CanesWild102513

Game 10 By the Numbers: Hurricanes at Wild

The Hurricanes 3-1 loss to the Minnesota Wild was filled with some positives and a lot of negatives. On the plus side, they outshot a Minnesota team that has made a habit out of dominating their opponents at even strength. That stat becomes slightly less impressive when you take into account that the Hurricanes were playing from behind for 3/4 of the game while Minnesota sat back and defended. If that didn't lift your spirits then maybe the fact that the power play scored a big goal in the second period will. While that was nice, Carolina also came up empty-handed on their four other opportunities and were still outchanced by Minnesota 13-10.

Really, if you want any positives to dig out of last night's game, it's the fact that the Hurricanes were competitive and battled even after they fell behind early. They were up against a team that is superior to them and had plenty of chances to tie the game and even though they came up short, the Canes still showed that they could keep up with a tough Western Conference team like the Wild. Unfortunately, any and all positives will probably take a back-seat for now as the Hurricanes lost a big piece in goaltender Cam Ward early in the first period and forward Jeff Skinner later in the game.

The status of Skinner is unknown, but Ward will be out for at least 3-4 weeks and Carolina fans have a reason to be very concerned about what will happen during that time. With back-up goaltender Anton Khudobin also on the shelf, the Canes will have to make do with an AHL goalie tandem until he is healthy and if Justin Peters performs as well as he did last season, the Canes might put themselves into an early rut, which is the last thing they need right now. 

Outside of the injuries, let's take a closer look at what happened in last night's game.

Fenwick Timeline from Extra Skater

Minnesota did their thing early in the first period and pinned the Hurricanes into their own zone for the first 7-8 minutes. Justin Peters will get a lot of flack for allowing goals on the first two shots he faced, but the Canes were under siege during that time and looked shell-shocked after Ward left the game. After the first period, Carolina settled down and began to took it to the Wild. They outshot Minnesota 12-6 in the second period and had a pretty big advantage in territorial play for the final 40 minutes. Score effects obviously had a big role in this since the Wild were defending a lead, but the Canes still worked hard to try to get a point out of this one. Had it not been for a couple of late penalties, they may have had a better chance of completing the comeback. Oh well.

Scoring Chances

Period Total 5v5 PP 5v3 SH 3v5 4v4 EN
1 4 7 3 4 1 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2 2 2 1 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
3 4 4 3 2 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Totals 10 13 7 8 3 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

We had yet another low-event game and the Canes were on the wrong end of this one, as the Wild completely shut them down at even strength. Their power play didn't do much either, only creating three scoring chances in a little under 10 minutes of ice time. The Wild have made a habit of playing well in their own end this year and Carolina got a taste of that last night. They outshot Minnesota at even strength, but the Wild ended up having the edge in chances and didn't need to perform a blitzkreig in the Canes zone in order to do it.

Carolina Individual Scoring Chances

# Player 5v5 PP SH
4 Andrej Sekera 11:35 2 1 6:07 2 0 3:59 0 3
7 Ryan Murphy 15:16 1 4 4:23 1 0 0:28 0 1
8 Kevin Westgarth 3:39 1 0 0:00 0 0 0:00 0 0
11 Jordan Staal  12:16 1 0 5:10 1 0 3:13 0 2
12 Eric Staal 12:06 1 4 5:53 3 0 1:31 0 1
14 Nathan Gerbe 13:42 5 0 5:18 1 0 1:51 0 0
15 Tuomo Ruutu 12:29 4 3 3:29 2 0 0:00 0 0
18 Radek Dvorak 13:01 1 1 0:00 0 0 2:28 0 2
19 Jiri Tlusty 10:53 0 2 5:04 2 0 1:31 0 1
20 Riley Nash 15:30 4 4 0:00 0 0 2:04 0 1
21 Drayson Bowman 11:08 1 3 2:04 0 0 0:23 0 1
27 Justin Faulk 12:44 2 1 3:17 0 0 4:13 0 4
28 Alexander Semin 11:51 1 4 5:43 3 0 1:55 0 1
42 Brett Sutter 4:53 1 0 0:00 0 0 0:18 0 1
44 Jay Harrison 13:58 1 4 0:00 0 0 0:56 0 0
53 Jeff Skinner  5:55 1 3 3:09 0 0 0:00 0 0
65 Ron Hainsey 16:55 4 3 0:09 0 0 3:03 0 1
73 Brett Bellemore 14:47 4 3 0:09 0 0 2:21 0 1
30 Cam Ward  2:07 0 0 0:00 0 0 4:07 0 0
35 Justin Peters  40:21 7 8  9:59 3   5:16 0 5

