Cam Ward, Jeff Skinner, a strong penalty kill and a ton of missed shots.
What are the main reasons why the Hurricanes won this game. When your team is outchanced 15-8 and only records two shots on goal in the third period and wins despite that, it's usually a case of the goalie standing on his head and Cam Ward had to do that in the Canes 2-1 win over the Jets. Although, he had a bit of luck on his side with how many times the Jets missed the net with their shots. Regardless, Ward has been simply phenomenal this month as he improved his save percentage to .955 in January and has allowed only five goals in his last five games. This win reminded me of how a lot of games went last season. The team didn't exactly outplay the opposition but they got a lead early and let Ward do the rest. Sometimes that's just enough to win, but let's not make a habit out of it, okay?
Carolina goes into the All-Star break with a win and can end January with a .500 record (currently 5-3-3 in the month) with a win over the Islanders after the break. This is a hell of a lot better than November, isn't it?
Scoring chances & more after the jump
Carolina Hurricanes vs. New York Islanders 1/23/12 Scoring Chances
|Period||Totals||EV||PP||5v3 PP||SH||5v3 SH|
Carolina's chances are in red, New York's are in white
The Canes turned off the gas after they took a 2-0 lead in the first period. In the second and third period, they reverted back to a dump & chase style of play but didn't forecheck that strongly and didn't get many shots or chances either. Another classic example of scoring effects but I think the Canes could have done a better job in the last two periods. Recording only three even strength chances through 40 minutes is pretty bad even if you're holding onto a lead. That is, unless you're trapping and hold your opponent to even less than that. Then it's not so bad even if it is boring hockey.
The third period chances indicate that the Canes held on for dear life to secure this win and that's true to an extent. The Jets controlled 67.6% of the corsi events (shots on goal + misses + shots blocked) and 21 of their shots missed the net so they did have a huge territorial advantage tonight, but they did not have much sustained pressure in the latter stages of the third period. The Jets had only two scoring chances in the last five minutes of the game and zero in the last two minutes, so the Canes protected Ward when the game was on the line. It would have been nice if they did that for the entire third period, though.
As for the special teams play, the penalty kill was outstanding in allowing zero Jet scoring chances. Not having to deal with Evander Kane or Dustin Byfuglien probably helped that matter, though. The powerplay, however, was awful. Only produced one scoring chance and allowed three shorthanded. At least one halfof the special teams game is working well.
Individual Scoring Chances
Best EV Forward: Tim Brent & Chad LaRose +2
Worst EV Forward: Patrick Dwyer & Andreas Nold -4
Best EV Defenseman: Jamie McBain & Derek Joslin +1
Worst EV Defenseman: Justin Faulk -5
One good thing about this game is that no one performed horribly in their own end. The team, as a whole, wasn't creating much offense and there wasn't a standout on the team. The closest ones were Jamie McBain and Derek Joslin who were on-ice for more than half of the team's even strength scoring chances but had no points to show for it. Protecting McBain has worked out well as you will notice that his ice-time was under 20 minutes again and he got some easier zone starts compared to other defensemen. I think this role suits him until Joni Pitkanen comes back because he's getting the job done.
I also thought Jeff Skinner was one of Carolina's better players tonight despite him having a negative scoring chance and shot differential. He created all three scoring chances he was on ice for, had four shots on net, nine attempts and scored the first goal of the game. That's a good night in my book and his linemates rode on his success. It is hard to believe that he is only nineteen because he outperforms some of the team's best players on some games, like tonight for instance. The first line was invisible tonight and I guess this was an effect of the team settling back for the second and third period. The third unit was pinned in their own zone for most of the game (where they started nearly every one of their shifts) and didn't contribute much offensively, but their play in their own end was decent.
LaRose's injury in the second period really hurt because having him on the fourth line makes rolling four units so much easier. He is much better at getting the puck into the offensive zone than your typical fourth liner and it's had a positive effect on both Brent and Stewart. Notice how those two were much less effective without LaRose and weren't given much ice-time. These three were pretty good as a unit but Brent and Stewart were very good on their own. Stewart's hard work along the boards is what led to Brent's goal. That and a bit of a lucky bounce.
Faulk and Harrison got the shaft with zone starts (8 d-zone draws vs. 2 in o-zone) and performed similar to the third line where they ended up being pinned in their own zone for most of the game. They gave up a lot of shots, though and I wouldn't consider this one of their better games of the campaign. Faulk, in particular, wasn't very good. Allen and Gleason saw most of the Wellwood-Antropov-Ladd line and definitely played well enough in their own end but couldn't do much of anything in terms of creating offense. The whole team had a similar problem, though.
Head-to-head at five-on-five
- The first line played their matchup well (Wheeler, Little,Burmistrov, Bogosian, Oduya) and that's the only compliment I can give them, really.
- Winnipeg's fourth line was actually very good in this game. They were able to generate a considerable amount of offense and were able to create some sustained pressure, which is pretty good for a line that starts a ton of their shifts in the defensive zone. Noel rewarded this unit with more ice time and they certainly deserved it. Our fourth line, as it is assembled now, could have similar success if they are given about 10-12 minutes of ice time per night. Just a thought.
- Nodl, Sutter, Dwyer, Faulk, Dalpe and Harrison failed to outchance any of their matchups. That's what happenas when you have no offense for two periods and are pinned in your own end for most of that time.
- Gleason/Allen actually did a respectable job against Jets' top line and Gleason actually had a pretty great game away from Allen, which hasn't happened in awhile.
- Notice how McBain/Joslin fed on the weaker competition from Winnipeg with the exception of Enstrom/Hainsey. They performed best against the Jets' bottom-six and their bottom defense pairing, which shows that McBain is perfectly fine in an offensive role.
- Tobias Enstrom may have been the best player on the ice last night not named Cam Ward. He was all over the place and made a great pass to Kyle Wellwood for the Jets only goal of the game. It's great news for Winnipeg that he's performing well without Dustin Byfuglien because those two were attached at the hip for most of last season if I remember correctly. Hey, if you can make Ron Hainsey have a +21 in corsi then you're doing something right.