Tonight's dramatic 3-2 win over the Bruins reminded me a lot of some games that the Hurricanes would win last season. They had a lot of trouble creating offense and were kept in their own zone for most of the game but what kept them in it was the great play of Cam Ward. He stopped 33 of 35 shots, 21 of which came from a dangerous scoring area and looked a lot more like the goalie we had hoped to see for most of the year. That isn't to say that he was the only reason the Canes won this game because there are few other things you could point at. All three of Carolina's goals happened because forwards were able to get in front of Tim Thomas and create traffic. A couple of timely turnovers (see Brandon Sutter on Dwyer's goal) and instances of the Canes winning battles along the boards (Brent vs. Corvo on Faulk's goal) also helped but for the most part, it was Ward who kept the game in reach. Getting outshot 33-21 at even strength isn't going to win you a ton of games, so let's enjoy this win but not get used to it. Hey, whatever makes us 3-0 against the defending champs is fine in my book.
Carolina Hurricanes vs. Boston Bruins 1/14/12 Scoring Chances
|Period||Totals||EV||PP||5v3 PP||SH||5v3 SH|
Carolina's chances are in red, Boston's are in white
One comment I made during the game was that the Canes were defending well but not creating enough offense and the former is true for the first period while the latter can accurately describe the entire game. The Canes managed to fend off the Bruins at even strength for the first period but gave up way too much in the next two and this was without Boston getting any powerplay opportunities. I have to say, it's impressive that Carolina managed to win this game despite getting outplayed so badly and getting no time on the powerplay on top of that. A win is a win is a win and one like this feels especially good.
Individual Scoring Chances
Best EV Forward: Andreas Nodl +2
Worst EV Forward: Eric Staal, Jiri Tlusty -7
Best EV Defenseman: Derek Joslin EVEN
Worst EV Defenseman: Tim Gleason & Bryan Allen -6
The first line pulled a complete 180 after having such a great game against Tampa Bay. Staal, Ruutu and Tlusty were non-factors for most of the night when used as a unit. If that wasn't bad enough, they were on-ice for at least nine of the 19 even strength chances that the Canes gave up. Staal was double shifted and this may have not been the best night to do that because something was clearly wrong with him. I'm a huge defender of Staal but his play last night was way off. Tlusty screening Thomas on Justin Faulk's goal does help make up for what was a pretty bad performance from him other wise.
On a more positive note, Nodl-Sutter-Dwyer had a great night at both ends of the ice and they were another reason why Carolina had a chance in this game. They held the Krejci line to only five shots on goal and limited their chances against, which is what really matters. Dwyer was especially impressive as the Canes outcorsied the Bruins 17-9 when he was on the ice, which was better than any other player on the team. Very happy that he scored a goal to add onto that. Also, I'm glad that Nodl is continuing to play well and earn more ice-time. I feel like he's setting a new season-high with every game.
Interesting to see that Jussi Jokinen played well while his linemates did not, Ponikarovsky being the main culprit. Samson might be looking at another bus ride back to Charlotte when Jeff Skinner returns because he has yet to repeat the performance he had against the Flyers on Tuesday. It's not that he was horrible last night, but call-ups need to be consistent if they want to stay in the NHL and Samson hasn't been that yet. However, one good thing I can say is that the shots were going in the Canes favor when him and Jokinen were on the ice so there's definitely a lot of potential here. Tim Brent also got some time outside of the fourth line and picked up an assist on Faulk's goal.
Gleason and Allen were disappointing tonight and I think the numbers speak for themselves. They can't be a wall every game so I'm hoping this is just an off-night and doesn't lead to Muller shaking things up again. Harrison/Faulk were put up against the Bergeron line and gave up way too much in their own end for my liking but they at least chipped in offensively to help off-set things a little bit. Faulk also showed off his impressive slap shot that we've heard a lot about on the goal he scored. It's good to see his game come around but it would be nice to see some consistency in his own end. Oh, and Jay Harrison scored yet another goal to give him seven on the year and he might end up scoring 10 on the year, something I didn't see happening. Joslin and McBain had uneventful nights aside from the latter having a horrific turnover in the third period.
Head-to-Head at Five-on-five
- That Zdeno Chara guy is pretty damn good, eh? Did a huge number on the Staal line tonight and Boychuk was equally impressive. What's even more impressive is the Sutter line's performance against them.
- You know who is also pretty good? Patrice Bergeron. His line was matched up with Staal's for most of the game and clearly had the better of him. This line actually outchanced everyone they were put up against.
- Adam McQuaid was the only Bruins player to be outchanced by everyone. Considering he is a sheltered, third-pairing defenseman, that isn't terribly surprising.
- Gleason/Allen actually didn't let the Krejci line burn them that much and it was the Bergeron & Campbell lines who registered the most scoring chances against them.
|BOS||2||13:47||Bergeron - GOAL||5||6||12||15||19||30||19||30||33||37||55||67||5v5|
|CAR||2||9:30||Dwyer - GOAL||4||14||16||27||30||39||11||20||22||30||33||55||5v5|
|BOS||3||18:39||Lucic - GOAL||5||6||14||16||30||39||17||18||21||30||46||54||5v5|
|CAR||3||6:02||Faulk - GOAL||19||28||30||36||37||44||14||17||18||30||44||46||5v5|
|CAR||3||1:30||Harrison - GOAL||19||28||30||36||37||44||11||23||30||44||49||55||5v5|