Best EV Forward: Nathan Gerbe +5

Worst EV Forwards: Alex Semin & Eric Staal -3

Best EV Defensemen: Ron Hainsey, Brett Bellemore, Justin Faulk & Andrej Sekera +1

Worst EV Defensemen: Jay Harrison & Ryan Murphy -3

This game was a little too reminiscent of the first week of the season, when the first line was nonexistent while Nathan Gerbe produced most of the offense. Gerbe played his best all-around game as a Hurricane last night and seemed to be the only player on the team capable of creating any offense at even strength. Getting five scoring chances out of a player like Gerbe is fine but when he is your offensive catalyst, that is a problem. 

Aside from Gerbe, Nash & Ruutu, just about every forward was shut down at even strength. Eric Staal's line had a very poor game and I won't bother singling anyone out because the entire trio looked off. Jordan's line was able to win the possession battle, but it didn't result in much offense. They had a few opportunities to create chances, but they could not connect at all. Skinner also had a rough game on the third line before he left with an injury. He, Nash & Ruutu had a couple of good shifts together but like Jordan's line, it wasn't resulting in much. 

The Hurricanes offense didn't do a lot as a whole but they didn't give up much in their own end either. Faulk/Sekera & Hainsey/Bellemore did a great job of keeping Minnesota's best players in check, at even strength at least. Faulk & Sekera had some trouble on special teams and were on the ice for Niederreiter's power play goal. It's also worth mentioning that while Carolina's top blue-liners played well at even strength, they weren't always on the ice against the Wild's best forwards.

Mike Yeo utilized having the last change to his advantage many times last night by getting Parise & Koivu out against Carolina's third pairing of Ryan Murphy & Jay Harrison. Those two were victimized on the first goal and were out of their element whenever Yeo tried to expose them. I commend Murphy for the way he played last night, especially after he stayed on the ice for an extra minute after getting hit by a puck, but he has his limits and it showed against Minnesota.

Wild Indivudal Scoring Chances

# Player 5v5 PP SH
4 Clayton Stoner 12:59 0 1 0:00 0 0 3:41 0 0
6 Marco Scandella 14:09 2 4 1:43 1 0 3:20 0 0
9 Mikko Koivu 12:16 5 1 4:08 2 0 2:44 0 1
11 Zach Parise 11:50 3 1 4:08 2 0 2:40 0 1
14 Justin Fontaine 10:17 1 1 1:49 2 0 0:00 0 0
15 Danny Heatley 12:18 1 4 3:22 3 0 0:00 0 0
17 Torrey Mitchell 9:52 1 1 0:05 1 0 1:50 0 1
19 Stephane Veilleux 6:59 1 1 0:00 0 0 0:16 0 1
20 Ryan Suter 18:01 5 2 4:14 3 0 4:51 0 3
21 Kyle Brodziak 9:49 2 1 0:06 0 0 5:29 0 1
22 Nino Niederreiter 10:11 2 0 2:49 1 0 0:00 0 0
24 Matt Cooke 9:18 3 1 0:06 0 0 4:44 0 0
28 Zenon Konopka 7:45 0 1 0:00 0 0 2:15 0 1
29 Jason Pominville 14:10 4 5 4:21 3 0 0:00 0 0
39 Nate Prosser 14:21 3 4 0:18 0 0 4:16 0 1
46 Jared Spurgeon 16:18 5 2 3:53 2 0 3:50 0 2
55 Matt Dumba 9:05 1 1 3:12 2 0 0:00 0 0
64 Mikael Granlund  12:57 1 4 3:16 3 0 0:00 0 0
37 Josh Harding  29:28 6 4 4:18 3 0 6:14 0 2
32 NIklas Backstrom  13:03 2 3 3:12 2 0 3:45 0 1

