After losing the first of two at home on Friday against the Flyers, the Canes rebounded quickly on Saturday with a win over a good St. Louis Blues team.
The game featured heroics by two non-regulars and a decent even if not top shelf level of play by the Hurricanes.
After both losses so far this season, the Hurricanes have rebounded to score wins over good teams.
My notes follow:
1) Sebastion Aho shot out of a cannon
The top line and especially Sebastian Aho started on fire. In the first period, Aho set up at least four grade A scoring chances. Brady Skjei’s snipe netted a goal, but he also set up Jarvis in close twice and Svechnikov between the circles who was slashed to eliminate a great scoring chance. Aho has been up and down of late. He seemed to find a higher gear on Saturday. The question is if he can keep the dial on that gear or if it is reserved for extra effort games. Aside from taking two penalties, Svechnikov also had a strong game, and Jarvis continues to look capable on that line having a goal taken away from him for the second consecutive game.
2) Alex Lyon
Playing his first game as a Hurricane, Alex Lyon did his part in helping the team collect a 3-2 win over a good team. Having a third goalie in today’s NHL can be important. One game is not a statistically valid sample size, but what stood out about Lyon’s play was that he looked comfortable and calm. As a 28-year old with now 23 games of NHL experience, he is exactly what a team wants as a #3 goalie available if needed at the AHL level.
3) Brendan Smith
Also from the category of players who had to wait for a turn, Brendan Smith scored the game-winner through a screen after having two wait nine games to get into the lineup when Brett Pesce was injured. The goal is a bonus, but more significantly Smith has proven to be a competent substitute defensively thus far.
4) The two sides of Tony DeAngelo
Tony DeAngelo had another strong game with the puck on his stick notching two assists including a pretty feed on Aho’s power play marker. But he was also beaten in front of the net for Tarasenko’s goal and then again on his next shift for a near miss. DeAngelo has been absolutely phenomenal offensively but has been exposed a bit defensively playing top four minutes and situations with Pesce out of the lineup. Put another way, he fits very well for his intended role but thus far seems to be overslotted playing above that.
5) Brady Skjei
Good for him netting a goal after having an overtime game-winner taken away with an offsides call earlier in the week. As a Hurricane, Skjei has shown a knack for rising to challenges, playing his best hockey in his first year in the playoffs, doing so again last year when Jaccob Slavin was out of the lineup putting more pressure on him and Pesce and now dialing up his level of play with Pesce out of the lineup.
Next up for the Hurricanes is the beginning of a run of late night road games that start against the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday.