For the second night in a row, Carolina had an early 2-0 lead and then gave it away within the span of one period. There were a few different things that happened tonight, though. In yesterday's game, they blew a 2-0 lead because the team got careless and decided to sit on a lead and let the Blues take it to them. They were careless tonight as well but in an undisciplined way. Carolina committed four penalties in the first period which allowed the Jets to tie the game. After that, things just imploded and the Jets scored three unanswered goals and Carolina could barely do anything to create offense in the second period. Despite Winnipeg's best efforts to get the Hurricanes back into the game, they came up short and were handed their second straight loss.
I said a few things about the Jets before the game; 1) I said a lot of their players were falling victim to poor percentages right now and two of those players were Andrew Ladd and Evander Kane. They each had a goal tonight. 2) I said their powerplay and penalty kill looked mediocre but they weren't as bad as their conversion rates stated. They scored twice on the powerplay and killed off seven Carolina penalties. 3) Their goaltending was very bad. Ondrej Pavelec was chased in the first period and Chris Mason stood on his head in the third. Half right there. On the other end, Boucher was not at his best tonight as he allowed five goals on 24 shots but I think only two of the goals he let in were soft. The team in front of him certainly was not helping with the penalties and putting up zero offense for about 30 minutes.
More after the jump
Hurricanes at Jets Chances by Period
|Period||Totals||EV||PP||5v3 PP||SH||5v3 SH|
Carolina's chances are in red, Winnipeg's are in grey
When the scoring chance numbers appear less lopsided than the final score was, it's usually due to "scoring effects" which is when the trailing team is trying to mount a comeback while the leading team is doing their best to protect a lead. I want to say that was the case tonight but Carolina actually recorded half of their even strength chances in the first period. The reason they were able to get back into the game in the third period was due to Winnipeg taking numerous penalties and they were pinned in their own zone for over half of that period. Had it been for Chris Mason, the score would have looked a lot closer. He stopped a few golden chances for Carolina on the powerplay that kept this a two-goal game.
Aside from that, the scoring chance numbers tell the story of this game very well. Those five Carolina chances all came in the first seven minutes and then the Canes began their parade to the penalty box which Winnipeg took full advantage of. The Hurricanes were flat for the whole second period and that's where the Jets scored three more times. Then the Jets had their own parade to the box in the third which I talked about in the above paragraph. Carolina could have easily tied this game on the powerplay but like I mentioned earlier, Mason shut them down.
This was another frustrating game to watch as a Canes fan. Weak effort at even strength for 60 minutes, allowing a weak powerplay to score on us twice, the Jets fans chanting Brian Boucher's name every 30 seconds and Tripp Tracy singing Justin Bieber songs in the booth. Yeah, definitely a lot of things I'd rather forget about in this game.
Individual Scoring Chances
Best EV Forwards: Jeff Skinner, Jussi Jokinen +3
Worst EV Forwards: Tuomo Ruutu -3
Best EV Defenseman: Joni Pitkanen +2
Worst EV Defenseman: Tomas Kaberle -4
If you watched the game then this shouldn't surprise you at all. Skinner was the best player on the ice for the Hurricanes and it's not even close. He was doing everything so well at both ends of the rink. He was creating offense by crashing the net, setting up plays (see Ruutu's goal) and he played excellent defense on top of that. Both him and Jokinen had great games and I was glad to see Ruutu placed on that line. Hopefully that will get him into gear because aside from scoring that goal, he had another rough game.
Speaking of struggling forwards, I heard a lot of people criticizing Staal after today's game. I'm sure that's due to frustration building up over time because while he hasn't had a good season, he was not that bad in this game. He actually performed very well on the powerplay and was pretty effective when it came to trying to create chances there. Even strength was another story. That's been the case all season.
Our heavy lifters on defense (Allen, Gleason, Brandon Sutter, Dywer & Tlusty) had pretty uneventful nights but I would say that they turned in solid performances defensively at the very least. It's a little odd to see they had zero chances for or against in this game but the third line was definitley neutralized in this game.
Pitkanen and McBain were good for most of the game and definitely benefitted from getting a lot of time with the second line but definitely pitched in on offense when they needed to. It was McBain's initial shot that created Skinner's goal. On the flipside, he was on ice for two of Winnipeg's even strength goals. Kaberle had a very rough game at even strength but I felt that he didn't play as poorly as the numbers indicate. He also had another solid game on the powerplay.
Head-to-Head Scoring Chances at Even Strength
ERROR: Third line winger should be Mark Scheifele and not Evander Kane. He was not on ice for any chances, though.
How good was that second line? Skinner and Jokinen won all of their matchups and really took it to Winnipeg's top defense pairing of Dustin Byfuglien and Tobias Enstrom. The top line had a lot of problems with Winnipeg's first line and the Zach Bogosian-Mark Stuart pairing. The only line those three could seem to do well against was Winnipeg's fourth line. I mentioned in my preview that those three get a ton of defensive zone starts and that was the case tonight.
Unfortunately for Carolina, that second line counted for at least 85% of their offense because the top unit was mediocre and both the third and fourth lines could not do much of anything to create offense. I wanted to keep Skinner off the top line to give the team scoring balance but this wasn't exactly what I had in mind. His line is shining while Staal's is stuck in a rut. I feel that Brent's line could possibly do more if they were given more ice time and Sutter's line doesn't exactly scream offensive juggernaut either.
Somehow, Gleason and Allen were held off the board completely in both aspects and I honestly don't know how that happened. Tomas Kaberle failed to win all of his matchups including the Jets' fourth line.
I don't have the script for this game because the time on ice site was producing incorrect data. All of this was compiled manually.