CanesIslanders100713

Game 16 By the Numbers: Islanders at Hurricanes

On Tuesday night, the Hurricanes put an end to a two-week losing skid by defeating the Philadelphia Flyers in an ugly game that was filled with errors from both teams. Last night's 1-0 win over the Islanders was a similar affair, as neither team looked particularly sharp and the Hurricanes scoring issues persisted, but they played well enough to get the win and I'm sure that's all most care about right now. After losing five in a row, you get to the point where you care more about the results rather than the process and this was the case for me in the last two games.

Carolina did not look like they were at their best in either game but at the same time, they managed to pick up two wins over divisional opponents, something that was a huge problem last year, and gave themselves a boost in a very weak Eastern Conference. That said, there are more positives to draw out of last night's win than the Philadelphia game, as the Hurricanes turned in a very good defensive performance and looked much more solid fundamentally. This was a hard-earned win that will definitely please the coaching staff and give them something to build upon as the Canes prepare to take on a slate of Western Conference teams.

Fenwick Timeline from Extra Skater

Going by the Fenwick graph, it looked like the Hurricanes lucked their way into a win. The Islanders had a pretty big advantage in shot attempts for the entire game and ended up getting shut out while the Hurricanes found the back of the net on their first shot on goal of the night. Going by that, yes you can say that the Canes got lucky but this graph is a little misleading. Yes, the Islanders had an advantage in shot attempts throughout the game, but they had serious trouble hitting the net on their shots and were forced to the outside by Carolina's defense many times. The graph also shows that the Hurricanes had a strong push in the middle of the second and third periods, which was nice to see because this team has struggled when playing with a lead this year. Luck and goaltending definitely helped out the Hurricanes last night, but the Islanders offense also struggled and that is evident in the scoring chance totals.

Scoring Chances

Period Total 5v5 PP 5v3 SH 3v5 4v4 EN
1 5 1 5 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2 3 4 3 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0
3 3 5 2 3 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
Totals 11 10 10 6 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1

Despite all of the zone time the Islanders had, they generated only ten scoring chances and six at even strength. They had the puck a lot but they were either missing the net, fanning on shots or getting their sticks tied up by the last minute by Carolina's defenders. Carolina played a very strong game in their own end and they were able to keep the Islanders away from getting to any rebounds or second chances, but it also seemed like nothing was going right for New York when it came to producing offense. The Hurricanes didn't exactly put on a show either but they seemed to sit back after getting an early lead. They only tried to create offense when the Islanders turned the puck over or made a mistake in the offensive zone, which is something the Canes are usually on the wrong end of.

Hurricanes Individual Scoring Chances

# Player 5v5 PP SH 4v4
4 Andrej Sekera 19:07 5 2 1:14 1 0 3:24 0 2   0 0
7 Ryan Murphy 15:29 3 2 2:51 1 0 0:00 0 0   0 1
11 Jordan Staal 12:52 2 0 1:25 0 0 3:16 0 0   0 0
12 Eric Staal  15:41 3 2 2:35 0 0 0:14 0 0   0 1
14 Nathan Gerbe 11:17 1 1 0:37 0 0 1:25 0 1   0 0
15 Tuomo Ruutu 10:26 1 2 1:02 0 0 0:18 0 0   0 0
18 Radek Dvorak 11:54 3 2 0:00 0 0 0:32 0 1   0 0
19 Jiri Tlusty 12:17 3 1 2:35 1 0 0:00 0 0   0 0
20 Riley Nash 12:00 2 2 0:00 0 0 1:09 0 1   0 0
21 Drayson Bowman 9:45 3 2 0:16 0 0 0:00 0 0   0 0
22 Manny Malhotra 12:31 4 2 0:00 0 0 2:14 0 0   0 0
27 Justin Faulk 19:12 4 0 2:31 1 0 2:13 0 2   0 0
28 Alexander Semin 14:02 3 1 2:42 1 0 0:08 0 0   0 1
39 Patrick Dwyer 12:39 2 1 0:16 0 0 2:44 0 1   0 0
44 Jay Harrison 16:00 4 4 0:16 0 0 1:37 0 0   0 1
58 Chris Terry  12:22 3 2 1:31 0 0 0:00 0 0   0 0
65 Ron Hainsey 16:19 2 2 0:07 0 0 2:06 0 0   0 0
73 Brett Bellemore 14:07 2 2 0:02 0 0 2:40 0 0   0 0
35 Justin Peters  50:00 10 6 4:00 1 0 6:00 0 2   0 1

