Gm43 @Tam: Canes post impressive effort against NHL’s best but fall 2-1 late to Lightning

Gm43 @Tam: Canes post impressive effort against NHL’s best but fall 2-1 late to Lightning

Ugh. That game is some bizarre combination of impressive and heartbreaking at the same time. #TakeWarning — Canes and Coffee (@CanesandCoffee) January 11, 2019 At least in terms of a personal reaction immediately following the game, I think that sums it up for me. Facing a huge challenge on the road against the NHL’s best team, the Hurricanes started strong and generally played well throughout but shot themselves in the foot a bit late and that was arguably the difference in a 2-1 loss. The Hurricanes started on time and carried the first period. To a man, the Hurricanes competed for every puck. The result was a first period that saw the Hurricanes dictate play. The Lightning team that has largely been an offensive juggernaut this season, had trouble getting the puck out of its own end and through the neutral zone.  The Lightning managed a shot on net early and then nothing for a long time before finishing the first period with only three shots on net. Though the records for the season are reversed, the Hurricanes were by far the better team in the first period. But despite the strong first period, the teams were tied at 0-0 after one period. Early in the second period, the Hurricanes were finally rewarded when Justin Williams scored on a rebound off the rush on a heady Dougie Hamilton shot aimed at creating exactly the rebound that it did. In total, the second period was more even, but the Hurricanes still earned high marks for again playing 20 minutes with an incredibly high compete level. Even once the Lightning got...
Gm42 @NYI: Canes escape Long Island with win and streak intact

Gm42 @NYI: Canes escape Long Island with win and streak intact

The opposing New York Islanders for whatever reason are a horrible match up for the Hurricanes in terms of generating offense and grade A scoring chances and for the most part did their thing on Tuesday night. Sebastian Aho had one of his quietest games of the season. The Hurricanes had a couple defensive break downs that led to goals against. The team lost its focus late with a soft goal allowed in the final minute and a couple poor decisions icing the puck. All of this is certainly a recipe for a tough road loss to the Islanders who had already beaten the Canes three times. But the Hurricanes scratched and clawed a bit, made a few plays and benefited from reversing a goal against with a successful offside challenge. And just like the reverse of an abysmal December, the Hurricanes are suddenly rolling with all the mojo in January with five straight wins (four of those in January). Ironically, most impressive about #Canes win was fact that they really never got going but found a way to grind out a win. Other than late softie, goaltending was again a positive and depth stepped up and led way. #TakeWarning — Canes and Coffee (@CanesandCoffee) January 9, 2019   Game recap The first period was largely a slog through the mud somewhat similar to the three previous Islanders losses and also the grinding games against the Flyers and Devils just before the new year. The Canes were not bad early, but they really were not good either. Neither team had a ton of shots or chances early, but the...
Gm41 @Ott: Canes blue line scoring leads way to fourth straight win over Sens

Gm41 @Ott: Canes blue line scoring leads way to fourth straight win over Sens

The Canes entered Ottawa at the end of a busy stretch with a four-game week and the final three games in less than four days with the 1pm start. Fortunately, Ottawa also had to play the day before and it showed early. After a run of ‘meh’ starts even in a couple of the wins, the Hurricanes have now put together a run of solid starts both in terms of energy and early results. On Sunday afternoon, the Hurricanes had the upper hand early taking it to the Senators. Other than regular flurries of attack’s by Ottawa’s top line led by Matt Duchene the Hurricanes were better. Justin Faulk would kick off the scoring only 1:12 into the game on a power play goal with a blue line scoring theme that would permeate the win. Then just over three minutes later Brock McGinn finished his own rebound on a breakaway shorthanded to get the other power play unit on the scoreboard. Courtesy mostly of Ottawa’s top line, the Senators would awake and push back a bit, but Petr Mrazek held the fort, and the Hurricanes exited the first period with a 2-0 lead. The story of the game at that point was a fast start for the Canes, and Mrazek having the answer for Duchene’s line that most ran rampant throughout the game. The second period saw the Senators push early and have the upper hand. The Sens pulled within 2-1 when Duchene finished on a pretty tic-tac-toe passing play. But the Hurricanes rebuilt their two-goal lead when Jaccob Slavin beat goalie Marcus Hogberg from a bad angle and...
Gm40 Vs. Clu: Quality win over Blue Jackets pushes Canes win streak to three

