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Game 32 by the Numbers: Hurricanes at Maple Leafs

Last night, the Hurricanes nearly won a game that they had no business being in. They may have shown some "character" by battling back to tie the game in the second period and taking the lead in the third, but the Leafs were more deserving of the win. Toronto held Carolina to only six even strength scoring chances to the entire game and took 14 more shot attempts than them at even strength. There were only two Carolina players who were not outchanced at even strength in this game, most it being due to the Hurricanes being unable to produce offense while not on the powerplay. This goes down as a "heartbreaking loss" to some, but the only "heartbreaking" thing is whatever happened to this team over the last two weeks.

There was a time when the Hurricanes were a great team at even strength, outchanced their opponents regularly and generally were the better team even if they didn't pick up the win. It's pretty easy to remember this time because it was only a month ago and that really makes the last two weeks even more frustrating. We know that this team is what they've shown lately, and seeing them play at a level such lower than their ability is both frustrating and depressing. It's a mystery as to when this team will put the pieces back together but it might be too late by the time they do.

Carolina Hurricanes at Toronto Maple Leafs 3/28/13

Period Total EV 5v4 5v3 4v5 3v5
1 2 8 2 8 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2 7 4 1 2 5 0 0 0 1 2 0 0
3 3 9 3 7 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0
Totals 12 21 6 17 5 0 0 0 1 4 0 0

Aside from a brief stretch in the second period, the Hurricanes were simply awful last night. Special teams helped them make it close and they nearly won until the Leafs exploded with a couple of third period goals. There are many people scapegoating certain players (Peters, Corvo, Skinner), but the entire team was bad last night. They were bad offensively (six even strength chances), terrible defensively (gave up over 20 chances) and were not bailed out by their goaltender. The fact that they were able to have a lead in this game was somewhat of a miracle. While Peters did look weak on three of the four goals he allowed, the team around him also failed in many ways.

Hurricanes Individual Scoring Chances

# Player EV PP SH
4 Jamie McBain 19:03 1 7 0:00 0 0 0:15 0 1
6 Tim Gleason 12:34 2 6 0:00 0 0 5:08 1 2
8 Kevin Westgarth 5:20 1 2 0:00 0 0 0:00 0 0
11 Jordan Staal 13:46 1 7 1:50 1 0 3:17 0 2
12 Eric Staal 15:25 3 7 3:18 5 0 1:33 1 1
15 Tuomo Ruutu 14:19 2 5 1:03 1 0 0:00 0 0
18 Adam Hall 7:46 1 2 0:00 0 0 1:52 0 1
19 Jiri Tlusty 13:35 3 5 2:35 4 0 1:51 0 1
20 Riley Nash  12:43 0 2 1:27 1 0 0:07 0 0
21 Drayson Bowman 13:04 1 1 0:00 0 0 0:00 0 0
25 Joni Pitkanen  18:18 1 6 1:28 0 0 1:47 0 2
28 Alexander Semin 15:09 3 6 3:26 5 0 2:30 1 2
35 Justin Peters  48:14 6 17 4:21 4 0 6:55 1 4
37 Tim Brent 7:31 2 1 1:07 0 0 0:00 0 0
39 Patrick Dwyer 11:30 0 3 0:00 0 0 2:33 0 1
44 Jay Harrison 17:30 3 5 0:00 0 0 0:56 1 0
53 Jeff Skinner 15:53 1 7 2:58 0 0 0:07 0 0
73 Brett Bellemore  14:46 3 2 0:00 0 0 1:28 0 1
77 Joe Corvo 14:51 2 7 2:57 5 0 4:16 0 2

Best EV Forward: Tim Brent +1

Worst EV Forwards: Jeff Skinner & Jordan Staal -6

Best EV Defenseman: Brett Bellemore +1

Worst EV Defenseman: Jamie McBain -6

Again, you can't look for one scapegoat here because the entire team was bad. The worst part of it is that even their best offensive players (Eric Staal's line) were still greatly outchanced at even strength. I thought both Staal, Semin & Tlusty collectively had a good game when you take their special teams contributions into account, but at even strength, they were on the losing end of the scoring chance battle. Still, they performed much better than the Jordan Staal line who probably had the worst night relative to expectations. I thought adding Tuomo Ruutu could make this line even better, but his debut in the top-six wasn't very good and Skinner had a brutal showing. The bottom-six didn't do much to contribute either and I find it a little odd that people think Jussi Jokinen has no place on this team right now because they sure could have used him last night. Seeing how the third line did absolutely nothing as a unit.

