In an ideal world, the Carolina Hurricanes would be able to grind out a few 3-2 or even 2-1 wins in games when they did not dial it up offensively but played a sound and stingy game defensively. But that does not seem to be in the cards for the current iteration of the Hurricanes that are capable of scoring in bunches sometimes in breathtaking fashion late in games but also just continue to be a bit off in terms of attention to detail. The Canes 4-3 overtime loss to the Oilers on Sunday represented the seventh time in eight games since the All-Star break that the Canes opponent scored three or more goals allowing 3.88 goals per game in that time frame.
The story was a bit the same too. In terms of sheer volume of time, the Hurricanes played a decent game on Sunday, but paid dearly for a few costly errors that generated offense for an Edmonton team that maybe needed a bit of help in that regard. Two Edmonton goals came on power plays from unnecessary offensive zone penalties by the Canes (Svechnikov and Haula). )Technically one was not a power play but came just seconds after a power play ended with Edmonton still on the attack.) And the third in regulation came when van Riemsdyk coughed the puck up against the forecheck and then failed to recognize that a forward would not get back quick enough to help. (He basically played the player with the puck like it was a 2-on-2 which made a pass too easy for a point blank chance and goal.) In total, the volume of Hurricanes errors was not egregious, but right now the propensity of these errors to find the back of the Hurricanes net seems really high.
On a positive note, picking up a point in the standings is a good thing. Columbus played and lost in a shootout, so the Canes were at least break even head to head for the night.
And Sebastian Aho continued his scoring surge with two more goals including a huge one that pushed the game to overtime to earn the important OTL point. He finished on a breakaway finally going away from his seen too much move where he pulls backhand and simultaneously slides the puck five-hole. Instead lifting a shot up into the top of the net did the trick. And he also finished with a quick shot from the slot.
Another positive is a continuation of the Canes consistency sending bodies to the front of the net. The Trevor van Riemsdyk goal for the Canes first goal was shot into a maze of bodies that included two Canes forwards. The goalie never saw it and had no chance.
The Canes also had the upper hand in total on the night, especially when trying to fight back in the third period with a 10-3 shot advantage and again in overtime with a 5-1 shot advantage.
One could make a good case that the Canes deserved better, but Sunday is also a perfect example of what can happen if you give a gift a good hockey team a few extra chances. Sometimes they capitalize and steal a win.
Next up is a a Tuesday game in Nashville against the Predators.