Gm78 @Was: Canes and Scott Darling pummel an oddly lacklaster Washington Capitals

Gm78 @Was: Canes and Scott Darling pummel an oddly lacklaster Washington Capitals

With a Washington Capital team readying for the playoffs and attempting to climb above 100 points playing a Carolina Hurricanes team that entered with 79 points and staring at early-booked tee times for the second week of April, Friday’s match up figured to be tough sledding for the Hurricanes. But the Capitals looked more like a team resting before the start of the playoffs than a team preparing for them, and the Hurricanes pounced with a strong effort and a 4-1 win. The Capitals entered with a 9-1 mark in their past 10 games and a seven-game winning streak that dated back to February 20, so despite its lack of significance at this point in the season, it was an impressive one. The game started maybe as it was expected to go throughout with Washington scoring first on a shot from a ways out by Michal Kempny. But the Hurricanes responded quickly when Derek Ryan scored on a second rebound after Jaccob Slavin galloped the length of the rink for a great individual effort and put the puck on net. Joakim Nordstrom had the first rebound try, and Ryan finished on the third try that featured offense generation from the back end and two players going hard to the net. In a game that started evenly, the Hurricanes built upward while the Capitals continued to look lackluster. Another great individual effort from the blue line put the Hurricanes up 2-1 about midway through the first period. This time, it was Justin Faulk deftly walking around a defender up top with a toe drag and then labeling a shot past...
Gm77 @NJ: Canes trade punches but ultimately fall 4-3 to the Devils

Gm77 @NJ: Canes trade punches but ultimately fall 4-3 to the Devils

  Facing a tougher test against a New Jersey Devils team that is scratching and clawing for every point it can get to win the battle for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot, the Hurricanes tried to extend their three-game winning streak. The Hurricanes took punches but also counter-punched in a back and forth game. The game started with the Hurricanes on their heels early. New Jersey attacked and had the better of play in the early going, but Scott Darling was sharp out of the gate and held the fort early. What was most noticeable in the early going was Darling’s crispness in terms of tracking the puck controlling rebounds. New Jersey did score first when a Darling rebound caromed right to Pavel Zacha’s stick, but I would still say that his first period was strong overall. After a start that saw the ice tilted into the Canes defensive zone early, the team surged late in the first period. Phil Di Giuseppe labeled a shot off the rush after a nice play by Jeff Skinner to win and advance the puck at the offensive blue line and a nice pass and then screen from Elias Lindholm. Then Warren Foegele scored his second goal in his second NHL game from an odd angle just like his first goal. After a slow start, the good guys emerged from the first period with a 17 to 13 shot advantage and a 2-1 lead on the scoreboard. The second period started evenly but then saw the Devils surge again as the period wore on. Darling had another good set of saves early...
Gm76 Vs. Ott: Warren Foegele joins AHL brigade which propels Canes to 3-1 win over the Senators

Gm76 Vs. Ott: Warren Foegele joins AHL brigade which propels Canes to 3-1 win over the Senators

Fueled by youthful energy and the optimism that they provide for the future, the Carolina Hurricanes have suddenly become at least temporarily fun again. Warren Foegele received headline coverage at Canes and Coffee during day prior to his NHL debut on Monday night. A detailed Daily Cup of Joe article recapped his career to this point and assessed his prospects and potential role at the NHL level. And our “Checkers check ins” series kicked off with an update on Foegele’s 2017-18 season with the Charlotte Checkers. And Warren Foegele proceeded to justify all of the attention with a goal and an assist and the first star the Hurricanes 4-1 win over the Ottawa Senators. Not to be outdone and pushed to the side as old news, veteran Valentin Zykov (he of 6 NHL games coming into Monday) also continued his scoring ways finishing from his office at the top of the crease on a rebound off a shot by none other than Warren Foegele. Zykov continues to not look out of place defensively or otherwise while continuing to find the score sheet regularly. In total, I thought the Hurricanes played better in Monday’s win than the win in Ottawa on Saturday. The intermittent defensive break downs were there again, but the Hurricanes decreased the sheer volume and reverted back to the norm of out-shooting opponents. The Senators mustered only 20 shots on the night compared to the Hurricanes 40. Warren Foegele opened the scoring late in the first period on what looked like a fairly harmless play but also one that showed that good things can happen when you...
Gm75 Vs. Ott: Canes late season offensive surge continues in 5-2 win over the Senators

