Gm69 @Clr: Canes pick up nice 3-0 win over Avs to build 4-point gap in playoff chase

Gm69 @Clr: Canes pick up nice 3-0 win over Avs to build 4-point gap in playoff chase

With the Columbus Blue Jackets game ending with a Blue Jackets loss early into the Hurricanes game, the ball was on the tee for the Canes to build a four-point lead over both Montreal and Columbus for the two wild card slots. Looking up instead of down, the Hurricanes needed a win to pull even with the Penguins for third place in the Metropolitan Division. Early on, the game actually had a bit of the Winnipeg feel. The Hurricanes at least did a decent job of counterattacking, but the neutral zone was a free fly zone early for the Avalanche. The key differences were twofold. First, Petr Mrazek was sharp early and erased some of the issues. Second, at least when the Hurricanes forwards were beaten up ice they returned to defend secondary passes behind the play. Though I do think Colorado had the upper hand in the first period, the Hurricanes also had some chances in a wild first period that could best be described as fire wagon hockey despite somehow ending in a 0-0 tie. Along the way, the Hurricanes also killed off a couple of penalties. Arguably the Hurricanes best chance came when the puck ended up in the Colorado net but was quickly waived off for incidental contact with the goalie. Andrei Svechnikov carried the puck hard to the net which led to a rebound for Jordan Staal who finished. But with that waived off (correctly in my opinion), the period ended at 0-0. The front part of the second period continued to feature a high pace back and forth, but the Hurricanes started to...
Gm68 @Nas: Canes rebound and wrap up challenging week with 5-3 win over Predators

Gm68 @Nas: Canes rebound and wrap up challenging week with 5-3 win over Predators

After a horrid 8-1 loss on home ice on Friday, the Hurricanes were right back in action without much time to think about it on Saturday night in Nashville. The Hurricanes have had only a handful of stinkers (the road loss versus the Rangers and the home loss against the Senators come to mind), so it seemed reasonable to just write it off as a bad day and move forward. But the writing off has to happen on the ice for it to matter which added a bit of extra drama to Saturday’s game.   Carolina Hurricanes game recap As one would have hoped, the Hurricanes started on time Saturday and looked no worse for wear after Friday’s drubbing. The Hurricanes controlled play, tilted the ice into the offensive zone and had the better of shot totals early. Even better, the Hurricanes picked up three power plays early with two overlapping to provide 1:36 of 5-on-3 time. The first power play was decent, but things went downhill from there with the 5-on-3 being disappointingly sluggish and without movement. After about seven minutes of play, the Hurricanes had an 11-2 shot advantage but with an 0 for 3 on the power play and 0-0 on the scoreboard, the game was set to swing quickly to bad if Nashville awoke and potted the first goal. Fortunately, Nino Niederreiter charted a different course. First, he sniped a laser into the far corner of the net to put the Hurricanes up 1-0. Then shortly thereafter he tipped a Teuvo Teravainen point shot on the power play down for skip up off the ice...
Gm67 Vs. Wpg: Canes overwhelmed and trounced in 8-1 STINKER versus the Winnipeg Jets

Gm67 Vs. Wpg: Canes overwhelmed and trounced in 8-1 STINKER versus the Winnipeg Jets

On Tuesday night against the Boston Bruins, the Carolina Hurricanes matched up against one of about 8-10 teams who can legitimately make a case for winning the 2019 Stanley Cup Championship based on what they are doing during the regular season. In that measuring stick game, the Canes fared reasonably well. The Hurricanes shot themselves in the foot a bit with puck management issues, but the Canes did jump out to a 2-0 lead and ultimately pushed to overtime against a red hot team on the road. With that Eastern Conference measuring stick game out of the way, the weekend offered a back-to-back set to measure up against two of the Western Conference’s best in the Winnipeg Jets and Nashville Predators. To put it simply, round 1 did not go well at all, as the Hurricanes were utterly trounced 8-1 at home against the Winnipeg Jets on Friday night. The overarching theme early on when Winnipeg authoritatively took control of the game was the ineffectiveness of the Hurricanes usually strong forecheck and the Jets ability to convert that incredibly quickly to speed through the neutral zone and odd man rushes with pace at the offensive blue line. The steps were repeated throughout the first period. The Jets got possession of the puck in their own end and quickly made a first pass to a player, usually a forward, moving north-south with speed. That first pass happened quickly enough that usually the Canes F1 and F2 on the forecheck were very quickly behind the play. That put the third forward in a tough place trying to defend the neutral zone...
Gm66 @Bos: Canes collect point in spirited Whalers/Bruins battle to 4-3 OT loss

