On Friday night at PNC Arena, the Hurricanes took their first home loss of the season falling to the Philadelphia Flyers by a 2-1 margin. On the hand, the Hurricanes could easily have gained a better outcome with a break or two. On the other hand, the Canes level of play was uneven which left the door open for the Flyers.
My notes follow:
1) Did Canes deserve better?
The Hurricanes had the edge in shots, and though the game did go back and forth a bit, I thought the Hurricanes were the better team even if only by a small margin. No doubt, the Hurricanes could have played a cleaner game, but the result was not driven by a horrible effort.
2) Seth Jarvis auditions on the top line
Jarvis played the entire game with Sebastian Aho and Andrei Svechnikov and did not look out of place doing so. After scoring his first NHL goal on an odd play that saw him lose the puck on the rush just to have it sneak through the five hole for a goal, Jarvie nearly scored an odder one on Friday. From in front of the net, he had his stick hacked in two with the blade winding up in the net first. The puck followed a second later after the puck seemed to go off a stick-less Jarvis’ skate. But the goal was waved off because he was offside entering the zone.
In general, Jarvis looked okay on the top line, but I would not say he was truly a difference-maker.
But Jarvis playing on a scoring line is significant. It probably does not make sense to burn the first year of his entry-level contract just to have him play limited minutes on the fourth line. So this gives him the opportunity to show if he can make the team deeper scoring-wise by adding another top half of the roster forward.
3) Steven Lorentz
Of late Steven Lorentz has found himself with a good number of in alone or close chances off the rush but has not been able to finish. But along the way he has collected a couple great lunch pailer type goals. On Friday, he twice pressured the puck just inside the offensive blue line. The second one resulted in a turnover and shot that generated a rebound that he batted in out of mid air.
4) Tough night for bottom part of lineup
The bottom part of the lineup had a tough night. With Lorentz up on Staal’s line and Jarvis with Aho, the newly-minted fourth line of Martinook/Stepan/Leivo factored in both Flyers’ goals and the third defense pairing of Brendan Smith and Ian Cole.
5) A legitimately hot goalie
With 40 shots on net, the Canes arguably deserved better. Carter Hart had a strong game and caught a break or two when needed. Arguably the closest near miss for the canes saw Svechnikov with a shot for a half open net. Instead the puck was partially blocked by a defenseman and fortuitously (for the Flyers) deflected right into the chest of Hart versus finding an open chunk of net.
Next up is a quick turnaround with a Saturday night match up against the St. Louis Blues at PNC Arena before the team hits the road for two weeks.