Trending positive and trending negative for the Carolina Hurricanes

Trending positive and trending negative for the Carolina Hurricanes

With a solid 6-2 record overall but also two losses in the last three games, today’s Daily Cup of Joe takes a quick look at a couple positive and a couple negative trends.   Trending positive 1) Dougie Hamilton Despite being a defenseman, Dougie Hamilton is easily one of the team’s most dangerous offensive players right now. In Wednesday’s loss he had three or four decent scoring chances in the first period alone. His fourth forward mentality is a significant boost to the offense, and my assessment is that when Hamilton’s offense thrives it tends to get him fully engaged and also impact his defensive play. He continues to trend positive.   2) Petr Mrazek It is a short trend of only one game, but Mrazek played easily his best game of the season on Tuesday night. With Reimer being okay not great in his past couple starts which were both losses, timing for Mrazek to get hot might be perfect. The Hurricanes have four neatly spaced out games before the next back-to-back set to start October. If Mrazek can build off of Tuesday’s stellar outing, there is a good chance he will play right through that run.   3) Avoiding losing streaks One of the key factors in the Hurricanes rise up the standings during the second half of the 2018-19 season was the team’s ability to avoid losing streaks. The 2019-20 Hurricanes have only had to try to rebound after a loss once so far this season, but they did so successfully. Friday represents a chance to keep the positive momentum in terms of that streak and...
Gm8 @SJ: Couple bad trends catch up to Canes in 5-2 loss to the Sharks

Gm8 @SJ: Couple bad trends catch up to Canes in 5-2 loss to the Sharks

After a gritty win on Tuesday in Los Angeles, the Carolina Hurricanes faced off against the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday night. The game started well enough. After a sluggish start in the first game on the west coast on Tuesday, the Hurricanes started much better in San Jose and had the upper hand early. The fourth line created a couple good scoring chances early with Dougie Hamilton the beneficiary of two of those. But San Jose scored on the first of multiple oddities on the night when a shot blocked by Brett Pesce landed directly on Evander Kane’s stick in the slot for a quick snipe and finish. The Hurricanes continued having the upper hand after the San Jose tally and pulled even when red hot Dougie Hamilton scored his fifth goal of the season. The play saw him with a bit of room to walk in and pick a spot. Martin Jones was unscreened and saw the shot the whole way, but Hamilton just flat beat him. But the first period theme of the Canes controlling play but still giving up too much continued. The Canes took two more offensive zone penalties (Andrei Svechnikov and Nino Niederreiter). Kane would score two first period tallies including another blocked shot that landed right on his stick. The result was an early hat trick and a 3-1 lead by the Sharks after a first period during which the Hurricanes seemed to have the upper hand through much of it. The game only became more bizarre in the third period. Lucas Wallmark nearly scored into an empty Canes net with Reimer...
‘What I’m watching’ — Gm8 @SJ: Canes seek to win 2nd straight on West Coast trip versus the Sharks

‘What I’m watching’ — Gm8 @SJ: Canes seek to win 2nd straight on West Coast trip versus the Sharks

After a lackluster home effort on Saturday carried over into the first period of Tuesday’s game in Los Angeles, the Canes rebounded, played two better periods and squeaked out a win with a single goal not counting an empty-netter in the waning seconds. If you missed the late night affair, you can find a recap with notes HERE. Without much time for California sightseeing , the Hurricanes are right back at it on Wednesday night against former Canes forward Patrick Marleau and the San Jose Sharks. After struggling to an 0-4 start, the Sharks seemed to get a boost after signing Marleau and have now won two straight since the addition. On the Hurricanes side of the ledger, Tuesday’s win was a good one to cut short any possible losing streak after a strong start and a single loss. For as much as the 6-1 record is impressive, I think the 2019-20 Hurricanes are still very much a work in process. My watch points for Wednesday’s game reflect some of that work.   ‘What I’m watching’ for the Carolina Hurricanes versus the San Jose Sharks 1) A better start The Hurricanes struggled mightily in their first period on the West Coast on Tuesday night. If not for Petr Mrazek and some near misses by the Kings, the Hurricanes could have been down two or three goals early and tracking toward a very different result. On Wednesday, I will be watching closely to see if the team can find a higher gear out of the gate or if not if someone can help spark the team sooner.   2) Sebastian...
First impressions on the new additions — James Reimer, Joel Edmundson, Jake Gardiner, Ryan Dzingel and Erik Haula

First impressions on the new additions — James Reimer, Joel Edmundson, Jake Gardiner, Ryan Dzingel and Erik Haula

Seven games is obviously not enough to make any final judgments, but with those games and also preseason, it is enough for first impressions on the new players. That is the subject of today’s Daily Cup of Joe.   James Reimer The crux of the trade for James Reimer is that the Hurricanes could unload Scott Darling’s contract and get a player who at least theoretically could contribute and/or possibly be traded later. The move made sense on a financial level even if Reimer did not work out. But the deal did also have upside if Reimer rebounded. Though his 2018-19 campaign was not great, he was only a couple years removed from being a capable 1A/1B type goalie. First impressions on Reimer are definitely positive. The team is 2-1 in Reimer starts, and more significantly he played a sizable role in both of the wins. Mrazek may have evened things up a bit with his shutout on Tuesday, but prior to that I think it was fair to say that Reimer was the better of the two goalies. He held the fort in the second half of the game against the Capitals while the team rebounded. And he was stellar in the win over Florida that saw the team in front of him play one good period and then take the rest of the night off to the tune of a shooting gallery that Reimer survived. At a minimum, he seems to be settling in as a competent backup which in itself is a win.   Joel Edmundson My assessment after seven games is that I underappreciated what...
Gm7 @LA: Canes grind out 2-0 win over LA to rebound from first loss and start road trip positively

Gm7 @LA: Canes grind out 2-0 win over LA to rebound from first loss and start road trip positively

Coming off a generally lackluster effort and the team’s first loss on Saturday night, the Hurricanes looked to rebound on its first real road trip of the season. The rebound did not happen in the first period against the Los Angeles Kings. The period encompassed most of what has at times ailed the team during the 2019-20 season. The sluggish pace from the loss to Columbus carried over. The team took a couple penalties and failed to take away much on the power play. The result was a first period with a heavy advantage to the Kings. Some combination of Petr Mrazek being on his game and a few near misses helped the Hurricanes emerge from a rough start with a 0-0 tie late into the first period when they seemed to gain their footing. The period would end with a modest uptick in level of play from the Hurricanes and a 0-0 score. The second period saw the rest of the team arrive. The Hurricanes were not necessarily dominant, but they were competitive unlike the first period. The Hurricanes would score 4:16 into the second period when Ryan Dzingel made a heady play to quickly open and exploit a passing lane finding Martin Necas stepping up between the face-off circles for a quick hitter for a goal. The Hurricanes would finish the period with a 9-3 shot advantage and a 1-0 lead. Down a goal, the Kings pushed in the third period. But again the Hurricanes minimized chances and finished the game with two better penalty kills. Sebastian Aho would be rewarded with another empty-net goal with seven...