Gm75 Vs. Ott: Canes late season offensive surge continues in 5-2 win over the Senators

The Hurricanes offense continued its recent scoring ways on Saturday night in Ottawa and pushed the team to its second consecutive win. The 5-2 win boosted the goal total to 11 in the the past two games with many of the contributors from Thursday featuring prominently again on Saturday. The Hurricanes actually started slow and relied on Cam Ward to keep them in the game early. Ward did exactly that, as team in front of him gained its footing and built a game with opportunistic scoring. Phil Di Giuseppe struck first when he beat Mike Condon from an odd angle on a Valentin Zykov pass from behind the boards behind the net. Ottawa struck back when Bobby Ryan won a battle versus Roland McKeown for ice in front of the net and tipped a puck past Ward from close range. The first period finished with that 1-1 score. The Hurricanes were uncharacteristically out-shot 12 to 5 and had a tough period defensively that Ward was mostly able to cover up. The second period was more of the same. The Hurricanes continued to struggle in terms of managing the puck. Noah Hanifin looked rusty after a couple days off in terms of his defensive gaps defending the rush and also handling the puck. Haydn Fleury had a couple turnovers. And in total, the Hurricanes blue line that was minus veterans Brett Pesce and Justin Faulk played the kind of game that could have been another painful shellacking. But continuing the first period theme that saw the Canes more opportunistic than good, Brock McGinn scored the only goal in the second...
Gm74 Vs. Ari: Canes prevail 6-5 over Yotes in fun game of shinny

Gm74 Vs. Ari: Canes prevail 6-5 over Yotes in fun game of shinny

Ugh…Has not happened in awhile, but I just managed to lose most of the recap when it seemed to disappear into the ether. Figures it would be after a fun win with a decent number of positives. Rather than trying to recreate it, I will just jump to the bullet points.   Notes from the Carolina Hurricanes 6-5 win over the Arizona Coyotes 1) Valentin Zykov Playing with Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen, he had a tremendous game all around. He finished a pretty goal labeling a shot off the rush and an ugly goal banging in a rebound after setting a screen. He was a partial screen on another goal by Teravainen. And he showed a good knack for closing angles and space defensively in all three zones. Two smaller things jumped out to me. First was a sequence in the second period. He was twice parked in front of the net and had to leave to win/support the puck. In both cases, he immediately returned to the front of the net afterward. His simple ‘when at all possible just go to the top of the crease’ style of play is both refreshing and productive. The other was a two on two rush in the third period where Zykov smartly gave the puck to Aho and then stormed to the front of the net.   2) Elias Lindholm He had two pretty playmaking assists distributing the puck from his office at the side of the net. While maybe not the traditional playmaking center who likes to carry the puck in space and then distribute it, Lindholm continues to...
Gm73 Vs. Edm: Who says a team is limited to one capitulation implosion? Canes lose 7-3 to Oilers

Gm73 Vs. Edm: Who says a team is limited to one capitulation implosion? Canes lose 7-3 to Oilers

Times continue to be tough for the team and the part of the fan base that is so loyal as to stay on the ship even as it is sinking in a horrible way for the 2017-18 season. There was brief reprieve with a road win on Sunday, but the past three trips to PNC Arena have been nothing short of brutal, and the team has now lost four straight and seven out of the last eight at home. The scene has become such a train wreck that this point that sorting through individual details mostly seems to miss the point. I am on record from one week ago after the abysmal loss to the Bruins as saying that the season was over and that the time was now to cut ties with Bill Peters with the aim of keeping the remainder of the season from sucking energy from the team going forward. I still think that is the best path forward, though the situation is complicated by the bigger picture. Tom Dundon is in a really tough spot right now. It could not be more obvious that Peters has lost this team, but with no @NHLCanes GM & building rumblings/impression that Dundon is too hands on, firing Peters is another step in that direction. — Canes and Coffee (@CanesandCoffee) March 21, 2018 As for the game on Tuesday, at a high level the game was a loosely played game by two non-playoff teams who largely showed why they were in the non-playoff part of the NHL standings. Break downs and loose plays at least offered sugary entertainment in...