For those who love wild hockey games with a bunch of scoring, I hope they tuned in for the Hurricanes vs. Islanders All-Star game event in Brooklyn on Monday night. The game started a little bit loose and quickly jumped to 2-2 by the end of the first period. And it escalated magnanimously from there with a 6-goal second period. When the second period ended, the Hurricanes had mounted a 2-goal lead in a 6-4 game. But based on how the game was going, it felt like double digits might be needed to win. But the Islanders’ netminders never really did make a save, and the Hurricanes went on to win 8-4.
Recap of the Hurricanes 8-4 win over the New York Islanders
I am not sure I can even do a recap based on the volume of stuff. The Canes started well but really did not generate much in terms of grade A scoring chances in the first 5-6 minutes. That changed quickly. Dylan Strome’s goal to kick off the scoring was a pretty good indication of what was to come. Faulk stepped up and was beaten at the center line. The Hurricanes had bodies back to defend but really did not do much to stop anything when a pass went right by Lee Stempniak and the puck receiver went around Jaccob Slavin. It ended with a deflected shot finding a hole through Cam Ward and into the net. The Hurricanes struck right back first when Slavin fired a harmless looking shot from the blue line and found the back of the net, and then again when the Canes fired at will twice but missed before Joakim Nordstrom corraled a rebound and finished. Next Klas Dahlbeck and Matt Tennyson let an Islander walk straight to the front of the net where a rebound somehow got through Ward and into the net to make it 2-2 which is how the wild first period ended.
The second period was even wilder. Early in the second period, Calvin de Haan scored from literally outside the face-off circles, beating Ward on a bad short side goal. Next Faulk and Skinner took turns beating starting goalie Jean-Francois Berube which chased him from the game. Thomas entered and may still have been stretching when Faulk welcomed him to the game by skating through the free pass area that was the neutral zone all night and beating him from just above the face-off circles to make it 5-3 Hurricanes barely past the halfway point of the game. Slavin then scored on a shorthanded breakaway to stake the Hurricanes to a 6-3 lead. But when Josh Ho-Sang scored from the side of the net after a bad Derek Ryan turnover, the Hurricanes exited the third period with what felt like a tenuous 2-goal lead at 6-4.
But it turned out to be enough. Jeff Skinner was mugged former Hurricane Dennis Seidenberg on a breakaway and was awarded and scored on a penalty shot. Then Slavin scored again to give him a hat trick on the night. When the smoke cleared, the scoreboard showed the Hurricanes as victorious by a big 8-4 score.
‘What I’m watching’ follow up
If you missed the preview and want to catch up, you can find it HERE.
1) Ability to dial up intensity
The game was a bizarre one. I joked on Twitter that the neutral zone was a free pass zone. Once the game got rolling and the goal scoring with it, the game had the feel of a friendly game of pond hockey in which 20 goals would be scored.
2) Lucas Wallmark
Wallmark had a quiet NHL debut. He was the low man in terms of ice time at 10:05 of ice time. Calling it like I saw it, what jumped out at me was his lack of acceleration getting going from his own end to the neutral zone when transitioning from offense to defense. Important to note is that he is only 21 years old, but my quick read from a small sample size is that he still has work to do physically to be NHL ready.
3) Ongoing progress on the blue line
The game was such a mess in the neutral zone and in goal that it is hard to even judge how the defensemen played in between the 2 in terms of defense. But 5 goals from the blue line with 2 from Faulk and 3 from Slavin was enough to fuel a win in a weird hockey game.
4) Continuation for Skinner/Rask/Lindholm
Skinner collected 2 goals to continue his scoring ways. Just like with the defense, the game was so wide open, it is hard to assess individual parts.
The goaltending: Across the board, the goaltending was abysmal. The defense was not good either, but the volume of savable goals on all 3 goalies was very high. Ward was the least of the bad in earning a win, but I would not give him high marks either.
Lindholm and Clutterbuck: When Clutterbuck was running around a little bit and chirping late, Lindholm stood up to him and chirped back (and smartly did not feel the need to lose his gloves). He continues to play at a higher level in terms of intensity and physical engagement which is promising.
Next up for the Hurricanes is a quick turnaround and a rematch at PNC Arena tomorrow night.