In any given season, there are always teams who have each other's number. Last year, the Hurricanes had the Bruins number, sweeping them in a four game series and this year, it seems the Lightning have played their best games of the season against the Hurricanes. After their 4-1 win tonight, the Lightning have won all three of their matchups against Carolina this year and have outscored them a whopping 13-4 in those games. If that's not a sign of dominance then I'm not sure what is. You would think that the Hurricanes would look to change this trend tonight after letting at least one point slip away on Thursday night against Washington but they ended up taking a blowout loss tonight and didn't look good at all during the game.
There are going to be a lot of people questioning this team's effort and compete level tonight, because of how lopsided the final score ended up but I honestly thought the effort was there tonight. For the most part, this team worked hard tonight, tried to penetrate the Lightning's defense and played a full-sixty minutes. The scoreboard didn't show it, but I thought the Hurricanes put in a good effort tonight. Their execution, however, was very poor. Carolina was able to gain the zone numerous times and control the pace of play, but the Lightning knew what they were trying to do most of the time and were able to defend them well.
Then the times that the Hurricanes actually got through the Lightning's defense, they were either overly hesitant (see Jordan Staal passing on an odd-man rush instead of just firing it at the net) or had a few bounces go against them (see Patrick Dwyer's tip chance in front of the net going just wide). Nights like this happen and unfortunately for the Hurricanes, it had to come on a game after they blew a 2-0 lead to another divisional opponent.
I don't disagree that Carolina was far too deliberate with their game plan and should have adjusted after the second period, but as far as effort goes, I think they showed that tonight. They just did not execute well at all and will need to regroup before taking on a struggling New York Rangers squad this Monday. Carolina was in a good spot heading into this week, but the more they lose, the slimmer their room for error becomes and that's becoming even more stressful with the Winnipeg Jets winning eight of their last 10. Thankfully, the door is still wide open for them but they need to play a lot better than they did tonight for it to remain there.no comments