CanesBolts110113

Game 13 By the Numbers: Lightning at Hurricanes

Halloween may have been on Thursday night, but the Hurricanes decided to celebrate it a day later and showed up to last night's game disguised as the 2012-13 team. By that, I mean they were essentially the same "fragile" team  that buckled under adversity and collapsed whenever their game plan was disrupted. The Canes showed signs of breaking out of this mold early in the season, as they were able to battle back and earn points in games that they trailed in but last night, they basically reverted to being the fragile club that we all came to know and loathe last season. 

Don't believe me? Here's a brief summary of how last night's 3-0 loss to Tampa Bay went. Carolina started off the game well, outplaying the Lightning in the first period and holding them to only one total scoring chance. They also had a couple of power plays, which they were able to generate a couple chances on but couldn't solve goaltender Ben Bishop. After continuing to put pressure on Tampa Bay, the Lightning eventually responded and scored on a bank shot that deflected off the backside of goaltender Justin Peters and into the net. Carolina would then collapse and get outchanced 8-3 for the rest of the period and this carried over into the third. The Canes looked shell-shocked and didn't have much of a jump in their game. Tampa would take advantage of this by adding another goal late in the third period and that is when Carolina finally began to create some more offense. 

Going by the shot count and territorial play, it doesn't look like the Canes played that poorly and there were parts of the game where they were good. However, those stretches bookended a period of about 30 minutes where the Hurricanes let Tampa Bay walk all over them and they 100% deserved this loss. They seemed to prepare well for the Lightning and knew what they wanted to do, but falling behind on a fluke goal made things fall off the rails a bit and they began to get too over-cautious and sloppy both with and without the puck. If this sounds familiar, it's because you probably saw a lot of games like this from Carolina last season and this game was indeed very similar to ones Carolina played 6-7 months ago.

Just when we began to think that the Hurricanes were becoming a different team, it looks like we are back in square one in Raleigh. I'd like to remind myself that this is just a four game losing streak, but that's exactly what I was saying to myself last March when the Canes were beginning their downward spirl, andt he team is playing worse now than they were then.

Fenwick Timeline from Extra Skater

Tampa Bay took over the game after Victor Hedman's goal in the second period and the Hurricanes didn't get back into it until the Lightning took a two-goal lead. The most frustrating thing about this graph is that the Hurricanes were doing a good job of limiting Tampa Bay's offense for the first 30 minutes of the game but they weren't translating any of their zone time into shots or scoring chances. I hate to fall into a narrative, but I think Ben Bishop was in this team's head, especially after the 45-save shutout he had over Carolina last year. Instead of throwing anything on net, Carolina was being way too fancy in the offensive zone and trying to make a "perfect" shot to beat the Tampa Bay goaltender. I can understand being intimidated by Bishop's size and his past success over Carolina, but his career .915 save percentage suggests that he is not invincible and the Hurricanes were making him look like Dominik Hasek. The way the Hurricanes forwards constantly tried to dangle around the Lightning's defense and pass the puck around to get Bishop moving laterally was frustrating and counter-productive, as it didn't result in anything other than the Lightning regaining possession of the puck. 

Scoring Chances

Period Total 5v5 PP 5v3 SH 3v5 4v4
1 4 1 3 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2 7 11 4 7 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 1
3 7 8 7 7 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0
Totals 18 20 14 15 1 3 0 0 0 1 0 0 3 1

After a low-event first period, Tampa Bay opened the floodgates and destroyed the Hurricanes in every area except four-on-four play. The Lightning would then go onto record five unanswered chances to open the third period, capped off by Stamkos' goal and it was then that the Hurricanes offense finally woke up. By that point, the game was basically over because the Hurricanes were not getting anything by Bishop no matter how hard they tried. Again, a good start for the Canes but coming away empty-handed on the two early power plays ended up coming back to haunt them.

