Gm37 @Tor: Canes stumble early and late on way to disappointing 8-6 loss to Maple Leafs

Gm37 @Tor: Canes stumble early and late on way to disappointing 8-6 loss to Maple Leafs

Eerily reminiscent of an 8-1 thrashing the Canes took two years ago in the Maple Leafs annual holiday matinee game, the Canes slept walked into Monday’s 2pm start. Brett Pesce had trouble finding the puck at his feet in front of the net. Instead, Jason Spezza found it and quickly staked Toronto to a 1-0 lead. That was followed shortly thereafter by Brett Pesce taking a double minor for high sticking. The Canes got a bit focused, and William Nylander scored from point blank range. When John Tavares beat James Reimer short side on the second half of the power play, the Canes were suddenly down 3-0. At that point, Reimer was replaced by Petr Mrazek, and the game seemed destined for another afternoon thrashing in Toronto. But Mrazek was sharp despite jumping into a game he was not expected to play in. And when Brock McGinn scored on a 2-on-1 shorthanded, the Canes were playing their way back into the game. A power play tally on a Martin Necas tip on the power play late in the period saw the Hurricanes escape a seeming disaster down only 3-2 at the end of the first period. Further, the Canes had the upper hand in terms of level of play at that point. The second period had a similar pace and a decent number of chances in each direction but with no effect on the scoreboard for the first 15 minutes. Then the Hurricanes second line with Erik Haula back on the scene scored twice in rapid fire manner to put the Canes up 4-3. First, Ryan Dzingel made an...
Gm36 Vs. Fla: Canes post strong effort but fail to get results in 4-2 loss to the Panthers

Gm36 Vs. Fla: Canes post strong effort but fail to get results in 4-2 loss to the Panthers

Writing this late after a long day, I will skip usual recap and jump straight to other comments on the Canes 4-2 loss to the Panthers on Saturday night. If it turned into a loss, Saturday’s game had a number of story lines leading up to the game that figured to be part of the losing formula.   It’s not what you think The entered the game with a recent propensity to take far too many penalties. The game presented the tough challenge of playing the first home game after an extended road trip. With the Hurricanes losing 4-2, one might figure that one or both of these played a role in the loss. And based on that bias entering the game, I see a number of people assuming that one or both of those occurred in Saturday’s loss. But in actuality neither was the case. The Canes started strong, and it was the Panthers who had to hold on for dear life early. In addition, the Hurricanes did a very good job of maintaining that high level of play throughout the game. So though it might have been expected at the start, I do not see how one could credit this loss to being flat in the first game back after a road game. As far as the bias that the Canes might lose because of taking too many penalties, that also was not the case. The Canes gave up only three power play chances and one of those was the skirmish that the referees mishandled. But taking two, maybe three penalties is not a horrible number for...
Gm35 @Clr: Canes steal two points late against Avs to close out phenomenal 4-0-1 road trip

Gm35 @Clr: Canes steal two points late against Avs to close out phenomenal 4-0-1 road trip

As I said half in shock after the game ended: Just WOW! — Canes and Coffee (@CanesandCoffee) December 20, 2019 Anyone who gave up just a tiny bit early and went to bed missed it. When the Avs scored late with Philip Grubauer stopping everything he saw, the Canes seemed destined for a still very solid 3-1-1 road trip. But then bang-bang-bang, the game was suddenly a 3-1 win that had those still awake wondering if they had dozed off and dreamed it. After maybe not doing enough throughout the game to create chaos in front of Grubauer, consecutive shifts by Foegele/Staal/Svechnikov netted a couple point blank chances amidst a mess on the first shift and then finally a goal on the next shift by Andrei Svechnikov with Foegele’s help creating a mess in front. Then before the Avs could even reset, hometown kid Jaccob Slavin scored off the rush. Sebastian Aho added yet another empty-netter to seal the deal. In the span of three minutes, the game went from seemingly being another shutout to a wild late win. The Hurricanes started strong and had the upper hand physically maybe courtesy of playing an Avalanche team that played and traveled the night before. But a regular Achilles’ heel on the trip taking three first period penalties helped Colorado slow momentum and kept the Hurricanes from mounting much of a sustained attack. The Canes pumped 16 shots at the net which was not enough to score, only enough to make it clear that Grubauer was in the zone. And true to form, the Canes penalty killed off all three penalties...
Gm34 @Wpg: Canes SURGE in 2nd and run to 6-3 win over the Winnipeg Jets

