It was a short week for the Hurricanes but a successful one as they went 2-1-0 and have only lost two games in regulation over the last month. The Canes playoff hopes might be all but finished, but it’s nice to see the Canes win some more games and play better than they were at the beginning of the season. That said, the Canes were outchanced both overall and at even strength this past week and one of the main reasons they won two games was because of their special teams. They created 15 scoring chances on the powerplay, scored three times and had a shorthanded tally to boot. They also allowed three powerplay goals but two of them came in the game against Montreal and there was a span of five periods where they didn’t allow a PPG.
With that in mind, let’s break down some of the Canes individual standouts this week.
There’s been some changes in the Canes’ players roles and the biggest one is probably Jussi Jokinen receiving softer minutes. He’s being sent out in the offensive zone more against weaker competition which is probably why he’s seen his scoring pick up lately. Jamie McBain has also drifted to near below average territory in quality of competition which is a result of him playing on the third pairing with Jaroslav Spacek. Jiri Tlusty has actually seen his assignments get tougher as he’s used in the offensive zone less than 50% of the time and he’s around the same level as Eric Staal in quality of competition. Aside from taht, everything here looks like it has all season.
Eric Staal - The captain’s “off-year” continues to look more like just a slow start. The bounces have been going in his favor for the last couple of months and he’s been quietly accumulating points during that time, as well. Five points in three games for Staal and both his scoring chance and corsi rating led the team this week.
Jussi Jokinen - Easier zone starts have been a good thing for Jokinen as he netted a goal and added two assists this week. To make things even better, his scoring chance rate was 55.2% at even strength.
Justin Peters - Played remarkable against San Jose stopping 35 of 37 shots and did a solid job in relief duty against the Islanders, as well. Now if only we could stop allowing so many shots and chances when he he’s in net…
Jamie McBain – McBain had an awful game against San Jose, but he played well against Montreal and the Islanders which is enough for me to give him a positive marker. Plus, he still recorded a point in that San Jose game.
Jiri Tlusty - Tlusty was under .500 in terms of even strength scoring chances this week but he continued his seven game point streak with two goals and an assist. I’m not sure how long this pace will last but I’m fine with it continuing for as long as possible.
Jay Harrison - The Canes were out-corsied by 13 at even strength when Harrison was on the ice, and he was also on ice for two powerplay goals against. Not the best week for him.
Patrick Dwyer - Had a nice assist on Brandon Sutter’s goal against the Islanders but other than that, Dwyer produced little to no offense. He was on ice for only five Carolina scoring chances and 12 of the opponents. The one saving grace was that he wasn’t on ice for an even strength goal against. Instead, it was two powerplay goals.
Jeff Skinner - He was poor against Montreal and San Jose but scored on a bit of a flukely goal against the latter. Still, the Canes were getting outshot and outchanced heavily when he was on the ice this week and his entire line looked off for whatever reason. He had a strong game against the Islanders but Skinner’s defensive shortcomings were on full display the past week.
Tim Brent - Did next to nothing at even strength but was on ice for all 10 of the Canes powerplay chances. Like I said, we’ve got a powerplay specialist here.
Anthony Stewart - 58.8% of the even strength chances went in the Canes favor when Stewart was on the ice last week, but most of that is from the Montreal game when he was placed on Staal’s line. I will say that he and Derek Joslin could become Carolina’s version of the Bash Brothers if they keep playing the way they have. Just hope some offense comes with all of that physicality.
Bryan Allen & Tim Gleason - Both had identical numbers and were outchanced at even strength this past week. They also were on ice for only one even strength goal. The PDO gods are kind to them.
Justin Faulk - He was even in terms of scoring chances but the Canes were getting possession moving in the right direction when Faulk was on the ice, which is great news. He also scored a beautiful powerplay goal Friday against San Jose.
Drayson Bowman - Responded from a poor game against San Jose with a monstrous game against the Islanders where he was on ice for six even strength chances. It’s a shame that none of them went in because he could really use a goal right now.
Jaro Spacek - Was outchanced despite playing soft minutes but he scored two goals this week and that includes one against his former team. Hard to give a player who is scoring a negative marker.
Brandon Sutter - He had trouble containing the Tavares lines (then again, who didn’t?) on Saturday night but played well against San Jose and Montreal. He also had nine shots on net and scored his 13th goal of the season this past week.