Hurricanes Individual Scoring Chances

# Player 5v5 PP SH 4v4
4 Andrej Sekera 18:49 6 8 2:28 0 0 3:38 0 3   1 0
6 Tim Gleason 10:47 1 5 0:00 0 0 1:02 0 0   0 0
7 Ryan Murphy 16:41 8 2 4:13 1 1 0:01 0 0   2 1
11 Jordan Staal  15:05 8 3 2:28 0 0 1:32 0 0   2 1
12 Eric Staal 17:26 4 8 4:26 1 1 0:23 0 0   1 0
14 Nathan Gerbe 13:34 7 3 4:45 1 1 1:47 0 3   0 0
15 Tuomo Ruutu 11:29 3 3 2:18 0 0 0:00 0 0   0 0
16 Elias Lindholm 10:43 2 2 4:13 1 1 0:01 0 0   0 0
19 Jiri Tlusty 12:02 3 7 1:43 0 0 0:40 0 0   0 0
20 Riley Nash 11:44 1 5 0:00 0 0 2:06 0 3   0 0
21 Drayson Bowman 8:13 2 1 0:00 0 0 0:00 0 0   2 1
22 Manny Malhotra 7:23 3 2 0:00 0 0 1:29 0 0   0 0
27 Justin Faulk 17:29 5 8 2:15 0 0 3:21 0 3   1 0
28 Alexander Semin 18:09 4 6 4:26 1 1 0:23 0 0   1 0
39 Patrick Dwyer 14:36 5 5 0:10 0 0 1:01 0 0   0 0
42 Brett Sutter  2:35 0 0 0:00 0 0 0:00 0 0   0 0
44 Jay Harrison 15:30 7 2 0:00 0 0 0:00 0 0   2 1
65 Ron Hainsey 18:00 1 5 0:00 0 0 1:20   0   0 0
35 Justin Peters  48:14 14 15 6:41 1 1 4:41 0 3   3 1

Best EV Forward: Jordan Staal +5

Worst EV Forwards: Riley Nash & Jiri Tlusty -4

Best EV Defenseman: Ryan Murphy +6

Worst EV Defensemen: Tim Gleason & Ron Hainsey -4

The first lien had another poor night and Muller tried to shuffle the deck by using a combination of Tlusty, Gerbe and Malhotra with Eric Staal & Alexander Semin. Gerbe had a solid game, although he did most of his damage alongside Jordan Staal, and Malhotra also played well but Tlusty had a brutal game. He failed to tie up Stamkos on his goal in the second period and was crushed defensively for the entier game, as the Canes were oushot 20-8 during five-on-five play when he was on the ice. It appears that his spot on the first line might be up for grabs after this performance.

Who takes over his spot is a mystery, though. Tuomo Ruutu still doesn't look like he is in full form and I can't see Muller separating Jordan Staal & Nathan Gerbe again. Something needs to be done to spark the offense, though because what they are doing now clearly isn't working. Staal, Gerbe & Dwyer are creating chances but that line isn't going to produce much offense if Dwyer stays as the right winger. He is a good player, but his career high of 18 points speaks for itself. Meanwhile, Riley Nash is drowning in third line minutes without Skinner on his wing and Elias Lindholm continues to be only so-so at even strength. The only real positive about the bottom-six was Malhotra, who did his job in winning 15 of 20 faceoffs and playing a solid defensive game. That will only take you so far, though.

The entire defense corps had a pretty rough game aside from the third pairing, who were very good in protected minutes. However, Muller kept them away from all of Tampa's most dangerous forwards and the guys who were lined up against them ended up on the wrong side of the scoring chance ledger. Sekera & Faulk were on the ice for enough offense to not get crushed, but they gave up a lot of chances and Faulk looked brutal on Alex Killorn's goal. These two were still vastly better than Gleason & Hainsey, who were destroyed at even strength. Maybe Brett Bellemore can help improve things here once he returns? Gleason hasn't exactly looked in top form just yet and I think Muller knows it judging from how he is using him. 

