Preseason Gm1 @Tam: Canes resume preseason dominance with 3-0 win

Preseason Gm1 @Tam: Canes resume preseason dominance with 3-0 win

Picking up right where they left off steam rolling the competition in preseason action under Rod Brind’Amour, the Hurricanes scored early and ran to a solid 3-0 win in Tampa. Both rosters were light on NHL talent, so I would not read anything into this in terms of the regular season, but winning still beats losing and the immediate return of the pressuring forecheck is encouraging. I caught only the second and third periods due to another commitment, but here are short notes from that.   Brian Gibbons and Max McCormick Flanking Morgan Geekie, the veteran AHL duo had a strong game and contributed on the score sheet. What stood out more than the scoring was how well both players fit what Brind’Amour wants to do. Both skate well and push aggressively both pursuing and playing with the puck. The comparison is to Greg McKegg who was similarly a veteran AHLer with some NHL experience and a skill set that fits the Canes forechecking style.   Morgan Geekie He had a strong game. The jury is still out on his ability to match NHL pace, but his game, especially on the offensive side of the puck, is mature. The McCormick rebound goal came on a heady play that saw a well-defended Geekie shift just enough to change shooting angle off the rush, put the puck on net and set up a rebound chance.   Jake Bean I feel like I am going to oscillate daily on his potential as an NHLer. He looked every bit of a player who was a notch above the competition in the prospect tourney....
2019 NHL Prospects Showcase Game #1 vs. Was: Canes get shellacked 10-3

2019 NHL Prospects Showcase Game #1 vs. Was: Canes get shellacked 10-3

In case you missed it, my preview and watch points for the three-game prospects tourney round robin are HERE. The Hurricanes played game #1 against the Washington Capitals on Saturday afternoon and were walloped by a score of 10-3. The Capitals won the first period 3-0 and were up 5-0 early in the second period before the Hurricanes woke up and at least pushed back some. An important starting point for any kind of evaluation of the team or individual players is to make sure context is noted. I do think it is useful to evaluate players in any game situations like this, but at the same time a single exhibition game with odd circumstances in early September does not trump full seasons and the development path that preceded it. Also to be considered is the fact that this tourney has an odd scrimmage/’thrust into action’ element to it with players coming straight out of the off-season break and playing a game and doing so without any real preparation, practice or work on systems. In a nutshell, it is a bit of a random scrimmage. In addition, these games are not particularly meaningful for evaluating one team’s prospects compared to another’s because so many players are missing with all NCAA and many European players not involved. Shorter version is that while these games do represent an opportunity to evaluate players in game-like action, be careful not to put too much weight in a single exhibition game. As noted above, the Hurricanes exited the first period down 3-0. In simplest terms, the Hurricanes were abysmal in terms of transition defense...
ECF Gm4 Vs. Bos: Canes magical season ends in 4-0 loss to the Bruins

ECF Gm4 Vs. Bos: Canes magical season ends in 4-0 loss to the Bruins

Our Carolina Hurricanes hockey community On Thursday night the Carolina Hurricanes absolutely magical 2018-19 season came to an end in a 4-0 loss to the Boston Bruins. Short of actually winning the Stanley Cup, I really do not think that the Hurricanes hockey community could have asked for more. Fans experienced every bit of exhilarating, dominating, tense and whatever else one could pack into a deep playoff run. Certainly the ending is disappointing, but that is more about having to let go of something so good than the actual series loss. And yet again our hockey community showed that the relationship between the team and the fan base in Raleigh, North Carolina is truly something unique. You cannot tell me that a fan base in Boston or pretty much anywhere else for that matter would have cheered the team passionately in the finally minute and a half of a 4-0 loss in a series sweep. And that is yet another instance of the Hurricanes hockey community being unique and special. As Canes fans know too painfully, there are no guarantees that success in one season carries over to the next, but there is significant reason to believe that this is only the beginning. The team was the youngest in the 2018-19 playoffs and significantly that youth is in the core players and future leaders of this team. Though they did not get all the way there, this group now knows pretty much what it takes to win a Stanley Cup. As long as they do not trade the hard work and effort that was the foundation of the 2018-19...
ECF Gm3 Vs. Bos: Canes get nothing from dominant 1st period and ultimately fall 2-1 to Bruins

