In Carolina's first three games of the year, it's been mainly the big guns (Staal, Skinner, Jokinen) who have been getting on the score-sheet. However, there's been a few bottom-sixers who have been creating chances but not converting. One of whom is Jiri Tlusty, who is quietly having a pretty solid start to the year. Personally, I didn't see him getting past the fourth line this season but Paul Maurice elected to put him on the second line with Jussi Jokinen and Chad LaRose to start the year. The lines have already been jumbled countless times but Tlusty has still seen himself bounce between the second and third lines. He's been on-ice for 14 of Carolina's even strength chances and that's partially due to him feeding off linemates but that wasn't the case this game. He was on-ice for three chances and created them all by himself, one of which was a goal. Good to see the points come to him.
As for the rest of this game, it could have been better from the first line's perspective but the Canes managed to barely outchance the Bruins in this game and come away with the victory, too. Amazing what killing penalties can do.
More after the jump.
Boston Bruins vs. Carolina Hurricanes 10/12/11 Scoring Chances
|Period||Totals||EV||PP||5v3 PP||SH||5v3 SH|
Carolina's chances are in red, Boston's are in gold
Both teams were tied in chances at even strength with the Bruins having the advantage for the last two periods, although that could be due to them playing from behind. Carolina did an excellent job of getting pressure on Boston early and getting the advantage in chances. Unfortunately, it didn't lead to any goals but they capitalized on a powerplay opportunity early in the second to take the lead. From then on, the Bruins controlled most of the game at even strength but the Canes were able to kill penalties well (no PP chances for the B's in the 3rd) and hold onto the lead. Some help from the bottom-six players helped, as well.
Individual Scoring Chances
Best EV Forwards: Tuomo Ruutu, Zac Dalpe, Alexei Ponikarovsky, Jussi Jokinen, Tim Brent +2
Worst EV Forwards: Eric Staal, Jeff Skinner -3
Best EV Defenseman: Jay Harrison +4
Worst EV Defenseman: Joni Pitkanen, Jamie McBain -3
Ruutu's had a rough start to the year, but he had himself a solid game against the B's. The second and fourth lines all had pretty solid games all around. Although, that fourth line had zero starts in their own zone in this game, which is odd because they've been getting almost nothing but defensive zone starts before this game. Meanwhile, Staal and Skinner had 5 starts in their own zone compared to only 2 in the offensive zone. That's the exact opposite of how I expected Skinner to be utilized this year and could be why they had such rough games at even strength.
Harrison and Kaberle both had solid games but were sheltered in terms of matchups and usage (especially Kaberle). Kaberle was mainly matched up with Gregory Campbell's line at even strength and got a lot of offensive zone starts. Allen and Gleason had to deal with Seguin's line and had a solid performance against them. Allen managed to break even and had 7 blocked shots to boot. McBain and Pitkanen weren't really matched up with anyone but both of them gave up a lot of chances in their own end no matter what.
For special teams, the top performers on the powerplay are the usual suspects. Staal, Skinner, Jokinen, Pitkanen and Kaberle lead the way once again. They've been a pretty strong unit this season. On the penalty kill, Brent turned in a strong performance with only one chance allowed in over 4 minutes of ice time. Allen and Dwyer also did well.
In the home opener against Tampa, I said Maurice didn't use the last change to his advantage. It appears that he had a similar problem here as Chara seemed to be on the ice whenever Staal's line was but Claude Julien was using Chara switched around Chara's defense partners throughout the game so that he would be on-ice whenever Staal was. Julien is one of the better coaches when it comes to getting the matchup he wants and that was evident in the playoffs last year. Still, you have to give it to that second line for managing to beat Chara everytime they were matched up with him. The fourth line also did well against Boston's and have a goal to show for it. Remember what I said about Kaberle and Harrison being sheltered? This tells the story well. Kaberle won all of his matchups, though. McBain and Pitkanen failed to win any of their matchups.
|CAR||1||0:49||Staal missed shot||12||25||30||36||51||53||11||20||30||33||44||5v4|
|CAR||2||19:18||Pitkanen - GOAL||12||25||30||36||51||53||30||33||37||44||63||5v4|
|CAR||3||16:18||Stewart - GOAL||5||6||13||22||30||37||11||14||20||22||30||44||5v5|
|BOS||3||15:53||Seguin - GOAL||4||12||25||30||53||59||17||18||19||30||33||54||5v5|
|CAR||3||6:28||Tlusty - GOAL||5||6||16||19||30||39||14||21||23||30||38||49||5v5|
|BOS||3||3:25||Marchand - GOAL||4||16||19||25||30||39||11||14||33||37||63||67||5v5|