Gm48 Vs. Ana: Canes collect consolation point in 2-1 overtime loss to Ducks as struggle continues

Gm48 Vs. Ana: Canes collect consolation point in 2-1 overtime loss to Ducks as struggle continues

Against a struggling Anaheim Ducks team that has given up 18 of 22 points on the road since the beginning of December, the Hurricanes collected one of two points. Against a backup goalie with a 3.20 goals against average and against a Ducks team that has allowed 3.7 goals per game on the road since the beginning December, the Canes scored once to get to three goals in three games for the week. Needless to say, the Carolina Hurricanes are struggling right now. What started in a lackluster second half of last Saturday’s game that thankfully was converted to a win courtesy of James Reimer has snowballed since then. With two games remaining before the much-needed All-Star break, the Hurricanes need desperately to dig down before digging a hole. As I said Twitter shortly after Friday’s game ended: Will be shocked if we do not see Justin Williams on Sunday. Team needs a jolt of energy and could use more offense after scoring 3 goals in 3 games this week. #LetsGoCanes — Canes and Coffee (@CanesandCoffee) January 18, 2020 Oh how the optics for the ‘need’ for Justin Williams have changed in just a few short weeks. Coming out of the 4-0-1 road trip and riding high, the team seemed fine for leadership. Then a couple tough losses introduced a bit of adversity. But an up and down 5-2 home stand had the team riding high again. Since then three straight losses have the team sinking. The jolt of energy should be a positive, as the team tries to find a way in two final games before the break....
Gm47 @Clu: Canes suffer disappointing 3-2 defeat to Columbus and maybe worse with Dougie Hamilton injury

Gm47 @Clu: Canes suffer disappointing 3-2 defeat to Columbus and maybe worse with Dougie Hamilton injury

After posting an article entitled, “Playing Brind’Amour” on Thursday morning, the coach himself verified that he is still trying to find combinations that he likes long-term. The forward lines were completely thrown in the blender for Thursday’s game with the most interesting move being Sebastian Aho to wing. And Joel Edmundson slotted back up into the #4 slot on defense after a run of Jake Gardiner mostly playing in that slot. The headlines from Thursday’s game are abysmal. The Hurricanes came back twice only to allow two goals on defensive breakdowns to lose 3-2. And to make matters potentially much worse, Dougie Hamilton left the game putting no weight on his left leg after an awkward fall after getting his skate tied up with a Blue Jackets player. Those top two bullet points will justifiably leave Canes fans feeling yucky about Thursday’s game, but in total the game was more of a mixed bag with significant positives.   Recap of the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets Columbus had the upper hand early and scored less than two minutes into the game on a blast off the rush that beat Petr Mrazek. But despite not scoring, the Hurricanes used a strong first period power play to reverse momentum and mostly road that momentum through the rest of the game. The Canes dominated the game in terms of most measures like shots, shots on goal, possession time, offensive zone time, etc. But the Canes lost two key measures. First, they had a couple of bad defensive breakdowns. And more importantly they lost on the score board. Columbus...
Gm46 @Was: Old mistakes haunt Canes in early, lack of energy finishes them in 2-0 loss to Capitals

Gm46 @Was: Old mistakes haunt Canes in early, lack of energy finishes them in 2-0 loss to Capitals

In round 3 in about two weeks time, the Hurricanes fell victim to old bad habits early and seemingly were limited in their ability to recover by just being out of gas. The Hurricanes took four penalties in the first period with at least three being the avoidable variety. Washington scored once but maybe equally significantly, the first period was disjointed for the Hurricanes and saw them on their heels for much of it. A pair of Alexander Ovechkin goals, one on the power play and one at even strength, staked the Capitals to an early lead that held up heading into the first intermission. The Hurricanes had the upper hand for at least the first 15 minutes of the second period but converted that to very little in terms of scoring chances. Svechnikov almost had a breakaway, and Aho whiffed on a pass to him in the slot. But in terms of actual shots through 15 minutes including three power plays, the list of best chances included only five shots from out including three from Hamilton, one from Aho and one from Gardiner. None were really screen, and none were really dangerous. Despite not even registering a shot through more than ten minutes of the period, what the Capitals did well was defend between the face-off dots. Per my first watch point in the game preview, after clearly being out of gas in the second half of Saturday’s win over Los Angeles, I think that likely also played a role in the Hurricanes inability to generate much for chances even when having the upper hand. The second period...
Gm45 Vs. LA: Canes grind out 2-0 win versus the Kings on Reimer rebound