Best EV Forwards: Jordan Staal, Manny Malhotra, Alex Semin & Jiri Tlusty +2

Worst EV Forward: Tuomo Ruutu -1

Best EV Defenseman: Justin Faulk +4

Worst EV Defensemen: Brett Bellemore, Ron Hainsey & Jay Harrison EVEN

Muller rolled all four lines and got a decent performance out of pretty much everyone. Despite not creating many chances, both Eric Staal & Alex Semin were able to drive the play at a very high level and did a good job of creating lots of zone time for the Hurricanes. They still seem a bit off, but they are doing a lot of good things out there. Thankfully, these two not getting on the score sheet ended up being not that big of a deal because the Canes allowed only 21 shots and Justin Peters stopped all of them. 

The fourth line of Manny Malhotra, Radek Dvorak and Drayson Bowman produced the only goal of the game and while it was off a fluky deflection, these three have done a ncie job for the Hurricanes ever since Muller put them together. Malhotra has been such a big help in the faceoff circle and his contributions go way beyond that, as he was also on the ice for four even strength scoring chances, which led all forwards. One week ago, the fourth line was a liability for the Canes and the addition of Malhotra has instantly made it a respectable unit.

None of the forwards had a notably bad game and this is true for the defense corps as well. Faulk & Sekera managed to shut down the Tavares line, allowing no five-on-five scoring chances for the entire game and were able to quickly advance the play any chance they got. Sekera was also very aggressive on the penalty kill and has been more prone to jump into the play than usual the last few games or so. This has always been part of his game, but he seems to be doing it more often and it's nice to see with the Hurricanes starving for offense right now.

On a similar note, Ryan Murphy was absolutely flying last night. The coaches must have given him the green light to join the rush any time he sees an opening because that's pretty much what he did against the Islanders. He acted like a fourth forward on some of Carolina's breakouts with how quickly he jumped into the play and it really helped Carolina's transition game. Hopefully it can result in more offense in future games.

Islanders Individual Scoring Chances

# Player 5v5 PP SH 4v4
3 Travis Hamonic 19:49 0 2 1:52 1 0 1:22 0 0   1 0
4 Radek Martinek 15:09 3 8 0:00 0 0 0:00 0     0 0
12 Josh Bailey 12:52 3 1 2:55 1 0 1:05 0 0   0 0
13 Colin McDonald 7:31 0 1 2:03 0 0 0:00 0 0   0 0
14 Thomas Hickey 14:39 3 0 0:20 0 0 1:26 0 0   0 0
16 Peter Regin 9:11 1 5 0:00 0 0 0:00 0 0   0 0
17 Matt Martin 9:12 0 1 0:20 0 0 0:00 0 0   0 0
21 Kyle Okposo 18:04 2 3 3:08 1 0 0:00 0 0   0 0
26 Thomas Vanek 18:18 1 3 3:49 2 0 0:00 0 0   0 0
29 Brock Nelson 9:16 1 5 0:00 0 0 0:00 0 0   0 0
40 Michael Grabner 10:49 2 4 2:32 1 0 2:55 0 1   1 0
46 Matt Donovan 15:09 1 8 1:16 0 0 2:20 0 1   0 0
47 Andrew MacDonald 21:28 1 2 3:00 1 0 2:34 0 1   1 0
51 Frans Nielsen 14:02 3 1 2:34 1 0 1:05 0 0   1 0
53 Casey Cizikas 8:30 0 1 0:05 0 0 2:52 0 1   0 0
55 Aaron Ness 13:11 4 0 0:00 0 0 0:18 0 0   0 0
91 John Tavares 19:29 2 3 3:08 1 0 0:03 0 0   0 0
96 Pierre-Marc Bouchard  12:39 3 2 2:58 1 0 0:00 0 0   0 0
60 Kevin Poulin  48:42 6 10 6:00 2 0 4:00 0 1   1 0

