Gm12 Vs. Bos: Miscues derail Canes against the Bruins in 3-2 loss

Gm12 Vs. Bos: Miscues derail Canes against the Bruins in 3-2 loss

Aiming to close out a three-game home stand with a plus in the win column, the Carolina Hurricanes took to the ice against a good Boston Bruins team. The game started on pretty even terms in a first period that had great pace and also pretty sound play. Despite both teams flying up the ice, the volume of high quality chances early was minimal. Scott Darling was sharp early. He fended off some easy early chances and seemed to be tracking the puck well as he was assertive and strong with his rebound control. When the Hurricanes had a couple break downs later in the first period, Darling also stood tall making a good save and poke checking away another odd man chance. The back and forth affair was fairly even throughout the first period. The Hurricanes survived an early penalty kill but were still giving up the blue line with speed which would come back to haunt them later. But at least early, the special teams battle tipped positive via courtesy of some lunch pail work by Valentin Zykov and Micheal Ferland. First, both stepped in to help win a joust face-off. Then both went straight to the front of the net. When Aho flung the puck at the net, Zykov was literally in the crease and Ferland who was parked right at the top of the blue paint found the puck and a quick goal. The front part of the second period saw the Hurricanes pick up the pace and start to mount a shot advantage, but the surge was short circuited by a couple costly mistakes...
Gm11 Vs. NYI: Early season curse against the Isles continues in 2-1 loss

Gm11 Vs. NYI: Early season curse against the Isles continues in 2-1 loss

I was away from Canes hockey over the weekend, so my viewpoint is a bit skewed by the fact that Friday’s 4-3 win over the Sharks is still waiting on the DVR.   On opening night, the Hurricanes generally out-shot, outplayed and out-everythinged the New York Islanders. But it took a late Jordan Staal goal to push the game to overtime. A penalty just before the end of regulation set the Islanders up for an extended power play in overtime and they capitalized to win 2-1. In the first taste of the 2018-19 season and on the heels of a disappointing 2017-18 campaign, the loss felt like more of the same. The ‘but we out-shot them by a wide margin’ mantra again meant little in the win column. Fast forward to Sunday night, and the game was similar at the top level. The Hurricanes again poured it on in terms of winning the shot total but again could not find the back of the net. But with the Hurricanes now off to a 6-4-1 start that puts them in the top half of the standings even after the loss, the loss does not have the same sting nor does it raise the same ‘more of the same’ paranoia. That said, the Hurricanes did miss a chance to collect two points on home against against a team that played and traveled the night before.   Carolina Hurricanes short game recap The Hurricanes actually started a bit sluggish and were sloppy early on, but even that did not stop them from building their usual shot total advantage right out of the...
Backyard Brawl recap: NC State Icepack prevails in back and forth affair

Backyard Brawl recap: NC State Icepack prevails in back and forth affair

Monday night the NC State Icepack and UNC Tar Heels took to the ice in their annual Backyard Brawl rivalry showdown at PNC Arena. NCSU entered play a flawless 8-0-0 on the young season, with a 4-0 record in the conference. They are in first place in the Carolina East division of the ACCHL standings, also consisting of Duke, UNCW, and UNC. The Tar Heels have struggled a bit, sitting at 2-4-0 and looking for their first ACCHL point, entering the game at 0-3 in-conference. However, as with most rivalry games, records and match ups can largely be thrown out the window. In front of a large, raucous, and mostly red-clad crowd on the ‘Canes home ice, the two teams would do battle in what was an entertaining, back-and-forth affair. There was a lot more offense than defense, and the goalies probably don’t want this game on their highlight reel, but it was a great game in a great environment. Ultimately, the Wolfpack would pull away late and win by a final score of 9-5.   Carolina surges early The Heels were the better team out of the gate, as the Pack started a bit sloppy with some unforced turnovers and poor decisions. Just 1:23 in the Heels took a 1-0 lead, as Matt Richard intercepted a breakout pass and sent Mason Regan in on a partial breakaway. Regan did a good job fighting off a back-checker and beat Pack goaltender Joey Hall on his short side. Then, Joey Hall had to make a reflexive save on a deflection off a point shot. However, the rebound bounced high in...
Gm9 @Det: Canes surge early and hold on late to get back into win column in Detroit

Gm9 @Det: Canes surge early and hold on late to get back into win column in Detroit

Entering with a three-game losing streak, Monday’s game in Detroit was as close to ‘must win’ as you can get in October. Couple the need with a beatable opponent who entered near the bottom of the standings, and Monday’s felt like the kind of game where the Canes needed to push and seize a win – the kind of win that has been elusive in recent years. And the Hurricanes produced, fueled by of all things the power play. The game featured an early surge that was part of most of the other early season wins. The Hurricanes dominated early and notched 14 shots on net before the Red Wings tallied their first nearly 14 minutes into the game. But early on the Hurricanes had nothing to show for it and as the first period wore on, it started to feel like more of the same. But the Hurricanes finally made good on the power play when Justin Faulk scored on a laser from the point to stake the Hurricanes to a 1-0 lead near the end of the first period. The second period was mostly more of the same. The Hurricanes resumed firing shots at the net and generally dictating play. And also like the first period, the Hurricanes capitalized on a power play opportunity when a nifty passing play saw Sebastian Aho feed Valentin Zykov in Elias Lindholm’s old office at the side of the net. Zykov feathered a perfect pass into the the wheel house of Micheal Ferland who made no mistake finishing to make it 2-0. Detroit finally pushed back in the third period partly...
Gm8 Vs. Clr: Canes losing streak runs to three against Avs in NC State Fair matinee

Gm8 Vs. Clr: Canes losing streak runs to three against Avs in NC State Fair matinee

After a parking and traffic nightmare bad enough to launch a ‘never again’ mantra many years ago, the Canes played their first game at home during the North Carolina State Fair in many years. Probably helped a bit by rainy weather and enough who just stayed away as demonstrated by the ‘meh’ attendance, the traffic and parking were not that bad. But despite the results were not favorable with the Hurricanes losing their third straight by a 3-1 margin. Most concerning was the plodding rainy Saturday afternoon pace. We did see worse occasionally in 2017-18, but this game was clearly a low point for the Rod Brind’Amour era in terms of playing an attacking game with pace that dictates style of play. I would go so far far as to say that the game was reminiscent of old school Canes losses that featured a sizable shot advantage that was a bit misleading in terms of creating and finishing high quality chances. On the other side of the ledger, the Avs picked their spots to selectively counter punch with a relatively low volume but fairly high quality of chances coupled with some finishing. The game started okay with the Hurricanes playing even or better hockey out of the gate. A soft goal against that squeaked through Curtis McElhinney on the short side staked the Avalanche to a lead in the first period. The Hurricanes would finish the first period with an 11 to 7 shot advantage but minus the ability to overwhelm the opponent early as they have in other games. The second period was a bit choppy early but...