Lightning Individual Scoring Chances

# Player 5v5 PP SH 4v4
2 Eric Brewer 13:33 3 4 0:00 0 0 1:35 0 0   0 0
6 Sami Salo 15:48 7 4 3:16 1 1 3:29 1 0   0 0
7 Radko Gudas 17:34 5 7 1:09 2 0 2:25 0 0   0 1
8 Mark Barberio 15:00 2 3 0:01 0 0 0:16 0 0   1 2
9 Tyler Johnson 11:50 1 4 0:39 0 0 2:57 0 0   1 2
12 Ryan Malone 11:25 3 4 4:01 3 0 0:00 0 0   0 0
14 Brett Connolly 9:45 1 4 0:00 0 0 0:00 0 0   0 0
16 Teddy PUrcell 13:40 4 2 4:01 3 0 0:00 0 0   0 0
17 Alex Killorn 11:46 8 3 0:39 0 0 0:48 0 0   0 0
18 Ondrej Palat 10:13 1 4 0:00 0 0 2:51 0 0   0 0
19 BJ Crombeen 8:31 1 4 0:00 0 1 2:15 0 0   0 0
25 Matt Carle 18:23 5 7 0:16 0 0 2:25 1 0   0 1
26 Martin St. Louis 16:18 11 3 4:01 3 0 0:00 1 0   0 1
44 Nathan Thompson 7:54 1 4 0:00 0 0 1:30 0 0   0 0
51 Valtteri Filppula 16:19 2 4 0:40 0 1 1:16 1 0   1 2
71 Richard Panik 10:22 2 2 0:39 0 0 0:00 0 0   0 0
77 Victor Hedman 16:53 6 3 0:01 0 1 3:12 0 0   1 2
91 Steven Stamkos  14:40 11 4 4:02 3 0 1:45 1 0   0 1
30 Ben Bishop  48:38 15 14 4:41 3 1 6:41 1 0   1 3

Best EV Forward: Martin St. Louis +8

Worst EV Forwards: Nathan Thompson, Tyler Johnson, Brett Connolly, BJ Crombeen & Ondrej Palat -3

Best EV Defensemen: Victor Hedman & Sami Salo +3

Worst EV Defensemen: Radko Gudas & Matt Carle -2

Tampa Bay rode their top players to victory last night as Stamkos was on the ice for 15 of their 20 scoring chances and their first line produced two even strength goals. Their second line also had a pretty solid game, but Stamkos, St. Louis & Killorn were the ones who were giving the Hurricanes the most trouble by a long-shot.

Head-to-Head at Five-on-Five

Muller went with a power-vs.-power approach and was okay with having Eric Staal regularly facing off against Stamkos' line. That ended up burning him in a bad way, as Staal's line was crushed. Nash's line also some time against Stamkos and didn't fare much better. If only the Hurricanes had a top two-way center who they could match up against Stamkos instead. Oh wait.

5v5 Zone Entries

Hurricanes

Player # of entries Shots generated Carry-ins Shots generated Dump-ins Shots generated Failed Entries
Sekera 1 0 1 0 0 0 0
Gleason 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Murphy 2 1 1 1 1 0 0
J. Staal 6 2 3 2 3 0 0
E. Staal 2 1 2 1 0 0 0
Gerbe 3 4 1 2 2 2 2
Ruutu 2 1 0 0 2 1 1
Lindholm 4 0 2 0 2 0 0
Tlusty 4 2 1 2 3 0 1
Nash 5 0 1 0 4 0 1
Bowman 1 0 1 0 0 0 0
Malhotra 4 2 1 1 3 1 0
Faulk 4 1 3 1 1 0 0
Semin 9 5 6 5 3 0 0
Dwyer 3 4 1 1 2 3 1
Sutter 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Harrison 1 0 0 0 1 0 0
Hainsey 2 1 1 1 1 0 0
Team 53 24 25 17 28 7 6

Semin had to carry the first line on his shoulders last night, producing nearly all of their zone entries and frequently carrying the puck into the zone to accomplish it. He was easily the most engaged player on the ice when the Hurricanes had their legs and while he had one bad turnover, his positive contributions far seemed to outweigh the bad, especially with his linemates being very quiet in the neutral zone. That said, this was a pretty weak game in the neutral zone for the Hurricanes. They didn't create many shots off their entries and dumped the puck in more times than not. Pretty much par for the course over the last week or so.