Gm45 Vs. LA: Canes grind out 2-0 win versus the Kings on Reimer rebound

After a well-played 3-0 over a likely playoff-bound Arizona Coyotes team on Friday night, all that stood between the Canes and a solid 5-2 home stand was a win over the somewhat lesser Los Angeles Kings on Whalers night. Despite the disadvantage of a playing a back-to-back (at least without travel) against a rested team, the game looked favorable on paper. But anyone who knows NHL hockey knows that parity rules, the gap between any two teams is small and therefore upsets, if you can even call them that, happen regularly.   Recap of the Carolina Hurricanes 2-0 win over the Los Angeles Kings Early on, the Hurricanes matched Los Angeles and even had the upper hand. When the hockey gods deservedly rewarded Nino Niederreiter by giving him a second try after he passed up a shot at a half-open net from five feet away, the Canes were up 1-0. The Canes had the better of play by a modest margin for the first roughly 10 minutes of play. Los Angeles seemed to gain momentum as the period wore on, and the Canes had a couple turnovers in the first period that forced James Reimer to stand tall. And stand tall he did. The Hurricanes would exit the first period with a 1-0 lead. The second period saw the Kings continue to gain steam. The Hurricanes defended pretty well to minimize the quality of chances, but the Kings had the better of most of the second period. Reimer continued to be flawless as the Kings started to pile up shots. The shot totals nearly reversed in the second period...
Gm44 Vs. Ari: With soundest game of home stand, Canes roll 3-0 over Arizona

Gm44 Vs. Ari: With soundest game of home stand, Canes roll 3-0 over Arizona

After climbing back positive with a fun but horribly messy overtime win on Tuesday night against the Flyers, Friday saw the Canes starting a back-to-back set both at home to close out the seven-game home stand. The range of possible outcomes entering the weekend goes from pretty darn good if the Canes go 2-0 to finish 5-2 all the way down to pretty dismal if they lose both to go 3-4. With the team’s most complete/solid win since the five-game road trip, the Hurricanes pushed to 4 wins with a chance to reach 5-2 with a win on Saturday. And just like that the roller coaster has turned back upward.   Recap of the Carolina Hurricanes 3-0 win over the Arizona Coyotes The game started with the Hurricanes having an early advantage in terms of puck possession and shots. An early power play did absolutely nothing for the first 90 seconds but then caught fire in the last 30 seconds generating a pop up shooting gallery and at least three good scoring chances in a quick flurry. The Canes did not score on the power play, but there did seem to be some carry over in terms of momentum. The Hurricanes would score first when Andrei Svechnikov won a puck on the wall and in a single motion turned to put a puck right on Warren Foegele’s stick between the face-off circles. Foegele made no mistake beating Antii Raanta to put the Canes up 1-0. Arizona would push late in the first period, but Petr Mrazek had answers early (and late too), and the Hurricanes emerged from the first...
Gm43 Vs. Phi: Canes win loose affair over Flyers in 5-4 overtime thriller

Gm43 Vs. Phi: Canes win loose affair over Flyers in 5-4 overtime thriller

After consecutive games that were played more tightly against top-tier competition, the hockey gods gifted the Hurricanes a game that featured loose defensive play, ‘iffy’ goaltending and a perfect recipe for a 5-4 game that has treated the Canes well in 2019-20. And sure enough the Canes were on the positive side of the 5-4 score.   Recap of the Carolina Hurricanes 5-4 over the Philadelphia Flyers Game 5 of the Canes seven-game road trip started inauspiciously with the Flyers scoring on their first shot of the game. Travis Konecny just flung the puck at the net from an impossible angle and found a whole through James Reimer. From there, it quickly became apparent that goalie James Reimer was having trouble seeing the puck out of gate. On the next Flyers’ shot, he flung his glove out almost like a blocker just getting a piece of a short side shot that still almost went in. The Flyers third shot went right through Reimer but somehow skittered inches wide of the net. The fourth shot saw Reimer beaten 1-on-1 on a short breakaway after a turnover. Haydn Fleury coughed the puck up against the forecheck and then was a slow trying to recover. Michael Raffl who deflected Fleury’s pass beat Fleury off the wall, walked in and worked over Reimer who committed early and then saw Raffl walk across the top of the crease to score on the other side. The Hurricanes stabilized things but not allowing the Flyers to shoot for some time after that while Reimer and the team tried to play their way into the game. The...