With the schedule offering a second try after a disappointing holiday home stand for Thanksgiving week, the Hurricanes started this one off right with a 4-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres.
I caught only the second period which was well-timed with five of the six goals during the period. Having caught only part of the game with the rest waiting on the DVR when I return home, I will be brief with my notes/recap.
If you caught the entirety of the game and have a few minutes to share, I (and I am sure others too) would appreciate others’ perspective in the comments.
Notes from the Carolina Hurricanes 4-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres
1) Sebastian Aho starts it
I have been positive on Aho’s play for a couple games now even the tough game on Tuesday, so it was good to see him net a goal.
2) Justin Faulk
His offensive game for the 2017-18 season thus far has been odd. His game has not looked significantly different from last year in the sense that still plays with a shoot first mentality each and every game, has a propensity for joining the rush and think the game well offensively. But the goals and points just had not come, and 34 games is too much to just call it bad luck.
So his two goals on Saturday were a huge contribution in the game at hand, but maybe more significantly could prove to be Faulk’s ignition switch offensively.
3) Cam Ward
It is hard to pass judgement on his game having only seen part of it, but he looked fine in the second period and did not allow any goals in the two periods that I did not see. That sounds like a nice continuation into a transition point as his first (or arguably second) game as the #1.
4) Scott Darling
I said a couple weeks back that I thought the best thing for him could be a run off games off not as punishment or any kind of weird mind games but rather just to reset mentally and start fresh when he next starts a game. I guess that could officially be underway now. Most interesting will be to see if Peters goes back to him in half of the Friday/Saturday back-to-back. Regardless, I think the break could prove to be a positive.
Though I do think it makes sense for the team to ride Ward for a bit while he is playing well, by no means does this mean that Darling will not be a factor. He was a good goalie prior to arriving in Raleigh. He has had good games in Raleigh. It is just a matter of him getting in the right place mentally, starting fresh and finding the higher level of play that is within him.
5) #CanesCoaster swings up
Though it was only four days ago, the loss to the Maple Leafs suddenly feels like it was months ago. In addition, the Hurricanes have now won five of six, and though it is only three games, the Hurricanes are perfect at home in December. The streak has the Hurricanes within two points (adjusted for games played) of both the Islanders and Rangers for the two wild card playoff slots.
Up next is game two of three at home this week against the Canadians on Wednesday night coming out of the Christmas break.