Anyone else just pinch themselves sometimes because they're not sure it is real how @Canes can just score goals in bunches sometimes regardless of how game is going, if they are playing particularly well or whatever else?
— Canes and Coffee (@CanesandCoffee) March 12, 2021
Thursday’s game against the Predators started normally enough. The game was fairly even with Nashville even having the upper hand early by a modest margin. But the Predators did not score on a couple decent early chances.
And then it happened.
In a span of barely over two minutes, the Hurricanes scored three quick goals. First, Morgan Geekie deftly tipped a Jake Bean point shot/pass on the power play. Next, the Canes won a puck on the forecheck resulting in a Warren Foegele pass across to Brock McGinn who sniped a shot into an open chunk of net. Then Andrei Svechnikov made a pretty pass to Dougie Hamilton who finished to put the Hurricanes up 3-0. The first period would end with the play somewhere close to 50-50 in many ways, the Predators having a wide 15 to 6 shot advantage, but the Hurricanes posting a 3-0 lead on the scoreboard.
The second period was more of the same. The game was fairly even, but Nashville struggled to beat James Reimer for a goal, and Morgan Geekie struck again on a lucky goal that went off the goalie, off a defense and behind the goalie for a 4-0 lead. Again, Nashville collected shots, but only the Hurricanes scored.
The third period saw Martin Necas score from right out front on the power play when Svechnikov made another surgeon-like pass right through traffic to the front of the net. Nashville would ruin the shutout late, but the Hurricanes had already stormed most of the way to the eventual 5-1 win.
Player and other notes
1) SO…MUCH…fire power
That continues to be the story of the 2020-21 Carolina Hurricanes. Even minus Vincent Trocheck who was out with an upper body injury, the Hurricanes seemed to just score at will again. On a regular basis, the Hurricanes do not even need to outplay opponents to win. They just need to be decent enough to be in range when the scoring eruption occurs.
2) Morgan Geekie
After a full month out of the NHL lineup, Geekie continued his run of responding in a big way upon entering the lineup. His NHL career started with three goals on his first three shots about this time last year right before the COVID layoff. He recently posted four goals in two games upon returning the AHL. And after a month out of the NHL lineup, he scored twice today.
3) Andrei Svechnikov
I actually think the subtle, maybe underappreciated part of Svechnikov’s game is the best part of it. Svechnikov collected two more surgeon-like assists threading pucks perfectly through traffic for grade A scoring chances and goals. He was advertised as a scoring power forward when drafted. He has grown to meet those expectations, but the breadth of his game is at least equally impressive.
4) Special teams
The Hurricanes also continued a run of winning at least partially because of special teams. Tuesday’s loss was much more so special teams-driven with the Hurricanes scoring consecutive power play goals climb back to even from a 2-0 deficit. On Thursday, the Hurricanes outscored the Predators 3-0 on special teams. Even a single goal advantage on special teams goes a long way toward winning hockey.
5) When it’s going well…
The Hurricanes are a very good hockey team and deserve to be at or near the top of the Discover Central Division. But there is also an element right now of seemingly catching every break. In Tuesday’s win, the Predators narrowly missed winning both late in regulation and also in overtime after clanging the iron. Then Jordan Staal finished the game by similarly hitting metal but going bar in. On Thursday, the Hurricanes had the very odd Geekie goal, while the Predators were left with three more bars, none of which went in. Here is hoping that if/when the luck turns, it is not too badly.
Next up is another odd two-day break before hitting the road again with a game in Detroit on Sunday.