Gm16 Vs. NYR: Canes struggle to solve Lundqvist and drop 3rd straight in 4-2 loss to Rangers

Gm16 Vs. NYR: Canes struggle to solve Lundqvist and drop 3rd straight in 4-2 loss to Rangers

On Thursday night at PNC Arena, the Carolina Hurricanes for the third straight time. To add salt to the wound, all three of those losses were to Metropolitan Division foes who were below the Hurricanes in the standings. Right now, the Hurricanes are doing everything within their power to assure that the battle for playoff and wild card spots within the division is a dog fight that includes as many teams as possible. But as I said on Twitter shortly after the game ended, I think Thursday was much more positive than negative. This might sound odd, but I actually think #Canes 4-2 loss on Thursday to #NYR was more of a step in the right direction rather than wrong direction. Post is open for reader comments. Recap/notes will follow a bit later=> https://t.co/wuktbkzBgj — Canes and Coffee (@CanesandCoffee) November 8, 2019 Other than the result on the scoreboard, the first period was easily among the team’s best on the season. If graded without consideration for scoring, I think one could make a case that it was the team’s best. The period was reasonably even early on, but as the period wore on the Canes gave the Rangers fits trying to move the puck out of their own end. The forecheck regularly coughed up pucks. The Hurricanes kept things simple and shot whenever possible. And they even did a good job of getting bodies to the front of the net. The result was arguably the team’s best sustained pressure of the entire season. There were stretches during the latter half of the first period where the game looked like...
‘What I’m watching’ — Gm16 Vs. NYR: Canes seek to start anew versus Rangers

‘What I’m watching’ — Gm16 Vs. NYR: Canes seek to start anew versus Rangers

After finishing October strong and heading into a favorable November scheduled, the Hurricanes are now 1-2 in the new month. With the goal of quickly reversing course and charting a path to a positive November, the team next has three straight against teams below them in the Eastern Conference standings. Up first is a home tilt against a New Rangers team that has a weird mix of veteran leadership and up and coming youth. The offense is led by newcomer Artemi Panarin and the defense by goalie Henrik Lundqvist, but the lineup also features 18-year old Kaapo Kakko and former Canes prospect Adam Fox. The Rangers enter at a respectable 6-6-1 and having won three out of their last four games, so anyone who chalks this up as an easy win is mistaken. The Hurricanes enter the game with an 0-4 mark against teams below them in the Metropolitan Division. Thursday would be a great time to start helping some of the lower teams in the division find a path out of the playoff chase. But more significant than the match up is the state of a Canes team that has won at a playoff pace thus far through 15 games but is only 4-5-1 since a 5-0 start and seems to be struggling to find an identity and repeatable formula right now. My watch points follow.   ‘What I’m watching’ for the Carolina Hurricanes versus the New York Rangers 1) Cleaning up the messes What stands out to me most from the team’s recent struggles and in general with the lower points during the season is the lack...
Canes recall Eetu Luostarinen

Canes recall Eetu Luostarinen

With Erik Haula on the shelf, the Carolina Hurricanes today recalled Eetu Luostarinen from the AHL. He will presumably make his NHL debut on Thursday slotting into the fourth center slot with Lucas Wallmark moving up to the third line. That the team decided to give Luostarinen a shot over possibly shifting players around and/or recalling a more experienced player like Clark Bishop says a lot about what the team thinks of the 21-year old Finnish center. Luostarinen is off to a decent start with five goals and two assists in ten games and is getting favorable reviews for his all-around play. That is likely what made him the choice for a call up. From watching him in preseason, Luostarinen reminds me a bit of Wallmark who he will replace on the fourth line but with a bit more size. I would not consider Luostarinen to be a dynamic or flashy playmaker, but he is mature for his age in terms of understanding the defensive responsibilities of the position and making good read/react decisions pretty consistently. That ability to not be a mess defensively is table stakes to play the center position in a depth role at the NHL level. I think the team’s hope is that Luostarinen will prove to be capable defensively. If that proves to be true, anything else is gravy. I would expect Luostarinen and the fourth line to garner regular shifts early in the game, but depending on Brind’Amour’s read on his readiness and the score of the game, his ice time could be throttled back as the game progresses. Luostarinen is obviously just...
Another round on Haydn Fleury

Another round on Haydn Fleury

Haydn Fleury continues to be a regular talking point in Hurricanes circles these days. He is a young player at the fringe of the NHL/AHL cut line. But with his waiver exemption expired, he is destined to stay at the NHL level for the 2019-20 season because he would be lost for nothing if placed on waivers. Fleury received regular ice time in the third pairing early in the season with Trevor van Riemsdyk out of the lineup, but since van Riemsdyk’s return, Fleury’s ice time has been sparse and random. He has spent a few games completely out of the lineup as a healthy scratch. And he has spent a few games in the lineup in an odd #7 slot when the team went with 11 forwards and 7 defensemen. In a couple of those games, he barely saw the ice and was seemingly on the bench only because the team had the lineup slot and no one else to put in it. He did play seven minutes in Tuesday’s game. Today’s Daily Cup of Joe offers a few more thoughts on the Haydn Fleury situation that fly in the face of common wisdom right now.   The team must play Haydn Fleury or trade him I think this is shortsighted. Those focused solely on the here and now of the 2019-20 season suggest that giving Fleury regular ice time this season and instead punting on his future with the team are the only options. I actually think the path of a random 2019-20 season ice time-wise followed by a bigger role in 2020-21 makes a ton of...
Gm15 @Phi: Canes fade in third period and lose 4-1 to the Flyers

Gm15 @Phi: Canes fade in third period and lose 4-1 to the Flyers

Tuesday’s match up against the Flyers got off to an okay start before the Flyers struck with an early power play goal to take an early lead. But the first period was actually pretty good overall for the Hurricanes and easily the best of the night despite the 1-0 deficit at the end of it. The Hurricanes had the upper hand in terms of puck possession, won the shots battle 14 to 10 and generally had the better of scoring chances other than the Flyers power play tally. The early going was not really that different from a couple big Canes wins like the ones over Florida and Detroit that saw the Canes with an advantage early. The difference is that on Tuesday the Hurricanes did not finish in bunches to sprint out to a lead. And the Hurricanes attention to detail degraded as the game wore on. From the latter half of the first period to the end of the second period, the Hurricanes gave up numerous odd man rushes. Gardiner/Pesce were on for two, Slavin/Hamilton for two and Edmundson/Pesce for another as a result of a poorly-timed line change. Basically, the Hurricanes were winning in terms of quality of low-end chances but losing as measured by break downs and grade A chances against. But in the middle of it all, Trevor van Riemsdyk found Lucas Wallmark parked in front of the net for the tying goal. With that goal and Petr Mrazek standing tall on a number of odd man chances, the Hurricanes entered the third period tied at 1-1. But the Hurricanes failed to ignite in...