March 15, 2017, 11:18 AM ET [29 Comments]
Carolina Hurricanes Blogger • RSS • Archive • CONTACT
Missed opportunities to capitalize and expand the 2-0 second period lead cost the Canes this game. This will be another game that the Canes look back at as games that defined the “why” for missing the playoffs.
While the result was disappointing, the Canes still played a strong game—unfortunately a one-minute breakdown significantly changed the game. I was personally very surprised to see that Canes Head Coach Bill Peters didn’t challenge the second goal scored by Chimera. To me, it appears that Chimera enters the zone back-wards while not fully controlling the puck as he kicks it from his skate, toe-drags the puck and appears he may have lost the puck momentarily and had to recapture possession.
From the video and a few still images, I really don’t know how BP doesn’t challenge that. The worst thing that happens is the Canes lose their timeout and head to the locker in 40 seconds for the intermission tied at two. The upside: get the goal back and head into the locker-room up 2-1 with 40 seconds to play and not allow back-to-back goals in 25 seconds.
The Canes could’ve broken this game wide open which is why the loss hurts. The Canes had two PP’s in the second period with great chances to take full control of the game. Despite not scoring, they had some strong chances and moved the puck well. They keep emphasizing playing at a faster pace with the PP puck movement. It is nice to see it continuing to improve.
In addition, Wallmark had a third rebound chance that was stymied by Greiss as he extended his glove arm along the goal-line. This is most likely a goal that most top-9 NHL forwards would have scored:
Then there was the save on a 3-1 rush with Skinner finding Brown on the backdoor. This is a goal that almost any top-9 forward in the NHL pots:
Both of those opportunities show the difference in the ability of an NHL player and an AHL player to process plays that occur so quickly. Both Brown and Wallmark are young and are recent Checker call-ups, so it is a bit understandable. However, I do confidently say both those chances are most likely goals if the shot is from a top-9 forward.
The Canes had another prime chance on a great pass to Skinner. Greiss made another sprawling glove save to keep the game tied at two early in the third. I was really impressed with Seidenberg forcing Skinner to go to his backhand and then allowing Greiss to make the save—if he had of been lazier, Skinner wouldn’t have had to pull it to his backhand last second.
Ultimately, the Canes weren’t able to consistently pressure the puck and the Islanders were hitting everything. In previous games, the Islanders reached for loose pucks and the Canes won a lot of puck battles. Tonight, the Islanders had 37 hits and the strategy was clear—hit everything that moves and stop reaching for pucks.
The Canes had a lot of turnovers with 13 giveaways throughout the game. The Canes failed to clear the zone on the Islanders first goal and had a neutral zone turnover before the Islanders OT winner too. I think a large part to this was the fact that the Islanders were much more physical in all three zones.
When the Canes did establish good puck pressure, they created turnovers and scored two goals. Both of the goals came off of winning puck battles and forcing turnovers. Wallmark won a battle on the boards and found Nordstrom skating into the slot who fired a missile. The Canes have been doing a good job of forcing turnovers on the boards and turning them into scoring chances or goals—similarly to Zykov’s goal against the Rangers.
The second goal came off a great individual effort from Lindholm as he poked the puck free and went down for a breakaway goal. He extended his four game point streak and continues to be one of the Canes best players in the second half of the season. Both Aho and Tervainen have also looked strong recently, however, Lindholm has been the most consistent in terms of point production.
The final disappointing aspect is that McClement was injured with an undisclosed lower-body injury in the first period. Depending on how long he is out, the Canes will need to call another Checker up. My guess is on Poturalski, as he has been putting up the best numbers on the Checkers roster and is another young forward.
Finally, I was surprised to see Ward play tonight and not Lack, especially because it was a back-to-back. Ward didn’t play poorly and made some solid saves against the Islanders, however, I still think Lack will be seeing more ice-time with the intensity of the upcoming schedule.
The Canes take on the Wild on Thursday—We will wait and see what Thursday’s roster brings in terms of lines and starting goalie. Go