Gm14 @Veg: Canes start long trip with 4-2 win over Vegas Golden Knights

Gm14 @Veg: Canes start long trip with 4-2 win over Vegas Golden Knights

Starting a long road trip in Sin City, the Hurricanes continued finding a way to win even on less than stellar nights. The Hurricanes played two good periods and one bad one which was enough to win by a 4-2 margin. My notes follow:   1) Antti Raanta Because the shot volume was modest, Raanta’s game maybe will not stand out, but after being beaten twice early in the second period, he did well as the last line of defense for the rest of the second period when the Canes were struggling defensively. Thus far Raanta has done exactly what one would want from a backup goalie being able to step in after long layoffs and play well enough to give his team a chance to win, which it has in both of his starts.   2) Horrid second period Sometime shortly into the second period, the Canes seemed to switch to off. Whereas the 0-4 first period against Florida was mostly just taking and then not being able to kill penalties, the second period in Las Vegas was more of a broad-based break down. The Hurricanes had a run of mismanaging the puck int eir own end and compounding it by missing on defensive zone coverage. The result was two goals against that could have been four or five. Bear had a pass on the wall that Svechnikov was soft on that led quickly to a turnover and goal against when the defenders could not sort out the front of the net. Bear also figured in two missed coverages in front of the net for point blank chances....
Gm13 Vs. StL: Canes rebound with 3-2 win over good St. Louis Blues team

Gm13 Vs. StL: Canes rebound with 3-2 win over good St. Louis Blues team

After losing the first of two at home on Friday against the Flyers, the Canes rebounded quickly on Saturday with a win over a good St. Louis Blues team. The game featured heroics by two non-regulars and a decent even if not top shelf level of play by the Hurricanes. After both losses so far this season, the Hurricanes have rebounded to score wins over good teams.   My notes follow: 1) Sebastion Aho shot out of a cannon The top line and especially Sebastian Aho started on fire. In the first period, Aho set up at least four grade A scoring chances. Brady Skjei’s snipe netted a goal, but he also set up Jarvis in close twice and Svechnikov between the circles who was slashed to eliminate a great scoring chance. Aho has been up and down of late. He seemed to find a higher gear on Saturday. The question is if he can keep the dial on that gear or if it is reserved for extra effort games. Aside from taking two penalties, Svechnikov also had a strong game, and Jarvis continues to look capable on that line having a goal taken away from him for the second consecutive game.   2) Alex Lyon Playing his first game as a Hurricane, Alex Lyon did his part in helping the team collect a 3-2 win over a good team. Having a third goalie in today’s NHL can be important. One game is not a statistically valid sample size, but what stood out about Lyon’s play was that he looked comfortable and calm. As a 28-year old with now...
Gm12 Vs. Phi: Canes fall to Flyers 2-1 for first home loss of the season

Gm12 Vs. Phi: Canes fall to Flyers 2-1 for first home loss of the season

On Friday night at PNC Arena, the Hurricanes took their first home loss of the season falling to the Philadelphia Flyers by a 2-1 margin. On the hand, the Hurricanes could easily have gained a better outcome with a break or two. On the other hand, the Canes level of play was uneven which left the door open for the Flyers. My notes follow:   1) Did Canes deserve better? The Hurricanes had the edge in shots, and though the game did go back and forth a bit, I thought the Hurricanes were the better team even if only by a small margin. No doubt, the Hurricanes could have played a cleaner game, but the result was not driven by a horrible effort.   2) Seth Jarvis auditions on the top line Jarvis played the entire game with Sebastian Aho and Andrei Svechnikov and did not look out of place doing so. After scoring his first NHL goal on an odd play that saw him lose the puck on the rush just to have it sneak through the five hole for a goal, Jarvie nearly scored an odder one on Friday. From in front of the net, he had his stick hacked in two with the blade winding up in the net first. The puck followed a second later after the puck seemed to go off a stick-less Jarvis’ skate. But the goal was waved off because he was offside entering the zone. In general, Jarvis looked okay on the top line, but I would not say he was truly a difference-maker. But Jarvis playing on a scoring line...
Gm11 @Tam: Canes rebound with hard-fought 2-1 overtime win over the Lightning