Best EV Forward: Mikko Koivu +4

Worst EV Forwards: Dany Heatley & MIkael Granlund -3

Best EV Defensemen: Jared Spurgeon & Ryan Suter +3

Worst EV Defenseman: Marco Scandella -2

The Wild may have not produced a lot of chances, but their first line did their job and then some last night, completely dominating the Hurricanes top players and not allowing them to do much at all. Koivu's line dominated Carolina at even strength last night and so did the Suter/Spurgeon pairing, which was a main reason why Carolina's first line was so ineffective.

Head-to-Head at Five-on-Five

This basically shows what I was saying earlier. The Koivu line had no problem against Eric Staal and Yeo constantly got them out against Carolina's depth players, namely the Nash line and the Harrison/Murphy pairing. This is what happens in most road games when the coaches don't have much control over the matchups. Jordan's line won their battle against the Wild's top-six but that was negated by everyone else on Carolina getting outplayed at even strength.

5v5 Zone Entries

Hurricanes

Player # of entries Shots generated Carry-ins Shots generated Dump-ins Shots generated Failed Entries
Sekera 1 0 0 0 1 0 0
Murphy 2 1 2 1 0 0 0
Westgarth 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
J. Staal 6 2 2 1 4 1 1
E. Staal 2 1 0 0 2 1 0
Gerbe 9 7 6 4 3 3 0
Ruutu 5 2 2 1 3 1 3
Dvorak 5 1 2 1 3 0 0
Tlusty 3 0 2 0 1 0 0
Nash 2 1 1 1 1 0 0
Bowman 4 2 1 1 3 1 1
Faulk 1 0 0 0 1 0 0
Semin 5 0 2 0 3 0 0
Sutter 1 1 0 0 1 1 0
Harrison 2 0 0 0 2 0 0
Skinner 5 1 3 1 2 0 0
Hainsey 1 0 0 0 1 0 3
Bellemore 2 1 1 1 1 0 0
Team 56 20 24 12 32 8 8

The second line accounted for 20 of the Hurricanes 5v5 zone entries and Gerbe was the only one who was able to carry the puck in on a regular basis. There's nothing wrong with Gerbe being the main puck-carrier, since he is a good skater, but he can't be the team's only source of offense. The first line did not produce any shots off their four controlled zone entries, which is pretty brutal no matter which way you slice it. Granted, the Wild were performing a roadblock in the neutral zone for the entire third period but still…brutal. 

Wild

Player # of entries Shots generated Carry-ins Shots generated Dump-ins Shots generated Failed Entries
Stoner 3 1 1 0 2 1 0
Scandella 2 0 1 0 1 0 0
Koivu 5 2 4 2 1 0 0
Parise 2 0 1 0 1 0 1
Fontaine 5 1 2 1 3 0 1
Heatley 3 2 1 1 2 1 0
Mitchell 5 5 2 1 3 4 0
Velleiux 2 1 0 0 2 1 0
Suter 3 2 1 2 2 0 0
Brodziak 1 1 1 1 0 0 0
Niederreiter 2 1 1 1 1 0 0
Cooke 3 2 3 2 0 0 0
Konopka 1 0 0 0 1 0 0
Pominville 4 2 4 2 0 0 0
Prosser 1 0 0 0 1 0 2
Spurgeon 5 3 2 3 3 0 0
Dumba 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
Granlund 4 1 3 1 1 0 0
Team 51 24 27 17 24 7 5

