Gm19 @Tam: Canes deserve better fate in 3-1 loss to the Lightning

Gm19 @Tam: Canes deserve better fate in 3-1 loss to the Lightning

Shortly after the Hurricanes game ended, I said on Twitter: Disappointing result obviously, but that really was the game @Canes needed to play after 2 losses. They were better team (by modest margin)…Couple posts and the odd deflection off McGinn's stick for bar in game-winner from wide angle. Mostly shrug and move on. — Canes and Coffee (@CanesandCoffee) February 26, 2021 As much as a third straight loss stings, I think this one clearly falls into the category where you just have to shrug and move on. Either of the Canes two posts could have changed things. And after seeing the replay, what looked like a great shot on the game-winner was more so a fluky deflection off a Canes’ stick that then went bar in. And more significant than the ‘bad bounces’ assertion, the Hurricanes were just the better team. It was not by a dominant margin, but as measured by scoring chances, offensive zone time or most anything else significant (except the scoreboard), the Hurricanes were the better team. My watch points looked for improvement in two broad areas. First, I wanted to see a response and push back by the Hurricanes after being outplayed by a wide margin the night before. The Hurricanes easily met this challenge. The team came out playing fast and aggressive and controlled play in the first period. The Canes hemmed the Lightning in their own end for stretches, earned some good chances from it (one of best was Svechnikov’s near miss off the bar) and gave the Lightning very little. The Hurricanes were not as dominant in the latter two periods,...
Gm18 @Tam: Canes beaten decisively by the measuring stick in 3-0 loss to the Lightning

Gm18 @Tam: Canes beaten decisively by the measuring stick in 3-0 loss to the Lightning

Short recap of the Hurricanes 3-0 loss to the Lightning Whereas the first game of the ongoing four-game series saw the Hurricanes control play and win decisively in a shutout, Wednesday was exactly the opposite. Tampa Bay had the upper hand pretty much from the opening puck drop. Similar to the game on Monday, Tampa Bay was aggressive and regularly hemmed the Hurricanes in their own end. Couple that with a couple coverage break downs right in front of the net, and the Lightning were justly rewarded with a 2-0 lead in the first period. At the midway point of the game, one could have made a reasonable argument that the Hurricanes did not yet have a single good or better scoring chance. The nine shots on goal were mostly pedestrian fare for Andrei Vasilevskiy. Then the game seemed to go from bad to worse when the Hurricanes somehow converted a power play opportunity into two grade A shorthanded chances against with a breakaway and a 2-on-1. The Hurricanes did manage to find a slightly higher gear late in the second period that extended into the third period when the game opened up a bit. But even the Hurricanes best on Wednesday night at best matched the Lightning intermittently. And when finally tested a few times late in the game Vasilevskiy had the answer. An empty-netter finished the win for the Lightning at 3-0.   Questions and a bit of regular season drama A quick turnaround for game four of the series offers a decent amount of regular season drama and also poses some interesting questions. Can the Hurricanes...
Gm17 Vs. Tam: The Lightning push back and ride momentum from strong start to 4-2 win

Gm17 Vs. Tam: The Lightning push back and ride momentum from strong start to 4-2 win

The first of my three watch points in may game preview read: 1) Responding to a push back Be it a fast start, more physical play, frustration and old school fisticuffs or a strong push at some point during the game, I would expect Tampa Bay to push back hard at some point in this game. Regardless of what form it takes possibly being multiple, I will be watching to see how the Hurricanes respond. That very much was the story of Monday’s game between the Carolina Hurricanes and Tampa Bay Lightning. After a couple days probably mostly locked away in hotel rooms to mull over a second consecutive shutout loss the Hurricanes, the Lightning came out like their hair was on fire. They were fast and aggressive from the opening puck drop and pretty much throughout the first period. But a bit of desperation and a number of scrambling James Reimer saves kept Tampa Bay from scoring first as they deserved. Instead, it was Jesper Fast collecting a power play goal. Fast has incredibly consistently been creating problems for opposing goalies at the top of the crease and was finally rewarded for it with a goal. At that point, the Hurricanes had been outplayed by a wide margin but had a 1-0 lead. The first period would end with the Lightning having a decided advantage in terms of controlling play, scoring chances and just about everything else but still down 1-0 on the scoreboard. But the Lightning did not deviate from their strong play. The Hurricanes did find a higher gear in the second period and shrink the...
Gm15 Vs. Chi: Canes return to winning ways with 5-3 win over Blackhawks

