Complete team efforts have been hard to come by with the Carolina Hurricanes this year, but last night's 5-2 win over the Nashville Predators was exactly that. Aside from a brief hiccup in the second period, the Hurricanes owned Nashville from the opening faceoff and turned in an incredibly solid performance in all three zones. It was one of those games where, as a fan, you find more things to like the more you think about it. Obviously, Jeff Skinner's hat trick and the Hurricanes offensive explosion in the second period will get top billing, but there was definitely a lot more to this game than just that.
Nashville is far from the most offensively talented team in the league, but they are a hard working club and will jump on opponents who take them lightly. Carolina did the exact opposite, as they showed up ready to play and scored a bit of a fluky goal within the first minute thanks to some good forechecking by the first line. They continued this throughout the game, holding Nashville to under 25 shots and nine scoring chances, only four of them coming during five-on-five play. Considering that the Hurricanes were already playing without Brett Bellemore and were playing down three skaters for a portion of the game, it was really impressive to see them put the clamps on Nashville's forecheck and not let them create any offense for most of the third period. This is something that has been a problem all season long and it was nice to see the Canes start to turn the tides in a different direction.
Last night was also one of those games where the Hurricanes got themselves into a hole after allowing Nashville to score two quick goals in the second period, but were able to battle back and keep their foot on the gas pedal even after they recaptured the league. The resiliency that this team has shown this year is a welcome change from last season if they can continue to outplay their opponents as well as they did last night, then they could surprise some people. The Predators are obviously a weaker team than some of the other clubs they have played in the early portion of the season, but it was still encouraging to see the Hurricanes dominate them in the manner that they did last night, especially with a tough Western Conference trip on the horizon.
This may have been the best game Carolina has played all season and we will break it down more after the jump.no comments