Gm66 @Bos: Canes collect point in spirited Whalers/Bruins battle to 4-3 OT loss

Carolina Hurricanes game recap For the second time this season, the Carolina Hurricanes donned Hartford Whalers jerseys in and old school match up against the Boston Bruins. And lo and behold, the game almost immediately turned into a throwback with physical play, chippiness and even some fisticuffs. The game started with decent pace and intensity anyway but was amped up when Micheal Ferland completely annihilated Marcus Johansson with a clean shoulder to shoulder check. Johansson was down on the ice and left the game favoring that shoulder. The Bruins proceeded to spend the next two shifts running around trying claim retribution. Then on his next shift Ferland fought and won against David Backes. That seemed to keep things from boiling over completely, but the physical intensity stayed near a peak level throughout the first period. In between the rough stuff, Sebastian Aho won a battle for position in front of the net against Zdeno Chara which resulted in a Calvin de Haan point shot deflecting off of Aho and then Chara and into the net. Jaccob Slavid did the heavy lifting at the other end with a spectacular period that saw him separate Brad Marchand from the puck on what seemed like breakaways. In total, the first period was spirited, physical and pretty evenly played with the Hurricanes emerging with a 1-0 lead. Out of the gate in the second period, Aho scored a more common skating and skill goal. The play started with Justin Faulk making a quick pass up to the offensive blue line where Nino Niederreiter received the puck and quickly put it on Aho’s tape...
Gm65 @Fla: Un-Canes continues; team stumbles but pulls out 4-3 OT win after Petr Mrazek OT heroics

Gm65 @Fla: Un-Canes continues; team stumbles but pulls out 4-3 OT win after Petr Mrazek OT heroics

After a run of three impressive wins, Saturday night in Florida was a return to fun heroics. As I said on Twitter shortly after the game: #Canes score 2 early, proceed to lay an egg, somehow climb into overtime and then ride Petr Mrazek OT heroics to an improbable win. Roller coaster in full effect! Post is open for reader comments; recap will follow later=> https://t.co/TeDEpjjmfU #TakeWarning — Canes and Coffee (@CanesandCoffee) March 3, 2019 But the result was the same, and the fun matched any of the more impressive hockey from the last week. And with Columbus losing in the afternoon and Pittsburgh beating Montreal, the Hurricanes gained two points on two of the three teams that they are battling right now for the last couple spots. (Never mind that the top of the Metropolitan Division is also coming into range.) Hurricanes fans who check the standings on Sunday with only 17 games remaining in the 2018-19 NHL regular season will find the Hurricanes in the third playoff spot for the Metropolitan Division and now up a point on Pittsburgh and two on Columbus and Montreal (all adjusted for games played).   Game recap This game was very much like the back-to-back wins against Dallas and Edmonton a couple weeks back. The Hurricanes pounced on goalie Sam Montembeault who was making his NHL debut. First, Brock McGinn swiped a puck from a Florida defenseman and quickly squeaked it through a short side opening for a soft goal. Then Lucas Wallmark fed Greg McKegg in the slot for a bang-bang attempt and a 2-0 Hurricanes lead only 2:05 into...
Gm64 Vs. StL: Canes post solid 5-2 win over Blues to maintain playoff position

Gm64 Vs. StL: Canes post solid 5-2 win over Blues to maintain playoff position

Another day. Another home Canes win. And yet another fun storm surge at PNC Arena. Life is incredibly good as a Carolina Hurricanes hockey fan right now. After drubbing a downtrodden Los Angeles Kings team at home on Tuesday, the Hurricanes faced a tougher test against a St. Louis Blues team that like the Hurricanes has been playing incredibly well since the beginning of the new year.   Game recap The game started with a plodding pace with both teams playing a steady but seemingly conservative style of play. Early on, shot totals piled up slowly and most of the chances were grade B or lower. St. Louis struck first on the scoreboard on sort of an odd transition point. Brock McGinn challenged and nearly won the puck at the defensive blue line. But when he failed to get the puck and fell down in the process, the Blues defenseman had a gap to step into with the puck while the Hurricanes tried to re-sort things out defensively. The result was a shot from the top of the face-off circle and a tip in front for a St. Louis goal. But the Hurricanes struck back quickly when Brett Pesce and Justin Williams played catch at the top of the face-off circle before Williams fired a laser into the far side top corner to tie the game at 1-1. The Hurricanes would score again when Faulk followed Williams’ lead and fired glove high on goalie Jake Allen as he dropped a bit early. The result was another goal and a 2-1 lead for the Hurricanes which is how the first...