Best EV Forward: Josh Bailey +2

Worst EV Forwards: Brock Nelson & Peter Regin -4

Best EV Defenseman: Aaron Ness +4

Worst EV Defenseman: Matt Donovan -7

Tavares' line was held in check but Nielsen, Bouchard and Bailey gave the Hurricanes some fits last night, as they produced a good chunk of the Islanders scoring chances. Tavares' line could have had more if they didn't miss the net a combined seven times but even with that, I didn't think they were much of a factor last night, especially compared to Tavares' other performances against the Hurricanes. Jack Capuano still rode on that line heavily, though and the Hurricanes manged to hold them to only wo scoring chances for the entire game. It also helped that the Islanders bottom-six did nothing.

Head-to-head at five-on-five

The Martinek-Donovan pairing was exposed numerous times by the Hurricanes last night and it wasn't the result of Muller playing his matchups either. if you look at who created the most chances against them, you'll notice that the Canes fourth line did a lot of damage against that pairing at even strength and this matchup would likely stay the same if the game was at Nassau Coliseum, too. The Islanders have some defensive depth issues with Brian Strait & Lubomir Visnovsky out of the lineup and the Hurricanes bottom-six took full advantage of that last night. Hickey/Ness played a very good game, though.

5v5 Zone Entries

Hurricanes

Player # of entries Shots generated Carry-ins Shots generated Dump-ins Shots generated Failed Entries
Sekera 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Murphy 3 2 3 2 0 0 0
J. Staal 6 2 5 2 1 0 0
E. Staal 9 6 4 5 5 1 0
Gerbe 4 2 3 2 1 0 0
Ruutu 5 4 3 2 2 2 2
Dvorak 5 3 1 1 4 2 1
Tlusty 5 1 2 1 3 0 0
Nash 8 5 5 5 3 0 1
Bowman 2 1 1 1 1 0 1
Malhotra 2 2 1 1 1 1 0
Faulk 2 1 0 0 2 1 0
Semin 4 2 3 1 1 1 0
Dwyer 3 0 2 0 1 0 0
Harrison 2 1 0 0 2 1 1
Terry 2 1 1 0 1 1 0
Hainsey 1 0 0 0 1 0 0
Bellemore 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Team 63 33 34 23 29 10 6

Carolina carried the puck in more times than not, which hasn't happened a lot this year and I think part of it relates to the Islanders system. Their defensemen tend to give some respect to other teams forwards and retreat at their own blue-line, allowing a lot of carry-ins as a result. The Staal Brothers, Ruutu and even Rley Nash took full advantage of this and created a decent amount of offense on their entries. Ryan Murphy also joine the fun, carrying the puck in on his three entries.

Islanders

Player # of entries Shots generated Carry-ins Shots generated Dump-ins Shots generated Failed Entries
Hamonic 1 0 0 0 1 0 0
Martinek 1 0 0 0 1 0 0
Bailey 3 4 2 3 1 1 0
McDonald 8 3 2 2 6 1 0
Hickey 3 1 1 0 2 1 1
Regin 2 1 2 1 0 0 2
Martin 2 0 1 0 1 0 0
Okposo 6 7 4 7 2 0 0
Vanek 2 1 1 1 1 0 0
Nelson 5 4 4 4 1 0 1
Grabner 3 1 3 1 0 0 1
Donovan 5 2 2 0 3 2 0
MacDonald 4 1 0 0 4 1 0
Nielsen 4 4 3 2 1 2 0
Cizikas 1 0 1 0 0 0 1
Ness 1 0 0 0 1 0 0
Tavares 7 2 7 2 0 0 1
Bouchard 4 3 1 1 3 2 1
Team 62 34 34 24 28 10 8

The Islanders had a decent showing in the neutral zone despite not creating many chances. Tavares did his thing and Kyle Okposo was fantastic. Some of their depth forwards like Brock Nelson also had solid games in terms of being able to carry the puck in on a consistent basis. The problem was that it wasn't resulting in anything after they gained the zone but I suspect that this could change as the season goes on. There is some decent finishing talent on this team and I wouldn't expect them to look this bad offensively for the rest of the year. Their defensemen joining the rush every once and awhile would have helped, though. 

