It is always a bummer when a great game is decided on a horrible call and that is what happened tonight in the Canes 3-2 OT loss to the Anaheim Ducks. Both teams played a strong game and the Canes had one of their better road efforts of the year but unfortunately, they ended up walking away with only one point when it very well could have been two.
The call (or non-call I should say) in question occurred about three minutes into overtime when Jussi Jokinen was playing the puck behind the net. He was being chased by Anaheim forward Corey Perry behind the net and, in an attempt to strip the puck, Perry tripped Jokinen (and blatantly I might add) but referee Tim Peel let play continue as he saw no foul here. Perry was able to gain possession of the puck and The Ducks were quickly able to set up the play and Perry fired a one-timer past Ward to win it for Anaheim.
With how quick the game of hockey is and the human eye having it's limitations, bad calls are bound to happen but this was a non-call that directly led to a game-winning goal for Anaheim, so it's going to be awhile before Canes fans forget about this one. It's especially bad if you look at the play in question because the evidence doesn't exactly speak in Peel or Perry's favor. It was an awful call but I think it is best to be level-headed & reasonable in these situations. Humans make mistakes and this one is pretty big on Peel's part but we don't know for sure that Carolina would have won the game in OT or the shootout even if the call didn't happen. We can speculate but we don't know for sure. Either way, I think the best thing to do is to move on because this was truly a great game outside of that horrible call and I'd rather discuss that instead. Be upset. You have every right to be but in the end, you have to remember that it's only a hockey game and the outcome affects you only as much as you let it. As is the case with all sports. Letting this drag on for days, weeks & months isn't going to do much good.
Now that I have said all that I wanted to about Tim Peel and the non-call, let's talk about the other things that happened in the game because there's a lot of positive things for the Canes to build on here.
Carolina Hurricanes at Anaheim Ducks 02/08/12 Scoring Chances
|Period||Totals||EV||PP||5v3 PP||SH||5v3 SH|
Carolina's chances are in red, Anaheim's are in white
The Canes had, what I thought was, a perfect road start. They were able to get the puck deep on numerous occasions and put pressure on the Anaheim defenders, which resulted in a lot of great even strength chances and eventually Tuomo Ruutu's goal. That goal shows that great things happen when you get the puck to the net (see Jiri Tlusty's initial shot) with pressure in front. Carolina was also protecting the front of their own net in the defensive zone so while they gave up eight shots, only two of them were scoring chances.
Unfortunately, Anaheim opened up the floodgates in the second period and the great play in the neutral zone from Carolina disappeared. They constantly turned the puck over and were stuck in their own zone for nearly the entire first 10 minutes of the second period and the Ducks were able to get the game-tying goal. The Canes were able to get a few good chances but Anaheim owned the second for the most part. The third period, on the other hand, was a much better showing for the Canes as they went back to what worked in the first period and had the Ducks on the ropes for the last 10 minutes of regulation. Had they carried their great play in the third into OT or finished on one of their many chances, then the issue that I mentioned in the opening probably wouldn't have happened but that wasn't how things worked out.
Overall, the Canes played a good game and outchanced Anaheim at even strength. A strong road effort that shouldn't be forgotten.
Individual Scoring Chances
Best EV Forward: Jeff Skinner +5
Worst EV Forward: Brandon Sutter -3
Best EV Defenseman: Jamie McBain +3
Worst EV Defenseman: Justin Faulk -1
The first line of Tlusty-Staal-Ruutu produced both of Carolina's goals and were on ice for more chances than they gave up, so that's a very good sign. I felt like these three were a huge factor in the first and third periods as they seemed to be much more active during that time, especially Staal. Tlusty quietly had a solid game and his effort to keep the play alive on the first goal was wonderful, so was Ruutu's finish. With Jim Rutherford having a big decision on what he wants to do with Ruutu in the future, it wouldn't surprise me to see #15 play his best hockey of the year during this month. He had a strong game against LA and carried it over to tonight's game.
One that that might get overlooked is how great Jeff Skinner played. He didn't have any goals or points but he was constantly in the offensive zone creating chances, sometimes out of desperation. He had five shots on goal, led the team with four scoring chances and fired eight total shots at the net. Both of his linemates, Bowman & Jokinen, were solid too but Skinner was the driving force behind that line.
Dwyer, Sutter & Nodl had a bit of an off-game when it came to scoring chances and they were on ice for the first Anaheim goal, which was the one Nick Bonino tipped in. Personally, I thought Nodl played well and was the strongest member of this line, which was a surprise, while Sutter & Dwyer struggled a bit. They seemed to get caught in their own zone a lot against the Getzlaf line and were on ice for a lot of shots against.
Tim Gleason and Bryan Allen had a mixed night going by the eye-test. On one hand, they kept Ryan, Perry & Getzlaf off the scoresheet during five-on-five play but they also had a few horrendous mistakes. Gleason's attempt to move the puck through the neutral zone himself resulting in a turnover is one that sticks out in paticular. That's the risk you take when you pair two defensive d-men together. They can be studs in their own zone and hell to play against but seeing them advance the puck will make you want to pull your hair out at times.
Jamie McBain had a solid night and it was his first one in awhile. He seemed to know when to pinch and when not to and didn't have any egregiously bad mistakes to my recollection. However, it's worth noting that he and Jaroslav Spacek were assigned against the Nick Bonino line, which isn't exactly the most threatening competition.
I thought Justin Faulk and Jay Harrison played decently overall but they were definitely getting caught on ice for a lot of chances against, mainly because they had a ton of long shifts. The Ducks were able to get these two pinned in their own zone numerous times because they were unable to clear the puck ended up being stuck on the ice for much longer than they should have. Both player's average shift lengths were around a minute long and that generally leads to bad things, especially with young defensemen. It shows that these two have their limitations when they are matched up against a tough line like they were tonight.
Head-to-head at five-on-five
- Drayson Bowman and Jeff Skinner didn't lose any of their matchups tongiht and they did some work against the Ducks third line and bottom defense pairing. Actually, just about everyone on the Canes took advantage of Lydman & Brookbank.
- I thought Saku Koivu played a strong game but it appears that the Canes actually contained his line pretty well. Too bad they didn't on the second goal but there's not much you can do when a rebound goes right into the slot.
- Francois Beauchemin failed to win any of his matchups, which is pretty impressive on the Canes part because he's one of their best defensemen.
- Faulk/Harrison had some problems defending Anaheim's big line. So did Nodl-Sutter-Dwyer. Gleason/Allen, on the other hand, did a great job at neutralizing them.
- McBain & Spacek won all of their matchups but you will notice that they were kept away from the Getzlaf line completely so they had some easier sailing compared to the other defensemen.
|CAR||1||2:04||Ruutu - GOAL||5||6||12||15||19||30||1||4||9||10||15||23||5v5|
|ANA||2||7:12||Bonino - GOAL||14||16||28||30||39||44||1||5||7||17||33||63||5v5|
|CAR||3||16:14||Staal - GOAL||4||8||12||15||19||30||1||8||14||21||32||39||5v5|
|ANA||3||14:49||Koivu - GOAL||4||8||13||30||37||59||1||5||8||11||17||39||5v5|
|ANA||4||2:46||Perry - GOAL||4