Gm15 Vs. Chi: Canes return to winning ways with 5-3 win over Blackhawks

After an overtime loss to the Florida Panthers on Wednesday, the Hurricanes rebounded quickly with a 5-3 win over the Blackhawks on Friday night at PNC Arena. The 5-3 score looks a bit like some of the other recent high-scoring wins that were loose defensively, but I actually think the Hurricanes took a step forward in that regard on Friday. The Blackhawks had a short outburst for two quick goals and added another late when the game was decided, but otherwise the Hurricanes allowed much less in terms of quantity and quality of chances against. Likely reminded by Head Coach Rod Brind’Amour of the propensity to run and gun with the Blackhawks recently in Chicago, the Hurricanes started with much better attention to detail especially in terms of puck management and utilizing the forecheck to keep the Blackhawks from getting going north-south too quickly from their own end. The shot totals reflected the different style of play early. Coming out of the commercial break at about the 13-minute mark, the shots on goal totals were 3-1 in favor of the Hurricanes. The game would open up a bit as it progressed, but in total the Hurricanes were much better defensively and maybe more significantly in terms of puck management ‘oopses’ that cause transition opportunities. The Hurricanes would score first with another entry from the ‘when you are going well, everything goes your way’ category. From just inside the face-off circle, Nino Niederreiter stepped into a shot trying to beat the goalie far side. It was a decent attempt but he missed wide by a few feet only to have...
Gm14 Vs. Fla: Canes fall 4-3 in overtime to Panthers in battle for first place

Gm14 Vs. Fla: Canes fall 4-3 in overtime to Panthers in battle for first place

Brief recap of the Hurricanes 4-3 overtime loss to the Panthers After a horrid start in Monday’s win over the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Hurricanes started much better on Wednesday night against the Florida Panthers. The Hurricanes were not dominant early, but they were sounder and probably had a slight advantage in early play. Just when it looked like a fairly even first period was going to end even at 0-0, the Hurricanes continued recent positive trends of scoring late in periods and also scoring in rapid succession. First, Jordan Staal continued to milk everything possible from whatever deal he cut with the devil when he received a nifty Warren Foegele pass and sniped a perfect shot bar in on the far side. Only 22 seconds later, Sebastian Aho deftly tipped a Brett Pesce point shot finding the net to suddenly put the Hurricanes up 2-0. That is how the first period ended. The second period was pretty even and also pretty eventful with good pace and chances in both directions. In general, both goalies stood tall, but Florida did pull to within a goal at 2-1 when Jonathan Huberdeau sniped a shot off the rush beating Alex Nedeljkovic cleanly to the far side. Despite decent number of chances, neither team would score after that and the period would end with the Hurricanes clinging to a 2-1 lead. The third period saw a couple Hurricanes errors cost them dearly. First, Jonathan Huberdeau made an absolutely phenomenal whirling pass that went by Jake Bean and beat a slightly late Brady Skjei to a rushing Panther at the far post for...
Gm13 Vs. Clu: Canes stumble out of block but again sprint to 7-3 win over Columbus

Gm13 Vs. Clu: Canes stumble out of block but again sprint to 7-3 win over Columbus

Recap of Hurricanes 7-3 win over the Blue Jackets On Monday night in Raleigh, the story was a familiar one with the Hurricanes actually struggling a bit but ultimately finding the Turbo button and blowing past an opponent. Maybe a notch lower than the horrendous second period recently against Dallas but still pretty bad, the Hurricanes failed to start on time. A defensive coverage breakdown on the first shift of the game left to an uncontested goal against. The Hurricanes seemed to be fine covering a 3-on-3 rush until Warren Foegele abandoned one of two players headed toward the crease in favor of heading out to defend the point. The result was a tap in goal. Columbus scored again just over five minutes later when they fed the puck right through the crease. Hamilton was actually in position and engaged with goal scorer Boone Jenner but ultimately lost the battle. James Reimer could have been better using his stick to take away the pass across that went right through the blue paint and also maybe could have absorbed the first weak shot instead of weakly kicking it right back to Jenner’s stick for a rebound chance and goal. Sebastian Aho would fire and score from just inside the top of the face-off circle to pull the Hurricanes within a goal, but the Canes would give it right back. Reimer took a shot off the mask and then had no idea where the puck was. Kevin Stenlund deftly baseball-batted it from well out and a tough angle into the to give Columbus a 3-1 lead. But Jordan Staal would continue...