Hello again, Canes fans, it’s that time of the week again. With the Canes only playing one game and this week being a little light on news, this will probably be a shorter post than normal, but we still have a few things to go over, so let’s get to it.
Canes collapse late in season opener
As most of you probably already know, the Canes led 4-1 in the third period of the season opener against the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday, but collapsed late, falling in overtime. While there were definitely positives, the overwhelming response to a game in which you blow a three-goal lead in the third period has to be negative. For a team trying to end a seven year playoff drought in a league where points are at a premium, you simply cannot leave a standings point on the table like that. That being said, I think if you cut out the bad breakdowns and turnovers (Jeff Skinner’s giveaway on the shorthanded goal, multiple failures to clear the puck on the tying goal), you have a fairly repeatable formula for winning. The top line of Skinner, Victor Rask, and Lee Stempniak looked very good, combining for five points. Also notable was the special teams, as the power-play looked very strong going two for four, and the penalty kill did as well going four for five, including an early kill of a nearly full 5-on-3. If the Canes can get that kind of production from the special teams units, it will win them a lot of games this year. As our theme of goaltending continues, Cam Ward definitely looked a bit shaky in the loss, and I will be watching Eddie Lack very closely as he makes the start in Vancouver tonight. Matt wrote more about the season opening loss here.
Canes claim Klas Dahlbeck from Arizona, send McKeown to Charlotte
The Canes made another move to bolster their defensive depth on Tuesday, claiming Klas Dahlbeck on waivers from the Arizona Coyotes. Dahlbeck played in 94 games with Arizona and Chicago before joining the Canes and was considered at one point to be a solid defensive prospect. He will likely compete with newly signed Jakub Nakladal for the six/seven spot on defense with Ryan Murphy injured. I love this move for the Canes because of what it allows them to do. When Nakladal joined the team, prospect Roland McKeown was sent to Charlotte. While he looked good in camp, management decided his development was better served playing big minutes in Charlotte, and I agree. I think this upgrade in depth for the Canes allows them to leave players in Charlotte until they are really ready or even “overripe”, rather than forcing them into the big club’s lineup simply because there is no better option. Matt wrote about this more earlier this week here.
That’s all for this week, join me next week as the Canes will have played four games since this writing!