I'm not sure where to begin with the defense. Jamie McBain and Joni Pitkanen are simply not good as a tough-minutes pairing. They have been eaten alive by other team's top-sixes the last few games and this was with them getting a zone start push. McBain has been good when used on the third pairing, but he's been a liability when forced to do anything more than that. That and I'm not sure if Pitkanen is the best partner for him in this type of role. Maybe he would be slightly better with a player more steady such as Gleason? Not that he was any better last night, but the pairings do need a shake-up.

Someone has to step up in the injury to Justin Faulk and none of the defensemen have been able to do that. Corvo also had his worst showing in quite awhile despite recording a pair of assists. The only positive in the defense corps was rookie Brett Bellemore, who did a fine job against Toronto's third line. I'm not sure if he can do more outside of this role, though.

Maple Leafs Individual Scoring Chances

# Player EV PP SH
3 Dion Phaneuf 16:28 7 2 5:06 4 1 3:14 0 4
4 Cody Franson 15:47 5 1 4:59 4 1 0:00 0 0
11 Jay McClement 10:27 2 1 0:00 0 0 2:24 0 5
19 Joffrey Lupul 16:49 6 5 5:02 4 1 0:00 0 0
21 James Van Riemsdyk 14:10 7 0 1:50 0 0 1:28 0 0
24 John-Michael Liles 14:56 6 1 1:49 0 0 0:33 0 0
28 Colton Orr 4:24 1 0 0:00 0 0 0:11 0 0
34 James Reimer  48:40 17 6 6:55 4 1 4:25 0 5
36 Carl Gunnarsson 17:44 6 4 0:03 0 0 2:58 0 5
38 Frazer Mclaren 2:47 0 0 0:00 0 0 0:00 0 0
39 Matt Frattin 12:53 4 2 0:18 1 0 0:00 0 0
41 Nikolai Kulemin 15:23 3 3 0:00 0 0 1:40 0 1
42 Tyler Bozak 14:21 8 0 5:03 3 1 2:19 0 4
43 Nazem Kadri 17:37 5 5 2:08 1 0 0:00 0 0
45 Mark Fraser 17:56 4 3 0:00 0 0 1:27 0 0
48 Ryan Hamilton 10:09 2 0 0:00 0 0 0:43 0 0
53 Mike Kostka 14:29 6 1 1:56 0 0 0:38 0 1
81 Phil Kessel  19:53 9 1 4:47 3 1 0:00 0 0
84 Mikhail Grabovski 11:11 4 1 1:34 0 0 0:00 0 0

Best EV Forwards: Tyler Bozak & Phil Kessel +8

Worst EV Forwards: Frazer Mclaren, Nikolai Kulemin & Nazem Kadri EVEN

Best EV Defensemen: Dion Phaneuf & Mike Kostka +5

Worst EV Defenseman: Mark Fraser +1

Toronto's first line had a field day and the Hurricanes did not have an answer for them whatsoever. It's kind of surprising that they only produced only goal because it easily could have been more than that. Kessel basically was the main catalyst for the Leafs offense all night, factoring into half of their even strength scoring chances and keeping play in Carolina's end whenever he was on the ice. Without Kessel on the ice, the Leafs only outchanced Carolina 8-5 at even strength, that's how good he (and his linemates) were. The only thing the Hurricanes were able to do well was keep the red hot Nazem Kadri somewhat in-check, which really didn't matter since Bozak's line dominated.

