One of the reasons why I decided to join the scoring chance project is to catch some things that I may have not seen on the ice. For instance, a player might be labeled as the goat because he failed to tie up a forward in front of the net and it led to the game-winning goal for the opposing team. He may also receive some flack for having the game-tying goal on his stick with less than a minute left and then blowing it by completely missing an open net. Yep, that player should have a seat reserved for him in the press box next game solely because of that. Let's forget the fact that he played more even strength minutes than any other defenseman, was on-ice for more of Carolina's chances and played a solid game overall aside from those two horrible mistakes. The blue-liner who I am referring to is obviously Tomas Kaberle and I know that everyone wants his head now. Going by just the highlights, he had a terrible game and looked awful on that Andrew Ladd goal but to call him the goat of this game is just silly.
Let's forget the fact that the Hurricanes had only 11 total chances at even strength, only ONE in the first period, failed to establish any kind of forecheck and had a terrible offensive performance for most of this game. Oh, and the powerplay stunk yet again which revolves around Kaberle but if you're going to blame him for that you have to blame Eric Staal, Derek Joslin, Jamie McBain, Tuomo Ruutu, Jeff Skinner and almost everyone else who had significant powerplay time.
What I'm trying to say here is that picking one player as the scapegoat is generally stupid. Yes, it's fun to blame one player for all the team's problems but in a loss like this, it's usually the entire team that is struggling. That wasn't completely the case tonight as the Canes had their standouts but for the most part, there wasn't much to be happy about.
Scoring chances and more after the jump
Winnipeg Jets at Carolina Hurricanes 11/25/11 Scoring Chances
|Period||Totals||EV||PP||5v3 PP||SH||5v3 SH|
Carolina's chances are in red, Winnipeg's are in grey
In the pre-game I talked about Maurice putting more emphasis on defense and preventing chances as opposed to having players taking more risks and here you see the negative effects of it. For the entire first period and for most of the second, Carolina struggled to create offense but at the very least, they were preventing the Jets from doing much. When Carolina did have the puck in the Winnipeg zone, players would fail to establish any kind of forecheck and lose control of the puck within seconds. The same thing happened in the Montreal game on Wednesday. Carolina may have had more chances than the Jets at the end of the game but that was mainly due to the three powerplay chances in the first period and the Jets sitting on the lead for most of the third period. I think it's fair to say that the Canes could have done more than generate five total chances in the third period while trying to tie the game.
Individual Scoring Chances
Best EV Forwards: Jeff Skinner, Eric Staal +4
Worst EV Forward: Tim Brent, Brett Sutter -3
Best EV Defenseman: Jamie McBain +2
Worst EV Defenseman: Derek Joslin -2
The first line was very strong when playing at even strength and they had a great rebound after, what I felt was, a weak game against the Canadiens on Wednesday. This line also received the benefit of easier zone starts from Paul Maurice and they took full advantage of it. Unfortunately, they didn't have any goals or points to show for it but the chances were there. Maurice also tried to reunite Skinner with Tuomo Ruutu and Jussi Jokinen towards the end of the game and I'm wondering if that will continue or not. Jokinen could definitely use a spark along with the rest of the second line but the first line has played very well the last few games so I don't know if it's the most efficient thing to do. Whatever gets the team score, I suppose.
I have to talk about Brandon Sutter for a little bit. He was fantastic tonight when it came to playing in all three zones. He was the most efficient with getting the puck into the offensive zone to create chances and he also made a lot of great defensive plays. I have been so impressed with him and Patrick Dwyer lately and I hope they can keep this up. They've been doing just about eveything asked of them so far and it would be even better if they could start scoring more. As another note, I also thought Alexei Ponikarovsky played really well (especially on the PP) even though the chances don't indicate it.
Jamie McBain made a bad pinch that led to a 2-on-1 and a goal from Evander Kane but these two were the best defense pairing in my opinion. They went up against Little, Kane & Wheeler. Those three had 10 combined shots on net but only three were dangerous scoring chances. Gleason & Faulk were on ice for less shots but they seemed to give up more chances than others. They also played the second and third most minutes among defensemen on the team and got the toughest assignments per usual. Faulk being given this kind of responsibility so early in his career really shows you how talented he is. Kaberle was protected but I can't say that he played that bad other than the gaffe on Ladd's goal. Joslin was also protected, was on ice for zero even strength chances and wasn't much of a factor at all.
I have a few other posts I need to make so I'm going to skip posting the head-to-head here but I'm making it for the next time we play the Jets.
|WPG||1||5:15||Kane - GOAL||4||5||23||30||36||59||4||9||18||26||36||50||5v5|
|CAR||2||14:44||Tlusty - GOAL||4||5||13||16||19||30||5||13||16||19||33||50||5v5|
|WPG||2||13:36||Ladd - GOAL||28||30||37||42||51||59||4||16||26||44||50||80||5v5|