Gm68 @Det: Canes battle for periods and rise in the 3rd for 5-2 win over the Red Wings

Gm68 @Det: Canes battle for periods and rise in the 3rd for 5-2 win over the Red Wings

Entering Tuesday’s game against the Red Wings, the question was whether the Canes would get the Red Wings who are in last place in the NHL and 23 points behind the team in front of them or if instead the Canes would get the RedWings team that came in with two straight wins including an impressive 5-4 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Early on, the easier road looked possible. The Hurricanes had the better of play out of the gate and collected couple decent scoring chances while giving up very little. The Canes capitalized on early momentum with yet another goal by upstart super star Morgan Geekie. The play was a showcase for Geekie. Earlier in the shift he won a puck on the boards and advanced it out of danger in the defensive zone. Then he retrieved a puck in the neutral zone and quickly fed a short pass to Warren Foegele who was in front of him, so they could gain the blue line before Detroit could adjust. Then he stepped into the open ice behind Foegele to receive a pass and snipe a shot bar in from between the face-off circles. But possible with help from a Canes penalty, the Red Wings responded after the Canes goal. For much of the rest of the first period, the Canes had trouble with the Wings’ speed and spent portions of the rest of the period under duress and having trouble in their own end. Petr Mrazek was sharp and neutralized a number of good chances. But Detroit finally broke through when Tyler Bertuzzi scored on one of...
Gm67 @Pit: Morgan Geekie and Canes post another weekend storybook victory 6-2 over Pens

Gm67 @Pit: Morgan Geekie and Canes post another weekend storybook victory 6-2 over Pens

Only two weeks ago, the Hurricanes rode 42-year old Zamboni driver David Ayers to an improbable win in Toronto. The team’s storybook win road tour continued on Sunday in Pittsburgh. With Ryan Dzingel sidelined with an injury, the Hurricanes called up Morgan Geekie from the AHL to make his NHL debut. With the quick turnaround from a Saturday game and the 1:30pm start on Sunday, most Canes fans probably did not learn about the move until pregame or game time. The game proved to be a magical and historical debut for Geekie. With the Canes trailing 1-0 after Patrick Marleau shoveled a backhander past Alex Nedeljkovic off the rush, Geekie scored on his first NHL shot to tie the game at 1-1. The goal was a pretty one. First, he won the face-off. Then he deftly redirected a Jake Gardiner shot-pass into the net from out front. The Hurricanes would give up a power play goal to Evgeni Malkin late and actually be fairly lucky to exit the first period down only 2-1 after after a sloppy period saw them take four minor penalties in 20 minutes of play. But that just set the stage for more Geekie heroics. First, he would win the face-off to collect an assist and then be the screen that led to a Jaccob Slavin goal. Then at the end of the period, he would again be the screen for a Jake Gardiner power play goal. The Hurricanes were dominant out of the gate in second period playing 5-on-5 only to have momentum sapped again by two more penalties in the front part of...
Gm66 @NYI: Canes grind out much-needed 3-2 win in overtime against the Islanders

Gm66 @NYI: Canes grind out much-needed 3-2 win in overtime against the Islanders

With the recent losing streak, slide in the standings and need to get on the board sooner rather than later for the long five game road trip that started with a loss, Saturday’s two points are a huge positive. Giving up a third period lead and handing the Islanders a point in the process was not ideal, but entering with a four-game losing streak, it is not time to look a gift horse in the mouth. The Canes picked up two points which is plus two on the Blue Jackets and Rangers and still an okay plus one on the Islanders. And with game #66  out of 82 now in the books, we are very much at the ‘results trump process’ time of year. As for the game, I did not think it was overly impressive, but there were elements of better. The first period started maybe about as one would expect with two struggling teams trying to find their way. The front part of the game was played cautiously and without much of the aggressive attacking that you see in good teams this time of year. The shot total for both teams was a whopping three shots nearly 10 minutes into the game. But the even version of ‘meh’ was a significant upgrade for the Hurricanes who have mostly spent first periods digging holes of late. So the slow 0-0 start was fine. Once the Hurricanes added a goal when Justin Williams tipped a Haydn Fleury shot into traffic to post the Canes a 1-0 lead, the first period became an overwhelming success compared to most of recent...
Gm65 @Phi: Canes struggle to 4-1 loss to the Flyers in road trip opener

