Aho had his best game of the series. Twice he made plays to get the Hurricanes back into the game first scoring a shorthanded goal to get the Hurricanes on the board and a 2-1 deficit. Then he made a smart play that enabled Teravainen’s goal late in the second period to against pull the Canes to within a goal at 3-2.   Patrick Brown When a team calls up an AHL player for an NHL playoff game, it is not looking for that player to win a game. Rather, the team just wants a player who will not lose a game. As a veteran AHLer with NHL experience, Brown brought exactly that playing sound even if unspectacular hockey. As such, he did his job in securing the win.   Calvin de Haan De Haan gave the Hurricanes the blue line depth it needed to compete in the series. After a late-season layoff with an injury, de Haan had about 10 minutes of ice time...
Rd1 Gm7 @Was: Whoooooo!!!!!!!!!!!! Canes win double OT thriller and advance to 2nd round!

Rd1 Gm7 @Was: Whoooooo!!!!!!!!!!!! Canes win double OT thriller and advance to 2nd round!

This might sound strange, but I actually dread writing recaps (or whatever I end up writing) after games like Wednesday’s. For those who experienced, there really is not much I can say that captures it and everyone has their own special version of what it felt like. For those who did not watch it, as much as I wish I could, it is just impossible to capture how special it was. And my usual bit of hashing through details/analysis like I usually try to do just misses the point. And as a hobbyist type writer, I have not once felt like I did a good job of capturing the essence of a game like Wednesday’s. Nonetheless, I will give it the old college try to at least put a record here that I can look back on years down the road.   The fan side of the game First a few Tweets: 1/2 I am so incredibly happy for the generation of @NHLCanes fans who lived through lean times with no playoff rewards and are finally experiencing the greatness that Canes playoff hockey is. #TakeWarning — Canes and Coffee (@CanesandCoffee) April 25, 2019 2/2 The droughts have been too many, too long and sometimes hard, but each and every time @NHLCanes have made the playoffs has been special beyond anything you can explain to someone who did not also share it. #TakeWarning — Canes and Coffee (@CanesandCoffee) April 25, 2019 I think I am still in shock. We are all sleeping in our @NHLCanes jerseys again. Right?#TakeWarning — Canes and Coffee (@CanesandCoffee) April 25, 2019 Some day down the...
‘What I’m watching’ — Rd1 Gm7 @Was: Canes and Caps play game 7 for all of the marbles

‘What I’m watching’ — Rd1 Gm7 @Was: Canes and Caps play game 7 for all of the marbles

After many years together in the Southeast Division and then a few more after moving to the Metropolitan Division together, the Carolina Hurricanes and Washington Capitals have finally paired up for a long overdue playoff series. The physical, hard-fought series has met any and all expectations heading into game 7 on Wednesday night in Washington, D.C. One team will emerge from this battle and continue the chase for the 2019 Stanley Cup, but the more significant result long-term could prove to be the fuel for a natural rivalry that had yet to really reach its potential. As for the here and now, the series has been about as even as they come. Each team is a perfect 3-0 at home, and through six games each team has scored exactly 17 goals including one empty-netter each. The game has the Hurricanes still seeking the one road win needed at a minimum to win a playoff series as a lower seed. Game 7 also has some interesting mental aspects which could come into play. At a high level, game 7 is mostly about the transition to back to Washington. Due to match ups, home energy or whatever else, the Hurricanes forecheck has not been as consistently effective on the road. That difference has a domino effect in terms of the Hurricanes ability to generate enough offense without a big contribution by the forecheck and also has opened up the transition game for the Capitals. Those changes specific to playing in Washington are featured in my watch points for game 7.   ‘What I’m watching’ for the Carolina Hurricanes versus the Washington...
Mental angles for Hurricanes/Capitals game 7

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...
Top priorities for game 7

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...