After last night’s collapse against the Lightning, I didn’t have too high of expectations for Carolina’s game against Washington tonight. When a team is playing the second game of a back-to-back on the road against a team with a high powered offense, it’s normal to go in not expecting much. Thankfully, the Canes showed a lot of resilience tonight and managed to earn a point in the standings. Unfortunately, some of the mistakes that occurred last night happened again and Carolina ended up losing this game in overtime 4-3. Overall, it wasn’t that bad of a performance by Carolina but there’s still a lot of work to be done over the next few days.
More thoughts after the jump.
Ten Thoughts (plus one more)
- Last night, I criticized the team’s powerplay and said that them failing to capitalize with the fan advantage was a reason for them losing. Tonight was a different story as they struck twice on the powerplay with a couple of goals by Eric Staal. The first one featured a beautiful set-up by Jussi Jokinen. Let’s hope we see more of that as the season goes on. Unfortunately, the powerplay did not strike in overtime when it mattered the most but I don’t think you can put too much blame on them as they had at least four golden opportunities to score which were shut down by Washington goaltending Michal Neuvirth.
- History repeated itself as the Canes took a penalty when they were already one-man shorthanded and it resulted in the Caps scoring to take the lead. This is something that really needs to be worked on.
- We saw the bad side of Kaberle tonight as he made two awful pinches which led to two breakaways and two goals for the Captials. Thankfully he was on ice for all three Hurricane goals but those were still two UGLY miscues by him. I know Justin Faulk was charged with a -2 in this game but neithe rof those goals were his fault as Kaberle’s poor pinches both led to them. I do think Maurice needs to work on the defense pairings, though. Faulk was playing with Joni Pitkanen for a little bit and that pairing seemed to do pretty well.
- Jussi Jokinen quietly had a great game last night and it carried over into this game as he had the nice set-up on Staal’s powerplay goal and the game tying goal at the last minute. Although, I have to give a lot of credit to Jeff Skinner’s hard work to get the pass over to him.
- In yesterday’s game, the Canes actually controlled the pace of play for a good amount. That wasn’t the case at all tonight. They did a good job of containing Washington in the first period but didn’t do much to create offense. After that, it was all Washington at even strength. Carolina was outshot 30-19, outchanced by a lot (official numbers coming later) and only got back into the game because of the powerplay. This is why my initial reaction was “Hey, at least we got a point.” at the beginning of overtime, but the failed PP in overtime really cost us.
- I’m loving the work that Tim Brent, Patrick Dwyer and Bryan Allen did on the penalty kill tonight but we’re still getting destroyed 5-on-3 which is understandable but it’s something that needs to be worked on.
- I really hate how Anthony Stewart and Zac Dalpe are being restricted to fourth line minutes right now because they are playing well but it’s hard to do much of anything when you’re playing less than 10 minutes a game. I hope that Maurice changes up the lines a bit because Dalpe playing so little minutes a night isn’t good for his development.
- Solid night for Brian Boucher overall. Made 32/36 saves and stopped 28/30 at even strength. He bailed Carolina out a few times on the penalty kill and had pretty solid positioning overall. I don’t think any of the goals he gave up were particularly bad but he did have an ugly miscue where he went out of his crease to play a puck that deflect off the glass. Thankfully he covered up his mess there.
- Once again, Brandon Sutter and Tim Brent were the only Canes to win more than 50% of their draws with Staal and Jokinen having rough nights once again.
- I want to say that Joni Pitkanen and Tim Gleason did a good job of keeping Ovechkin’s line quiet (no goals or points at EV strength for them) but Ovechkin, Backstrom and Knuble had a combined nine shots tonight. Unsure of how many of those were on the powerplay but I will look into it.
- Really hoping that Matt Hendricks hears a call from Brendan Shanahan about that slewfoot he put on Pitkanen earlier. Same goes for Alex Semin’s cheap boarding penalty on Bryan Allen.
The Canes get their first point of the year in a game which they could have won but what’s in the past is done and all we can do is look forward to the Devils game on Monday afternoon. Hopefully with some new lines. Scoring chances will be posted in a few days. Had to stream this game through other means due to Game Center blacking out this game.