ECF Gm3 Vs. Bos: Canes get nothing from dominant 1st period and ultimately fall 2-1 to Bruins

Quick hitters –I think the entire game hinged on the first period. The Canes were dominant but got nothing to show for it on the scoreboard. What stands out most was Teravainen being unable to hit half of an open net (puck was squibbling on way to him which made it tough shot) 30 seconds in and then the inability to score on the 4-on-3/5-on-3 sequence. –As much as I love Justin Williams and everything he has done for the team, I think he missed badly with his first period death wish for Torey Krug. The 4-on-4 sequence midway through the first period relieved pressure for Boston and the subsequent penalties created breaks to help them get their feet under them and survive the first period. –For as many times as the Hurricanes have pumped a bunch of low-quality shots and declared “hot goalie”, I think tonight was legitimate. Rask is in a surreal kind of groove where he makes a dozen great saves and then has luck to back that up. He somehow had a shot he did not see go straight into his glove and another go off his stick and into his glove somehow. I said before the series started that a path to victory would result if they cracked Rask. That has not happened so far. –Special teams was again arguably the difference. The Canes power play just seems to become slower and more predictable by the game. –Important to note is that in no way was Tuesday’s loss the result of lack of effort, heart or character. The effort was 100%. –As I said...
ECF Gm2 @Bos: Boston punches early and Canes wilt on way to 6-2 loss

ECF Gm2 @Bos: Boston punches early and Canes wilt on way to 6-2 loss

For anyone who had plans for Mother’s Day or otherwise and missed the Hurricanes game on Sunday, the game was as bad as the score would indicate. The Hurricanes two goals were long after the game was decided and there were no empty-netters or piling on. So the game really was a brutal four-goal loss that arguably was really a five-goal loss before the Bruins let up a bit. This recap will go in a slightly different direction than normal not doing a chronological recap in much detail but instead focusing on what comes out of this game.   The negatives 1) Hurricanes inability to punch back One thing that is striking through two games in this series is the Bruins ability to find opportunities to figuratively punch the Hurricanes in the mouth, and the Hurricanes inability to respond. In the game 1 loss, the Hurricanes actually seemed to have the game in hand exiting the first period. Then the Bruins received a couple power play opportunities and struck quickly to go from a 2-1 deficit to a 3-2 lead. At that point the Hurricanes were still in the game but really were not able to muster much of a response. Sunday’s game was a bit similar. The Hurricanes were fine out of the gate and arguably even had the upper hand physically. But then the Bruins scored on a bad goal allowed by Petr Mrazek and followed it up with a quick power play strike. The Hurricanes never regained their feet. Like an MMA fighter taken down, the Hurricanes were not ever able to get regain their feet...
ECF Gm1 @Bos: Canes joust in 1st, surge in 2nd and then falter for 5-2 loss in the 3rd versus Bruins

ECF Gm1 @Bos: Canes joust in 1st, surge in 2nd and then falter for 5-2 loss in the 3rd versus Bruins

Quick hitters –The game was a story of 3 periods. Courtesy of a power play goal, the Hurricanes picked up a small victory with a 1-1 tie in the first period. Then the Canes 5-on-5 and forecheck took over in the second period. The Hurricanes climbed to a 2-1 lead but it could easily have been 3-1 or 4-1. But then entering the third period with a 2-1 lead, the Hurricanes took a run of bad penalties, two power play goals against and a 3-2 deficit that ultimately turned into a 5-2 loss. –This was definitely one that got away with a 2-1 lead entering the third period, and that hurts. –But as I said on Twitter afterward, there are silver linings: Disappointing obviously, but 2 silver linings… 1-The good (5-on-5/forecheck winning majority of 2nd) and bad (bad penalties) should drive home the need to play 5v5. 2-#Canes goal on the road is to get 1 of 2. They still have a chance to do that on Sunday.#TakeWarning — Canes and Coffee (@CanesandCoffee) May 10, 2019   Game recap After the five-day layoff, my first watch point for Thursday’s series opener in Boston was how the Hurricanes would respond after the long layoff. I would categorize the first period mostly as the slightly positive version of what I feared. The Bruins were better early, but it was not by a wide margin. The Canes were a bit sloppy and sluggish out of the gate which could be reasonably expected, but it was not in a horrible way. The Bruins scored first courtesy of a short series of errors. The...