Gm34 @Wpg: Canes SURGE in 2nd and run to 6-3 win over the Winnipeg Jets

Trying to extend a 2-0-1 record on the road trip, the Hurricanes took to the ice in a chilly Winnipeg. The game started with a good pace back and forth both ways with each team receiving a handful of decent chances. Per a familiar theme of late, the scoreboard tilted in the Hurricanes direction when they killed off a penalty and then scored on a power play of their own. I still am not sure if it was an incredibly pass or a bit of luck, but either way Nino Niederreiter deserves credit for receiving the puck at the side of the net and getting it to the front. There, Lucas Wallmark was waiting and quickly finished to give the Hurricanes a 1-0 lead. But just when it looked like the Canes would carry that 1-0 lead to the locker at the end of the first period, Winnipeg scored on a pretty tip in front of the net with only 7.4 seconds remaining in the period to send the teams into the locker room knotted at 1-1. The second period would be in consideration for the best period of the season so far. Lost in the goal scoring frenzy that followed could be the fact that the Hurricanes were nearly flawless defensively and with managing the puck for the first 15 minutes, and when Winnipeg pushed in the last five minutes the Canes contested the puck, defended the front of the net and gave Mrazek a chance. That defensive part of the game is a key element to what peak Canes looks like to go with the fun bursts...
Gm33 @Cal: Canes ride James Reimer shutout to two more points on the road versus the Flames

Gm33 @Cal: Canes ride James Reimer shutout to two more points on the road versus the Flames

Saturday’s effort in Calgary reminded me a bit of the win over Edmonton to start the road trip. In total, the Hurricanes were not great and were especially sloppy to start the first and third periods taking too many penalties. But also like the Edmonton game, the Hurricanes found some timely scoring and road goaltending and special teams to a win. Other than James Reimer who was solid all night, there really was not much to like about the first period. The Canes were sluggish and sloppy early. Martin Necas registered and early penalty, and unable to move the puck stick to stick, the Canes also iced the puck regularly. Calgary by far had the better of play and scoring chances, but James Reimer was the best player of the period and dragged the Hurricanes into the second period tied at 0-0 despite being out-shot 12 to 4. The start of the second period was not significantly better. But after a slow start, the Hurricanes did seem to finally play their way into the game shortly into the second period. The Hurricanes finally broke the ice 12:35 into the second period on a pretty play by the fourth line. Julien Gauthier won a puck at the offensive blue line to keep the puck in. He fed Jordan Martinook who then made a nifty pass across to Brock McGinn who finished. Shortly thereafter Dougie Hamilton continued his scoring surge with a power play marker. The Hurricanes rode the momentum from there and continued to have the upper hand with a whopping 18 to 7 shot advantage that erased the first...
Gm32 @Van: Canes play well but net only an OTL point in 1-0 loss

Gm32 @Van: Canes play well but net only an OTL point in 1-0 loss

After a frenzy of a game in Edmonton on Tuesday that had excitement of all varieties, the first period in Vancouver on Thursday was quite subdued. The Hurricanes again started inauspiciously by taking early penalties (though the first was a bad call) but mostly minimized the chances that came from it. The Canucks were better early while the Canes tried to get going, but not much came of it. The Hurricanes played better as the period wore on, but the relatively tame period ended with a 0-0 score on an 8-5 shot advantage for the Hurricanes. The second period saw the Hurricanes dial things back up to Tuesday level. From the start of the period, the Hurricanes had the upper hand and generated all varieties of chances as a result. Sebastian Aho had a goal disallowed by a quick whistle on a penalty touch up. The Hurricanes had three power plays that were dangerous and generated chances. And a breakaway attempt by Julien Gauthier was thwarted. Only heroic efforts by Canucks goalie Jacob Markstrom kept the Hurricanes 22-7 shot advantage from resulting in a lead after two periods. The game evened up again in the third period with the Hurricanes still collecting some decent chances but the Canucks doing so as well. Markstrom continued to be stellar, and Mrazek was as well. When the dust settled on the third period, the Hurricanes had finished the game with a 42-24 shot advantage and generally the upper hand in play but a 0-0 total on the scoreboard. Early in overtime a single frenetic burst by Vancouver found Elias Pettersson alone in...