Lightning

Player # of entries Shots generated Carry-ins Shots generated Dump-ins Shots generated Failed Entries
Brewer 1 0 0 0 1 0 0
Salo 1 0 0 0 1 0 0
Gudas 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Barberio 1 0 0 0 1 0 0
Johnson 2 2 0 0 2 2 1
Malone 4 2 0 0 4 2 2
Connolly 3 0 1 0 2 0 0
Purcell 1 1 0 0 1 1 0
Killorn 8 5 6 5 2 0 0
Palat 3 1 1 1 2 0 1
Crombeen 2 2 1 1 1 1 1
Carle 2 2 1 1 1 1 0
St. Louis 6 11 3 3 3 8 0
Thompson 4 0 3 0 1 0 0
Filppula 5 2 4 2 1 0 1
Panik 2 2 2 2 0 0 0
Hedman 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
Stamkos 4 2 2 2 2 0 1
Team 49 32 24 17 25 15 8

Tampa Bay also dumped the puck in a lot but they had a stronger forecheck going and were winning most of the races. The numbers for their first line doa good job of illustrating that, as they created eight shot attempts off dump-ins from Martin St. Louis, who had Stamkos and speedster Alex Killorn playing on his line. Speaking of which, Killorn also led the Bolts in controlled zone entries, which might be interesting to those who have never seen him but he is a pretty dynamic player with the puck.

Zone Exits

Hurricanes

# Player Pos. Touches Carry Pass Other Turnover Icing
4 Andrej Sekera D 18 0 2 0 2 1
6 Tim Gleason D 12 0 2 0 2 0
7 Ryan Murphy D 11 0 1 0 1 0
11 Jordan Staal C 9 3 1 0 1 0
12 Eric Staal C 11 2 2 0 2 0
14 Nathan Gerbe LW 4 0 2 0 0 0
15 Tuomo Ruutu LW 3 0 0 1 0 0
16 Elias Lindholm RW 3 2 0 0 0 0
19 Jiri Tlusty LW 2 1 0 0 0 0
20 Riley Nash C 3 0 0 0 0 0
21 Drayson Bowman LW 2 1 1 0 0 0
22 Manny Malhotra C 5 1 0 0 0 0
27 Justin Faulk D 27 3 3 1 2 0
28 Alexander Semin RW 9 2 2 0 0 0
39 Patrick Dwyer RW 3 1 0 0 0 0
42 Brett Sutter LW 1 1 0 0 0 0
44 Jay Harrison D 9 1 2 0 1 0
65 Ron Hainsey D 16 0 6 0 0 1

Ryan Murphy had his worst game of the season in terms of zone exits, which is a little odd because he had a good game by scoring chances. Guess that says a lot about the guys who he was on the ice with. Faulk also had a very good game at exiting the zone and looked a lot more aggressive than usual. I'd like to see him play like that more often, but we did see the negative side of it on Killorn's goal. Faulk is an advanced player for his age, but he does still have some room to grow, mainly when it comes to balancing the offensive & defensive side of his game.

Lightning

# Player Pos. Touches Carry Pass Other Turnover Icing
2 Eric Brewer D 16 0 1 1 1 0
6 Sami Salo D 21 0 2 0 2 1
7 Radko Gudas D 21 0 2 2 2 1
8 Mark Barberio D 17 1 2 0 2 2
9 Tyler Johnson C 4 0 0 0 0  
12 Ryan Malone L 5 0 1 0 0 1
14 Brett Connolly R 5 0 1 0 1 0
16 Teddy PUrcell R 8 2 2 0 1 0
17 Alex Killorn C 10 5 0 1 0 0
18 Ondrej Palat L 4 0 1 0 0 0
19 BJ Crombeen R 3 1 1 0 0 1
25 Matt Carle D 11 0 2 0 2 0
26 Martin St. Louis R 6 2 0 0 0 0
44 Nathan Thompson C 4 0 0 0 0 0
51 Valtteri Filppula C 13 4 1 1 1 0
71 Richard Panik R 5 0 0 0 0 0
77 Victor Hedman D 25 1 4 0 2 0
91 Steven Stamkos C 1 1 0 0 0 0

For as good as Tampa Bay was last night, their ability to advance the play out of their own end still appears to be a work in progress. Hedman was their only defenseman who successfully advanced the puck at least 20% of the time and Salo had a pretty rough game when it came to breakouts. This is where using forwards as outlets can come in handy, which Tampa Bay did with Killorn, Purcell & Filppula.

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