The Hurricanes have been a pretty decent team at even strength so far this year but their underlying numbers are skewed heavily due to the fact that they have been forced to play from behind in all but two of their games. This is partially the reason why they have outchanced their opponents in every game this year and why most of their players have very positive underlying numbers. The usual solution to these problems is to only include stats from when the game was tied but Carolina's games have been tied for maybe a combined 60 minutes at the most, which is obviously too small of a sample size to make a judgment call on. We should find out just how "good" this team is at even strength in the upcoming weeks when they get more games under their belt.
Unfortunately, last night's game against the Toronto Maple Leafs probably did nothing but make their underlying numbers even more strange. The Hurricanes were dominated for the first 20 minutes and outchanced 11-4 by Toronto but they went into the locker room only down 1-0 thanks to the stellar goaltending of Cam Ward. They managed to pull a complete 180 in the second period and held the Leafs to only two scoring chances while producing 10 of their own. They ended up being outchanced 21-20 by the end of the game but that's actually pretty impressive when you consider how bad they played in the first period.
Ward's goaltending was able to bail out the Hurricanes after a bad first period but the team did a nice job of responding and taking over the game after that.no comments