Gm11 @Tam: Canes rebound with hard-fought 2-1 overtime win over the Lightning

On Saturday, the Hurricanes collected their first loss of the season in a sub-par effort that capped off what had in my opinion been a downward trend despite the continued winning streak. That set Tuesday’s match up against the Lightning as the first try for the 2021-22 season to respond to a loss. The response was a good one. The Hurricanes were not perfect but they were significantly better than Saturday, and the compete level was definitely there. After a miserable first period that dug a 0-4 deficit on Saturday, the Hurricanes started much better on Tuesday. Tampa Bay actually had the advantage very early, but the Hurricanes were the better team for the rest of the second period. The second period had some ups and downs, but the Hurricanes continued generating scoring chances and playing even or better hockey. It took a late goal and two (one was offsides) overtime winners, but the Hurricanes emerged with one of their best wins of the season. My notes follow.   1) The response More than anything, the watch point for Tuesday was how the Hurricanes responded after a first loss and a lackluster effort at least early in the game on Saturday. Regardless of outcome, the Hurricanes scored well in that regard. The game was still far from perfect but the effort was there. The Hurricanes dialed up the intensity and were the better team for much of the game despite struggling to crack Andrei Vasilevskiy.   2) Jaccob Slavin With Brett Pesce still out of the lineup, Brind’Amour leaned heavily on Slavin who logged more than 28 minutes of...
Gm10 @Fla: All good things must come to an end; Canes drubbed 5-2 by Florida Panthers

Gm10 @Fla: All good things must come to an end; Canes drubbed 5-2 by Florida Panthers

For those focused on the results level of the scoreboard and 9-0-0 record entering Saturday’s game against the Florida Panthers, Saturday’ s 5-2 loss might have been a bit of a surprise, especially against a Panthers team missing probably its best player in Aleskander Barkov. But for those looking a level or two below the surface, Saturday’s game was maybe just a payback for ‘meh’ play last week that combined nicely with some puck luck, hot goaltending and mediocre opponents to net a week of fun home wins. Friday’s Daily Cup of Joe called the next two games ‘measuring stick’ games and finished by saying: But on the other hand, the Hurricanes play has been trending slightly downward over the past week. A heavy helping of puck luck, continued stellar play by Frederik Andersen and just finding different ways to win has maybe made the results better than the quality of late. If the Hurricanes bring some of the recent sloppiness and ‘meh’ level of play, I would not at all be surprised to see the team get drubbed once or even twice. In an odd way, that could be a good thing in the long run. In no way do I get a sense of overconfidence or complacency with the Hurricanes, but a quick reminder that it takes being at the top of your game to beat good teams could still be beneficial. And here we are. The two goals for and zero against in the second period suggest that the Hurricanes turned things around quickly, but I actually thought the second period looked more like last week...
Gm9 @Chi: Canes trending downward but still good enough to go 9-0-0

Gm9 @Chi: Canes trending downward but still good enough to go 9-0-0

On Wednesday night in the Windy City, the Hurricanes again were good enough for a win which makes the team a perfect 9-0-0. The positive spin is that this team is good enough to win on lesser nights. The negative is that the team is trending downward over the past few games despite continuing to win. But at the most basic level, the team is obviously a very good one and is collecting points at a rapid rate. My notes from the game follow.   1) Negatives Per my introduction, I thought the game was (relatively speaking) a poor one for the Hurricanes. Sluggish/sloppy starts to both of first two periods: The Hurricanes started slow in both of the first two periods. The Blackhawks had more jump out of the gate n both periods, and the Hurricanes, especially in the first period, compounded things by making a bunch of mistakes. Too many big ‘oopses’: The first Blackhawks goal featured a Svechnikov turnover, Necas failing to step up to help and Bear being caught out of position as the last line of defense. Skjei had Blackhawks get in behind him twice for chances in alone. One was a goal against, and the other was third period penalty against Skjei. The Canes had to kill off four minor penalties, all by defensemen, with a lead in the third period, again leaning too much on penalty-killing and Frederik Andersen heroics to close out a win. In total, the volume of errors was significantly too high. Failure to finish strong: When a team is 9-0-0 much of finding negatives (including mine) could be...