Once again, the Canes were facing a team that did not bring their best game but were on the receiving end of another blowout loss because they could get a timely save from either of their goalies or buy a goal at the other end. This is the same thing that has happened to them over the last four weeks or so and the whole process is getting tiring because the outcome of most of their games is becoming too predictable. It doesn't matter how well the Canes played in terms of territorial domination or scoring chances because the fact that they can't score and are getting below-replacement level goaltending completely nullifies that, which is exactly what went wrong last night.
The Hurricanes actually started this game on a very strong note. Their game-plan was to forecheck strong, make it difficult for Boston to exit their zone and create chances off forcing turnovers & winning board battles. They did a fine job of this to start the game by getting five consecutive scoring chances in the first three and a half minutes. Then the Bruins were able to generate a transition chance the other way and scored on their second shot of the game after Justin Peters lost track of a rebound that Rich Peverley deposited underneath him. This didn't seem to phase Carolina that much, though as they continued to tran Boston in their own zone for the next few minutes of the game. Then the Bruins got another transition chance and Brad Marchand scored after Peters failed to control another rebound in the crease.
When you have a good start but can't score and end up trailing 2-0 or 3-0 thanks to terrible goaltending, it deflates the entire team and the Hurricanes obviously didn't recover from it last night. Add in Tuukka Rask giving the Bruins the early saves they needed and the team's confidence was shot heading into the first intermission. They continued to battle for the rest of the game, but it was an uphill climb and the game was far out of reach by the time the Hurricanes finally put home their first goal of the game. It's been the same old story for the past two weeks and I'm at a loss for words at what needs to be done about this.
The Hurricanes are basically a PDO nightmare right now and have been for the last couple of weeks. The goaltending has fallen apart since Dan Ellis injured his leg and rushed back from it and they aren't scoring right now either. The team is getting chances, but not finishing and I'm not sure what else they can do about that. They are stuck with Ellis/Peters for the time being and the goals just aren't coming no matter who they are facing in net. It's made every recent game look like a disaster scene and how to fix it is anyone's guess.
Carolina Hurricanes at Boston Bruins 4/8/13
The Canes had a good start and plenty of chances, but they could not get that early save and Boston woke up in the latter two periods, which allowed them to completely run away with this game. Things could have been different had they gotten an average performance from Justin Peters since those two early goals put this team in a huge hole, but the team's inability to score is another issue in itself. Like I said earlier, they had a lot of chances and were certainly controlling the game territorially, but none of them were going in. It's not like they were shooting at Rask's chest the entire time either because they were forcing the Boston goaltender to move laterally on a good few of his saves, had a few deflection chances and crashed the net on multiple occasions. Pretty much the same as the Lightning and the Rangers game only I thought they were doing a better job of trying to beat Rask and they eventually got through a couple times in the third period.
The NESN announcers talked about how the Bruins didn't play their best game and Rask's performance allowed them to "find the alarm clock" which I don't disagree with. Peters allowing two goals on the first four shots he faced gave the Bruins a lot more room for error and the Canes on thin ice. Once the Bruins began to hit their stride in the second period, it was all over. Not much else to say about it.
Hurricanes Individual Scoring Chances
Best EV Forwards: Jordan Staal & Jiri Tlusty +4
Worst EV Forward: Tuomo Ruutu -4
Best EV Defenseman: Bobby Sanguinetti +7
Worst EV Defensemen: Joe Corvo & Tim Gleason -2
Same old story here. The top two lines generated plenty of chances but didn't have any goals to show for it. Only players who got rewarded were Patrick Dwyer and Drayson Bowman, who both scored in the third period after tracking down their own rebounds. Bowman had one of his better games of the season as he and Riley Nash made good use of having Jeff Skinner and Jordan Staal on their wing for a few shifts. Their main line with Zac Dalpe also had a solid game and Dalpe nearly had his second goal of the season but was turned away by Rask.
The first line was responsible for most of the team's offense and most of their chances came off the stick fo Patrick Dwyer, much to everyone's surprise. He had a few great opportunities to score in the third period and eventually got one past Rask by scoring on his own rebound. Dwyer has done a fine job filling in for Semin on the first line but his lack of finishing and play-making skills makes him a less-than-ideal replacement. This line also performed much worse defensively than any of the other forwards, but I'm not sure how much that relates to the defensemen they were paired with.
Why I feel that played a factor is because most of the defense corps had rough nights, with the only exceptions being the third pairing of Jamie McBain & Bobby Sanguinetti. Harrison had a pretty rough night and didn't look good at all on Jordan Caron's goal while Gleason & Corvo were torn apart by the Jagr-Campbell-Marchand line. They shoddy goaltending was the reason why they ended up being -2's on the night, but they didn't do themselves any favors with the play over the rest of the game. Brett Bellemore also looked farily solid in a limited role but gave up quite a handful of chances in his own end.
Bruins Individual Scoring Chances
Best EV Forward: Gregory Campbell +3
Worst EV Forward: Daniel Paille -6
Best EV Defenseman: Andrew Ference +2
Worst EV Defenseman: Dougie Hamilton -5
It's impossible to replace Patrice Bergeron but Gregory Campbell did a great job filling in for him last night. The Hurricanes had so much trouble defending his line with Jaromir Jagr and Brad Marchand for most of the game, especially in the transition game. They also had issues defending the Bruins top-line but were able to make up the damage at the other end in terms of scoring chances. They also had some success against the Bruins bottom-two lines but I think most of that came in the third period when Boston had a large lead and sat back for most of the game.
Head-to-Head at Five-on-Five
Julien did his best to shadow Eric Staal's line with Zdeno Chara and the Hurricanes top-six actually managed to create a good amount of chances with them on the ice. They struggles against Ference & Seidenberg, though and the Bruins first line was able to win the power-vs-power matchup. Meanwhile, Julien also managed to get his second line out against Carolina's third line plenty of times, which resulted in them having a big night offensively. It seemed that Julien paid less attention to the matchups as the game went on, though since Muller was able to get his top-six out against the Bruins third and fourth line more than a few times. I'm sure the score played a role there.
|1||BOS||16:09||Peverley – GOAL||11||53||59||44||73||35||49||38||22||21||44||40||5v5|
|1||BOS||12:02||Marchand – GOAL||37||15||59||6||77||35||11||63||68||43||55||40||5v5|
|1||BOS||2:40||Marchand – GOAL||11||22||53||6||77||31||11||63||68||21||44||40||5v5|
|2||BOS||16:03||Ference – GOAL||12||15||39||4||24||31||11||68||17||21||44||40||5v5|
|2||BOS||9:41||Caron – GOAL||11||22||53||44||73||31||49||38||22||33||44||40||5v5|
|3||CAR||9:57||Dwyer – GOAL||12||19||39||44||73||31||11||63||68||27||33||40||5v5|
|3||CAR||9:12||Bowman – GOAL||11||20||21||4||24||31||19||23||20||43||55||40||5v5|
|3||BOS||3:04||Horton – GOAL||12||19||39||44||47||31||46||18||17||27||33||40||5v5|