Ugh…Has not happened in awhile, but I just managed to lose most of the recap when it seemed to disappear into the ether. Figures it would be after a fun win with a decent number of positives.
Rather than trying to recreate it, I will just jump to the bullet points.
Notes from the Carolina Hurricanes 6-5 win over the Arizona Coyotes
1) Valentin Zykov
Playing with Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen, he had a tremendous game all around. He finished a pretty goal labeling a shot off the rush and an ugly goal banging in a rebound after setting a screen. He was a partial screen on another goal by Teravainen. And he showed a good knack for closing angles and space defensively in all three zones. Two smaller things jumped out to me. First was a sequence in the second period. He was twice parked in front of the net and had to leave to win/support the puck. In both cases, he immediately returned to the front of the net afterward. His simple ‘when at all possible just go to the top of the crease’ style of play is both refreshing and productive. The other was a two on two rush in the third period where Zykov smartly gave the puck to Aho and then stormed to the front of the net.
2) Elias Lindholm
He had two pretty playmaking assists distributing the puck from his office at the side of the net. While maybe not the traditional playmaking center who likes to carry the puck in space and then distribute it, Lindholm continues to be incredibly productive centering the puck from the side of the net to a finisher in front of the net.
3) The good and bad of Jeff Skinner
Skinner was dangerous offensively intermittently on Thursday night and scored right at the beginning of the game and then late to win it. The game was obviously a productive one offensively, but in between he had a tough go of it in terms of puck management. He had stretches where he seemed to be constantly turning the puck over trying to make something happen.
4) ‘Bleh’ from Cam Ward buried under scoring
In addition to the one bizarre goal, Ward let in consecutive soft goals in the second period being beaten from a ways out and then having a puck shot off the back of his leg and in from behind the net. On this night, the Hurricanes offense surged against an equally leaky goalie at the other end, but the night was not a particularly good one for Ward.
5) Roland McKeown
McKeown had a fairly quiet game in 15:03 of ice time which is not a horrible thing for a young defenseman.
6) Phil Di Giuseppe
Di Giuseppe had a strong night and was able to convert it on the score sheet on this night. His goal was one of sticking with it after he scored on his third shot of the shift. And he was an active part of Skinner/Lindholm/Di Giuseppe which was strong offensively all night.
7) Jaccob Slavin
His scoring ways continued with three asssists. He now has two goals in five assists in the last four games.
8) The curse of Arturs Irbe clearly lives
I know that many think my commentary about the curse of Arturs Irbe is purely in jest. Chuckle if you so choose, but little by little more are beginning to believe and understand. After Arturs Irbe recently made a return to PNC Arena for a ceremonial pre-game face-off, many thought that perhaps the curse had been lifted. I reported after the game that unfortunately it did not seem that Irbe could simply lift his own curse. And Thursday’s game very clearly sent a message from the hockey gods confirming just that. How else could you explain Cam Ward somehow getting the puck lodged in his skate behind the net, retreating to the net while he frantically tried to figure out where the puck was and then ultimately scoring on himself when he put his skate into the net? Jofa helmets…There is no way around it…We need old, bucket style Jofa goalie helmets…
Next up for the Hurricanes is a Saturday match up against the Ottawa Senators.