Hello again, Hurricanes fans. I am here once again to bring your week in review, a day late this week because of some things I had going on yesterday. This week was a bit of a mixed bag for the team, so let’s get to it.
Canes grab a point in Ottawa- This game started with a beautiful individual effort from defenseman Jaccob Slavin, who carried the puck in and roofed a backhander over Senators goalie Craig Anderson just thirty seconds in. The Canes played well the rest of the first, outshooting and outchancing Ottawa. However, a defensive breakdown led to a goal for Sens defenseman Dion Phaneuf, and the Canes headed to the locker room tied 1-1 despite their vastly superior effort. The Canes could not get much going the rest of the way, and were outplayed in the second and third periods. The Canes collected a point as the game would head to overtime, but would have to settle for one as Kyle Turris beat Ward with a beautiful shot. There was much complaining about Cam Ward after this game, but it really was not a bad performance for the veteran netminder. Neither goal he gave up could really be pinned on him, and on a night when the Canes only scored one goal, he would have had to be perfect to get two points. On most nights in today’s NHL that is simply asking too much. Matt wrote more about the Ottawa game here.
Carolina wins in Nashville- I did not get a chance to see this game as I was busy having my heart ripped out and stomped on by NC State football yet again. What I did see from the highlights and from others was that this game was highlighted by a great performance by Ward, as he stopped all but one of the many breakaways the loose Canes defense allowed in the first period and all three Nashville shootout shooters, another highlight reel individual effort goal by Jeff Skinner, a clutch shorthanded goal to tie things in the third by Ron Hainsey, and a shootout winner by Slavin. The good performance by Ward is obviously a big plus, as he now has been very strong in three of his last four starts. As much as goaltending has been a problem for the Canes of late, this is definitely something to watch going forward. Matt recapped the Nashville game here.
Canes fall flat in loss to Devils- As I said in my Technician recap, last year’s low point was an early December home blowout loss to the New Jersey Devils before the team started to play much better. Hopefully for this season’s sake, that is the case again with rock bottom coming much earlier. The Canes were, to a man, terrible against the Devils. Eddie Lack was shaky in net, the defense was loose again in giving Devils forward Mike Cammalleri way too much time and space en route to a hat trick. A disturbing recent trend of power play ineptitude continued in this game, as the Canes went 0-4 on the power play and have not scored with it in four straight games. On a night when you don’t have it at even strength, you need your power play to give you a boost, and the Canes did not get that Sunday. Adding injury to insult, defenseman Justin Faulk exited with an injury in the third period. The Canes did not practice today, but Mike Maniscalco tweeted that Faulk will have an MRI for a suspected upper or middle body. Matt’s Daily Cup of Joe today looks at what is plaguing the Canes.