Carolina's 3-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs was one of those games that unbelievably frustrating to watch from a fan's perspective. There weren't any stretches where the Canes were outplayed but a couple of mistakes put themselves down 2-0 in the second period and absolutely nothing was going their way through the first 40 minutes of the game or so. Despite having the edge in territorial play and getting through the Leafs defense with relative ease, Carolina could not bury any of their chances and looked a step off when they had an opportunity to get back into the game.
It looked similar to many of their games in the second half of last season where the team seemingly couldn't do anything right and fell apart whenever they were faced with adversity. That is, until the third period when everything started to click for them. All it took was an early power play and a point shot by Ryan Murphy deflecting off Toronto's Dave Bolland and past goaltender Jonathan Bernier to give them some life. After that, Carolina began to take over the game and while they were aided by a couple of bounces, one of which being an incredibly weird goal courtesy of Ron Hainsey, they outplayed Toronto in the third period and edged out another close game.
Again, this was a frustrating game to watch from a fan's standpoint because it looked like the Hurricanes were going to let a good performance go to waste, but this was actually one of their more complete performances of the year. Aside from the win over the Flyers, this was the only game of the year the Hurricanes outplayed their opponent in all three phases, which is nice to see after some ugly performances early in the year. They needed a couple of bounces to go their way but that's just how the game works sometimes.
All in all, I'd say the team's performance in close games this year has been somewhat encouraging, as they would often let games like this slip away from them last season but they're doing a much better job at battling back and being able to earn at least a point even on nights when they don't deserve it. Last night wasn't one of those, but they did find themselves down entering the third period and climbed their way back into it. It would be nice if the Hurricanes didn't put themselves into bad situations to begin with but a team that can rally from behind is never a bad thing.no comments