On Thursday night in Montreal, the Hurricanes won a fun one over the Canadiens. Jesperi scored his first goal as a Hurricane in the midst of a night of being booed. As I said on Twitter, I get it but still think it is unfortunate that he will become the focal point of a festering battle that really occurs in the executive offices.
All Jesperi Kotkaniemi did was accept a tremendous job offer that was probably 100% raise.
Any ire (which is fine) should be at management level not directed at 21-year old kid. Best is to get this over with and move on.
But if it must be so, let's get him a goal and 2 points!
— Canes and Coffee (@CanesandCoffee) October 21, 2021
But at least the result was favorable.
Below are my quick notes on the Canes 4-1.
1) The effect of having offensive fire power
This game reminded me of quite a few wins last season in which the story of the game was the Hurricanes top scorers capitalizing when given the chance. Sebastian Aho had a strong game netting a goal on a pretty snipe. Andrei Svechnikov finished into the tiniest of openings from a tough angle. And suddenly the Hurricanes were on their way to posting three goals (not counting the empty-netter) and riding them to a win. The Hurricanes were not bad, but the team was not great either. But the ability to put the puck in the net trumps all else on many nights in NHL.
2) Frederik Andersen
Andersen followed up a strong outing in game 2 with another on Thursday. The Hurricanes skaters seemed to quit early after stretching the fourth period lead to 3-1. From that point forward, Andersen was a one-man wall making a couple great scrambling saves. One thing that has come to the forefront in the past couple games is his ability to make athletic saves when needed. No doubt his bread and butter is being big and positionally sound leaving little to shoot at, but he has shown an ability to make an acrobatic save when needed too.
3) Intermittently sloppy night for the blue line
Hidden a bit behind what looked like an easy win on the scoreboard was an intermittently sloppy night for the blue line. Ian Cole let the puck get behind him on the blue line leading to a penalty against at the other end by Tony DeAngelo. DeAngelo had his own ‘oops’ in the third period. Brett Pesce was sort of in the right place but not really defending on the Toffoli goal. Ethan Bear turned the puck over just inside the defensive blue line. And just in general the blue line had a few too many errors that would have been more noticeable had a few more ending up in the Canes net.
4) Jesperi Kotkaniemi
Good for him! So happy he was able to get on the score sheet after having to listen to the boos all night.
Staal’s line will be overshadowed on the score sheet most nights, but so far in the 2021-22 season the trio is a huge part of the team’s depth. They are sound defensively, a handful physically and capable of decent depth scoring to boot. The biggest benefit of having a strong third line can be the second line seeing more shifts with favorable match ups and scoring more because of it.
Next up for the Hurricanes is a Saturday road game in Columbus.