The Wild didn't generate much off dump-ins, but they had a fairly easy time gaining the line with control against Carolina last night and produced a decent amount of offense off those. They could have done a lot more, obviously but this was enough for them last night with how well their defense played. Mikko Koivu, Jason Pominville and Matt Cooke were their most efficient forwards in the neutral zone but one of their stand outs to me was defenseman Jared Spurgeon. He jumped into the play frequently and had the initial shot on Parise's goal in the first period. I thought not having Jonas Brodin in the lineup would really hurt the Wild's defense, but Spurgeon did a nice job filling in for him. He also too some pressure off Suter, who was heavily relied on for breakouts during his time in Nashville.

5v5 Zone Exits

Hurricanes

# Player Pos. Touches Carry Pass Other Turnover Icing
4 Andrej Sekera D 8 1 0 0 0 0
7 Ryan Murphy D 20 1 3 0 3 1
8 Kevin Westgarth RW 0 0 0 0 0 0
11 Jordan Staal C 7 0 2 0 0 1
12 Eric Staal C 5 1 0 0 0 0
14 Nathan Gerbe LW 3 2 1 0 0 0
15 Tuomo Ruutu LW 7 2 2 1 0 0
18 Radek Dvorak RW 10 0 4 0 0 1
19 Jiri Tlusty LW 6 1 0 0 0 0
20 Riley Nash C 6 1 2 0 2 0
21 Drayson Bowman LW 4 2 0 0 0 0
27 Justin Faulk D 18 2 4 0 3 1
28 Alexander Semin RW 13 1 0 0 2 1
42 Brett Sutter C 3 0 0 0 0 0
44 Jay Harrison D 7 0 2 1 0 0
53 Jeff Skinner LW 1 1 0 0 0 0
65 Ron Hainsey D 22 1 3 1 1 1
73 Brett Bellemore D 10 1 3 0 1 0

Carolina's defensemen are slowly getting better at breakouts as the season goes on and a big reason for this is that they are letting their best puck-movers do most of the work. You'll notice that Harrison, Sekera & Bellemore didn't have many attempts to exit the zone and it's because they usually slid it over to their defense partner and let them handle the breakout instead of doing it by themselves. Unfortunately, the nice game by their defense corps was washed out by the first line being a complete train wreck in their own end. Murphy also had a rough game when it came to turnovers.

Wild

# Player Pos. Touches Carry Pass Other Turnover Icing
4 Clayton Stoner D 15 1 1 0 2 2
6 Marco Scandella D 18 0 4 0 2 0
9 Mikko Koivu C 5 0 1 0 0 0
11 Zach Parise L 2 0 1 0 0 0
14 Justin Fontaine R 8 3 1 0 1 0
15 Dany Heatley L 9 0 0 0 2 0
17 Torrey Mitchell C 8 3 1 0 0 0
19 Stephane Veilleux L 3 2 0 0 0 0
20 Ryan Suter D 20 0 4 1 1 0
21 Kyle Brodziak C 5 0 1 0 1 0
22 Nino Niederreiter R 4 0 0 0 0 0
24 Matt Cooke L 4 1 1 0 0 0
28 Zenon Konopka C 2 0 1 0 0 0
29 Jason Pominville R 4 1 1 0 0 0
39 Nate Prosser D 12 0 2 1 2 1
46 Jared Spurgeon D 15 1 2 0 0 1
55 Matt Dumba D 14 0 1 0 2 0
64 Mikael Granlund C 9 1 1 0 0 0

Minnesota's defensemen had an okay game when it came to leading breakouts, although Stoner/Dumba's performance drags down their numbers a little. Aside from these two, all of their defensmen managed to advance the puck at least 20% of the time and the Suter/Spurgeon pairing had a very solid game with only one turnover on 35 zone exit attempts.

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