"My goal for the game: outshoot the opponent. Even if we don't win, I want to turn the game off knowing that this team tried and put forth a great effort. I sure as hell didn't have that feeling last game."- Me in yesterday's game preview
I really need to be careful what I wish for. The Canes outshot, outchanced and outplayed the Buffalo Sabres for a good portion of last night's game but they ended up losing 1-0 and haven't scored a goal in almost seven periods. It's rough times but I didn't think Carolina played that bad of a game last night and could have won had a few bounces gone their way. I also thought that the team could have done a better job at getting traffic in front of Buffalo goalie Jhonas Enroth. The team was generating chances, but Enroth saw most of them the entire way and that was a big factor.
Scoring chances & more after the jump
Buffalo Sabres vs. Carolina Hurricanes 11/18/11 Scoring Chances
|Period||Totals||EV||PP||5v3 PP||SH||5v3 SH|
Carolina's chances are in red, Buffalo's are in blue.
Those two shorthanded chances came with the goalie pulled so the chances are more like 18-12 overall but the Canes still outchanced Buffalo last night any way you cut it. Most of that is due to the second period where they dominated the Sabres and did everything but score. They also had what may have been their best looking powerplay of the season creating four chances in that two-minute sequence. The only problem was they didn't finish the game strong and failed to create a chance on their final powerplay. I know that now is not the time for moral victories but the Canes will win more games if they can play like they did last night.
Individual Scoring Chances
Best EV Forward: Zach Boychuk +4
Worst EV Forward: Jussi Jokinen -2
Best EV Defenseman: Tim Gleason & Bryan Allen +6
Worst EV Defenseman: Tomas Kaberle -4
Zach Boychuk has earned himself a spot in the top-six again, me thinks. He created four chances at even strength alone and two of them came with Eric Staal & Chad LaRose as his linemates. He had a rough game against Montreal (who didn't, really?) but he rebounded nicely here. He also seems like a better fit for the top-line than Anthony Stewart who didn't do much in that role. Notice how Staal & LaRose's numbers look a lot better than his. Boychuk and Skinner were put in Stewart's spot at points in the game and they both did a lot better than him. Speaking of Staal, he's having quite a resurgence and I think his point total will rise along with it soon. The second line certainly didn't have the best of nights, especially Jokinen. I have to think that was why Maurice bumped up Skinner to the first line for some of the game.
Gleason and Allen looked and played as well as they did at the beginning of the season by allowing only one chance against at even strength. Unfortunately, they were on ice for Jason Pominville's powerplay goal but that looked more like a bad bounce than anything. They still played one of their best games in awhile and I hope it continues. Justin Faulk looked solid by the eyes but he did give up quite a bit in his own end, so I would keep an eye on that. He seems to be playing more of a factor in the defense than Derek Joslin, though. He's playing a lot more minutes and doesn't need to be protected from tough competition like Joslin and Jay Harrison. Kaberle was brutal at even strength again. Don't think I need to say anything else on that matter.
Head-to-head at even strength
What night for the Allen/Gleason pairing. Won all of their matchups and outplayed the Sabres top pairing of Tyler Myers and Robin Regehr. They also completley shut down that dangerous Sabres top line at even strength. More of this, please! The rest of the defense slacked a little bit, though. McBain/Kaberle failed to when any of their matchups when they were paired together and Kaberle was a negative or even against everyone he was put up against. Jokinen also failed to win any of his matchups and had his worst game of the season without a doubt.
The Sabres seemed to target our third pairing of Harrison/Faulk by putting their second line against them and they definitely took advantage of Harrison's low skill-set and Faulk's inexperience. I didn't think either played bad, though. Eric Staal's line had a pretty strong game overall as they at least outchanced Buffalo's top defense pairing along with most of their other matchups. Also, the Sabres are known for having one of the deepest lineups in the NHL but their depth forwards really didn't accomplish a lot in this game. Ellis, Tropp and Adam had a chance a piece but that was it.
|BUF||1||6:56||Pominville - GOAL||5||6||33||37||39||1||17||22||26||29||57||4v5|
|CAR||3||0:34||Harrison - EN||12||36||44||51||53||1||17||22||26||29||57||4v5|
|CAR||3||0:32||Staal - EN||12||36||44||51||53||1||17||22||26||29||57||4v5|