5v5 Zone Exits

Hurricanes

# Player Pos. Touches Carry Pass Other Turnover Icing
4 Andrej Sekera D 20 0 4 1 1 0
7 Ryan Murphy D 19 1 5 0 0 0
11 Jordan Staal C 9 4 0 0 1 0
12 Eric Staal C 3 1 0 0 0 0
14 Nathan Gerbe C 5 2 1 0 1 0
15 Tuomo Ruutu R 5 0 0 0 1 0
18 Radek Dvorak R 5 1 1 0 1 0
19 Jiri Tlusty C 9 2 2 1 0 0
20 Riley Nash C 7 2 1 0 1 0
21 Drayson Bowman L 5 1 0 0 2 0
22 Manny Malhotra C 4 1 0 0 0 0
27 Justin Faulk D 16 1 6 0 1 0
28 Alexander Semin R 7 4 0 0 0 0
39 Patrick Dwyer R 4 1 1 0 0 0
44 Jay Harrison D 20 1 0 0 1 1
58 Chris Terry L 7 1 0 1 2 1
65 Ron Hainsey D 15 0 1 0 1 1
73 Brett Bellemore D 6 0 0 0 0 1
  Forwards   70 20 6 2 9 1
  Defense   96 3 16 1 4 3
  Overall   166 23 22 3 13 4

Faulk & Sekera had yet another impressive game at leading breakouts with the former having his best performance of the season. He didn't handle the puck as much as he usually did but that's mainly because he was able to get it out of the zone so swiftly that he didn't spent too much time in his own end. That works out as a net positive for the Canes and it's something I hope he can do on a more consistent basis. Ryan Murphy also had a very good game at exiting the zone but we've come to expect this from him at this point. His partner, Harrison, wasn't so good and it was predictable since he was forced to handle the puck more than usual. Harrison can perform well with a smaller work load but he can be trouble if he si forced to advance the play on his own.

Islanders

# Player Pos. Touches Carry Pass Other Turnover Icing
3 Travis Hamonic D 25 0 2 1 4 0
4 Radek Martinek D 14 1 1 0 2 0
12 Josh Bailey C 6 0 3 0 0 0
13 Colin McDonald R 6 4 0 0 0 0
14 Thomas Hickey D 16 1 1 0 1 0
16 Peter Regin C 8 1 0 0 2 1
17 Matt Martin L 5 0 2 0 0 0
21 Kyle Okposo R 9 4 1 0 0 0
26 Thomas Vanek L 6 0 2 0 0 1
29 Brock Nelson C 4 1 1 0 0 0
40 Michael Grabner R 5 1 2 0 0 0
46 Matt Donovan D 18 1 5 2 1 0
47 Andrew MacDonald D 25 1 7 0 0 0
51 Frans Nielsen C 7 0 2 0 0 0
53 Casey Cizikas C 5 1 0 0 0 0
55 Aaron Ness D 16 1 3 0 0 0
91 John Tavares C 9 3 1 0 2 0
96 Pierre-Marc Bouchard C 9 3 3 0 0 0
  Forwards   79 18 17 0 4 2
  Defense   114 5 19 3 8 0
  Overall   193 23 36 3 12 2

Donovan's numbers here are interesting because he had a terrible game going by scoring chances, but he did a fantastic job of leading breakouts. It's true, Donovan is very effective with the puck on his stick, but Carolina's forwards didn't have much of a problem with getting the inside edge on him and creating chance when he was on the ice. The fact that his defense partner probably shouldn't be in the NHL didn't help either.

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