On Friday night, the Hurricanes won a spirited game over the Blackhawks by a 6-3 margin. The wild game saw six goals scored in the first period, a rare fight and group meetings in both penalty boxes. Whether it was because the Hurricanes ran out of a four-goal lead or because of the volume of meetings in 2020-21, the game was incredibly chippy in the second half.
Other than more scoring in bunches, I am not sure there is a ton to keep from this game, but the game was definitely great entertainment for a Friday night.
My notes follow.
Most significant was Antti Raanta finally playing after six starts for Frederik Andersen. The risk was that a long wait ending with killing a winning streak would immediately put a monkey on Raanta’s back. And early on, that seemed possible when he was beaten twice early. In total, he struggled a bit being beaten twice from odd angles and overplaying into shots a few times but getting away with it. In the end, he notched a win, and any imperfections were buried beneath a win.
Derek Stepan also scored his first goal, and Ian Cole collected his first point.
2) Steven Lorentz
He is close to finding a higher gear offensively using his size and speed to get scoring chances off the rush. He had the great goal winning a puck battle for a chance and goal in close and has had at least three more chances off the rush since then. He reminds me a bit of peak Kevyn Adams who similarly had a knack for finding himself ahead of the pack with the puck on his stick. But also like Adams, Lorentz has not been able to finish on the last couple. But if he can continue to find those kind of chances and net a goal per week, that would be 20-25 goals for the season which would be a huge number for a fourth-liner who does not get power play ice time.
3) Tony DeAngelo
DeAngelo made a good read to get open on the back door for a goal in his second consecutive game and later added a couple assists and a fight. As advertised, he has his moments defensively, but he has been a positive on the first power play unit, a going concern offensively and good enough defensively for his role.
4) A bit of puck luck
No doubt, the Hurricanes are playing well, but they are also in the midst of one of those stretches where everything seems to be going their way. In consecutive games, they have had a cross ice pass go off a defender and straight into the net. Thursday’s game also saw a Sebastian Aho pass blocked only to wind up in his wheel house for an immediate scoring chance and goal. The key is to ride the wave as long as you can and bank a ton of points which the Canes are doing obviously.
5) Jaccob Slavin
Slavin continues to play well. With the departure of Dougie Hamilton, Slavin entered the season as key player needing to anchor a top four pairing, Thus far, the transition has been nearly seamless.
Next up for the Canes is a 1pm Halloween matinee on Sunday against the Arizona Coyotes to close out what has already been a productive week at home.
I took the fam there, it was a fun outing. First period especially.
DeAngelo has got to be one of the top 10 d men so far in terms of points, I admit I haven’t looked it up but the kid has been a scoring point machine lately.
The breakaway goal by the Fins at the end of the first was a thing of beauty.
Great to see Lawrence step up like he’s doing.
The rest of the game was pretty much a pond hockey game, especially the third period. I guess the Canes felt comfortable with the lead and the Blackhawks just felt frustrated,.
Giving up 10 powerplays is a recipe for disaster on 98 out of every 100 hockey games, even with a good penalty kill.
The team has got to clean up that part of their game quick, before we meet another opponent in a tighter game. On the same note, the third periods almost always end up tense, the team is not closing out their games properly.
Obviously they’ve managed, through luck and good goaltending, but it’s not a recipe for long-term success.
That being said, a record of 7 0 0 is amazing, the game was a ton of fun and we really enjoyed it, so grumbling about things that could go even better is just preparing for the next stretch of games that won’t look so good (it would be impossible to keep winning like that, though I hope we can close out the homestand in style against Arizona and start the next stretch of games with 8 Ws in the bag.
I believe being 9 games above 500 is pretty much a guarantee of playing post season hockey,.
Speaking of the next stretch: It looks like Nino will be out for some time with a lower body injury.
Maybe this is the chance for Seth Jarvis to get an audition, if he is ready to play.
If not we got some pretty experienced players in Chicago.
Poturolski has been tearing it up, but more likely we’ll go to one of the experienced backup NHL forwards.
CJ Smith was playing quite well in the pre-season.