Gm40 Vs. Clu: Quality win over Blue Jackets pushes Canes win streak to three

After consecutive wins against the struggling Philadelphia Flyers, the Hurricanes faced a tougher test on Friday night playing a back-to-back against a good Columbus Blue Jackets team. Per my the first point in my game preview, the Hurricanes started strong for the first time in a few games. Justin Williams had a steal and a scoring chance on the first shift, and the Canes surged from there. Williams with Lucas Wallmark and Victor Rask had a couple good shifts and scoring chances after Williams’ first chance. Warren Foegele beat All-Star Seth Jones cleanly for a good scoring chance and drew a penalty along the way. After the early flurry of chances and great saves by Sergei Bobrovsky and a post by Brock McGinn, the Hurricanes finally broke through when Sebastian Aho fed Micheal Ferland for a quick release and a goal that was more or less a power play goal despite coming a split second after it ended. Then a heady play by call up Greg McKegg led to Dougie Hamilton’s second goal in as many games. McKegg pushed over the offensive blue line with speed which made some space. Then he fed Hamilton behind him. Last, he cut across in front of Hamilton who fired through the set of bodies and beat Bobrovsky off his glove when he was a bit slow reacting likely because of the traffic in front of him. Curtis McElhinney was not tested as much as Bobrovsky, but he stood tall when needed to get the Canes into the first intermission with a 2-0 lead. The Hurricanes scored again in the second period on...
Gm39 @Phi: Canes again capitalize with 5-3 win in match up against struggling Flyers

Gm39 @Phi: Canes again capitalize with 5-3 win in match up against struggling Flyers

For the second time in a week, the Hurricanes capitalized on a match up against the struggling Philadelphia Flyers who are the bottom team in the Eastern Conference. Level of competition aside, the Hurricanes need wins if they are going to magically turn around the 2018-19 season. And even if not that, the fan base could use some fun here and there with more than three months remaining in the 2018-19 campaign. One might not guess so based on the final score, but the Hurricanes actually started slowly and were outplayed for the first half of the first period. But once the Canes found the start button, they surged in the second period and road that to a win. Following a regular theme of late, a key component of the win was stellar goaltending, this time courtesy of Petr Mrazek. He held the fort early when the Hurricanes were slow starting and kept the Flyers off the score board until the Hurricanes broke through early in the second period. And once the Hurricanes broke the seal, they jumped out to a lead. First, Dougie Hamilton stepped in from the point and beat the Flyers goalie cleanly. Then the much-maligned power play delivered twice courtesy of two pretty Sebastian Aho passes. First, Aho fed Justin Williams who scored through a Micheal Ferland screen. Then Aho smartly froze the goalie and the defense before threading a pass through the box to Teuvo Teravainen who finished into half of an empty net. With Mrazek staying perfect, the Hurricanes exited the second period with the game in hand with a 3-0 lead. The...
Gm38 Vs. Phi: Canes close out 2018 with 3-1 win over the Flyers

Gm38 Vs. Phi: Canes close out 2018 with 3-1 win over the Flyers

Desperately needing a win to close out the year, the Hurricanes received exactly that. The win also made for another fun holiday win for the home crowd. As much as the team has struggled over the past month, its track record in home ‘holiday’ games has actually been very good. The Canes were 2-0 in a pair of home games sandwiched around Thanksgiving, and at least managed a split in the two-game home set just before Christmas including a fun win on Whalers night. When the New Year’s Even win over the Flyers is included, the team is a solid 4-1 in home games or the holidays. I dubbed Monday’s game and also the previous match up against the Devils as the ‘battle for the basement.’ With a loss on Monday, the Hurricanes would have entered 2019 in last place in the Metropolitan Division. The win instead boosts the team into a tie for seventh place with the Devils. To be honest, the front part of the game was some combination of sluggish and sloppy and looked very much like two teams trying to play their way back into the 2018-19 season. Credit to the Hurricanes for getting the puck to the middle of the ice and shooting, but the Canes also benefited from a rookie goalie having a tough night. Credit also to the Hurricanes for recognizing issues warding off shots glove high and going back to that spot (with success) repeatedly. First, Lucas Wallmark labeled a shot for the upper corner while using a Flyers defenseman as a screen. Then Jordan Martinook found his way through Hart’s...