Head-to-Head at Five-on-Five

Kessel's line had about as dominant of a performance as you can expect. Both Staal lines were crushed at even strength and so was all of Carolina's top-four. Muller actually tried to get both top-four pairings out against that line and they were just unable to shut them down no matter what. Matchup issues were going to happen in Justin Faulk's absence since the Hurricanes are short on top-four defensemen, but Corvo/Gleason actually did a fairly good job against Kadri's line for most of the game. Kessel's line was able to do enough damage to make up for it, though and Grabovski inexplicably being Toronto's third line center also caused some matchup problems. You might also notice how much Jordan Staal's line was run over, as they couldn't even do much against Toronto's second and third defense pairings. That is obviously not good. 

Period Team Time Player CAR OPP Strength
1 TOR 16:02 Bozak – GOAL 11 53 15 4 25 35 42 81 21 4 45 34 5v5
1 TOR 10:58 Kessel 11 53 39 4 44 35 42 81 21 4 45 34 5v5
1 TOR 8:37 Grabovski 12 8 18 6 77 35 84 28 48 24 53 34 5v5
1 TOR 7:35 Kessel 20 39 21 4 25 35 42 81 21 4 45 34 5v5
1 CAR 5:59 Semin 12 19 28 44 73 35 43 19 41 4 45 34 5v5
1 TOR 5:46 Kessel 11 53 15 4 25 35 42 81 21 4 45 34 5v5
1 CAR 1:49 Tlusty 12 19 28 6 77 35 43 19 41 3 36 34 5v5
1 TOR 1:09 Frattin 20 15 21 4 25 35 84 39 48 24 53 34 5v5
1 TOR 0:18 Kessel 12 19 28 6 77 35 42 81 21 3 36 34 5v5
1 TOR 0:07 Bozak 12 19 28 6 77 35 42 81 21 3 36 34 5v5
2 CAR 13:54 E. Staal 11 12 20 15 28 77 11 41 36 53 34   5v4
2 TOR 11:44 Phaneuf 12 28 4 25 35   43 19 39 3 4 34 4v5
2 TOR 10:57 Franson – GOAL 11 39 6 77 35   42 81 19 3 4 34 4v5
2 CAR 8:31 E. Staal – GOAL 12 28 6 44 35   42 81 19 3 4 34 4v5
2 CAR 5:52 Ruutu 37 15 21 44 73 35 43 81 19 3 36 34 5v5
2 CAR 5:13 Semin 12 19 53 28 77 35 11 42 3 36 34   5v4
2 CAR 4:42 Skinner 12 19 53 28 77 35 11 43 3 36 34   5v4
2 CAR 4:22 E. Staal 12 19 53 28 77 35 11 42 3 36 34   5v4
2 CAR 4:08 Semin – GOAL 12 19 53 28 77 35 11 42 3 36 34   5v4
2 TOR 1:00 Gunnarsson 12 19 28 4 44 35 43 19 41 3 36 34 5v5
2 TOR 0:54 Kulemin 12 19 28 4 44 35 43 19 41 3 36 34 5v5
3 TOR 19:05 Lupul 19 18 25 73 35   42 81 19 3 4 34 4v5
3 TOR 15:31 Kadri 11 53 15 44 73 35 43 19 39 24 53 34 5v5
3 TOR 15:30 Frattin 11 53 15 44 73 35 43 19 39 24 53 34 5v5
3 CAR 15:01 Westgarth 37 8 18 4 25 35 11 84 39 24 53 34 5v5
3 CAR 13:05 J. Staal – GOAL 11 53 15 6 77 35 43 19 41 36 45 34 5v5
3 TOR 11:43 Liles 37 8 18 4 25 35 11 84 39 24 53 34 5v5
3 CAR 10:01 Harrison 12 19 28 44 73 35 43 19 39 36 45 34 5v5
3 TOR 8:57 Grabovski 20 53 39 6 77 35 11 81 84 24 53 34 5v5
3 TOR 7:37 Van Riemsdyk 11 53 15 6 77 35 43 21 41 3 36 34 5v5
3 TOR 5:34 Lupul 11 28 6 77 35   42 81 19 3 4 34 4v5
3 TOR 5:25 Phaneuf – GOAL 11 12 28 6 77 35 42 81 19 3 4 34 5v5
3 TOR 3:15 Lupul – GOAL 12 19 28 25 77 35 42 81 19 3 36 34 5v5

 

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