Gm65 @Phi: Canes struggle to 4-1 loss to the Flyers in road trip opener

The Hurricanes came into the game with a three-game losing streak and playing their way down the standings. The Flyers came into the game with a seven-game winning streak and eyeing the top spot in the Metropolitan Division. And the game went about as one might expect. The Flyers scored first and the closest the Hurricanes could get after that was within a goal. The Flyers have found their formula and are just a much better team right now, while the Hurricanes are desperately trying to piece things together before time runs out. Two repeat offenders for the Hurricanes reared their heads in Tuesday’s defeat. As has been the case regularly, the Hurricanes found themselves with an early deficit and chasing the game from down 1-0 after the first period and then down 2-0. And then with the Hurricanes in the game in the third period down 2-1, a couple costly puck management errors sealed their fate. First, Brady Skjei literally had the puck over in the crease when the puck rolled of his stick. That puck was behind Nedeljkovic seconds later. Then less than 30 seconds later Jake Gardiner turned the puck over in the defensive zone. That puck too found the net within seconds, and suddenly the game was more or less over at 4-1. The biggest challenge that the Canes have right now is that the time of year when most decent or better teams have worked out kinks and become sounder, the Hurricanes are still the same error prone team that they were in October except a notch or two worse minus Brett Pesce and...
Gm64 @Mon: Canes salvage OTL point in ‘meh’ effort versus the Canadiens

Gm64 @Mon: Canes salvage OTL point in ‘meh’ effort versus the Canadiens

The story was a familiar one mostly in negative ways on Saturday night in Montreal. As has been the case too often recently, the Hurricanes struggled to get out of first gear in the first period while the opponent ran circles around the Canes and mercilessly peppered the Canes goalie with grade A chances. Being outplayed was accompanied by a high volume of attention to detail type errors of the costly variety. The Canes struggled with defensive zone coverage and puck management. For most of the game, the Canes again looked like a team in preseason or early in the regular season still trying to figure things out and tighten up defensively. But despite the negatives and being outplayed by a fairly wide margin, the Hurricanes salvaged modest progress in the standings with an overtime loss and do also deserve credit for again not quitting early.   Brief recap The Hurricanes came out flat while the Canadiens came out flying. Less than five minutes into the game, the Canadiens had already fired nine shots on net to the Canes one. In the middle of the flurry Phillip Danault got the Canadiens on the scoreboard first. A soft clearing attempt by Teuvo Teravainen did not make it out. Then while the Canes were trying to quickly sort things out defensively, Brady Skjei had decent defensive position but let a pass go right through him to the front of the net where Danault had beaten Teravainen and was in alone for the score. Three consecutive miscues multiplied into a goal against. Another first period break down saw Jake Gardiner leave the...
Gm63 Vs. Clr: Canes post good effort but are not rewarded in 3-2 loss to the Avs

Gm63 Vs. Clr: Canes post good effort but are not rewarded in 3-2 loss to the Avs

It is that time of year when NHL hockey is very much a results business. Any kind of two points is success, and any kind of zero points is mostly failure. And though the team maybe deserved better, that was the Hurricanes’ fate on Friday night against the Colorado Avalanche. The game was generally a strong one for the Hurricanes. I really think you are just looking for one more big save from goalie Anton Forsberg to get the game to overtime or maybe better defensive zone coverage on that same play. But in general, one really cannot fault the Hurricanes effort level and quality of play.   Recap of the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2 loss to the Colorado Avalanche The first period was pretty even throughout. The Avalanche scored when Jake Gardiner had trouble handling the puck/keeping his balance just inside the defensive blue line while trying to corral the puck. The result was Tyson Jost retrieving the puck, going right past Gardiner and sniping a goal past Forsberg. But in total, the Hurricanes first period was decent or better. The Canes had a shot trickle off the outside of the post and another ring the far post. If one or even better yet both of those shots find the net the game is a different story after one period. But there were still positives in that Forsberg was pretty sound and that the to line led by Aho was dangerous on many shifts. But the Avs netted a 1-0 lead after one period of play. The Canes dialed their game up in the second period. The good guys...