A Carolina Hurricanes blog with occasional news about the rest of the NHL.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Canes win 2-1, lead series 3-1

In a hard-hitting game Monday night, the Canes took a well deserved win, and will head home with a chance to win the series on Wednesday night. See the previous post for my thoughts (sort of) as it happened.

Although it wasn't so in the first period, Carolina controlled most of the game. In the second period, they were completely dominant, and it was mostly due to the stellar play of Jussi Markkanen that the game was close going into the third. He earned the third star of the game. I think it's safe to say that he has far exceeded the expectations of him.

Early on, the referees indicated that they were going to allow a physical game. No ticky-tacky stuff on hard hits. It looked early like Edmonton was going to control the game with physical play, but it in the third period, it was Carolina who was dishing out the hits.

Quickly, I'll rehash my pregame "needs" for Carolina.

  • BE AGGRESSIVE Check. They were aggressive with the forecheck, with the shots, and just in a "general sort of way".
  • Continue stellar work on the PK Check. Carolina killed all five penalties, including a lengthy 5-on-3. For the series, Carolina has killed 25 of 26 penalties (96.2%).
  • Get the PP going again Check. Sort of. The power play looked good all night long, and they cashed in on one of six chances. For the series, Carolina has converted five of 26 power plays. (19.2%)
  • Wake Eric Staal out of his coma Check. Assists on both goals. We'd still like to get him back in the "goals" column, but we can't really complain at this point.

It was a hard fought win, and we'll be glad to get out of there.

Cory Stillman has been a beast. When he came to Carolina, people hailed it as a "good pickup", but everyone said the same thing. "He'll disappear in the playoffs." I don't think so. He's got 24 points (9/15), tying him with Eric Staal (7/17) for tops in the playoffs.

Carolina's defense was outstanding. Nic Wallin made some amazing plays, and the whole unit did a great job.

Wednesday night puck drop will be 8:00. I might not make it to work on Thursday.


Desdemona said...

Am I the only person who didn't think that Edmonton controlled the first?

d-lee said...

I'm just the stupid son of a milk man, and a Canes fan on top of that, but once again I differ with you. Amazing that we're differing on this point.

Edmonton was way more physical than Carolina in the first, forcing the Canes to react rather than to act on their own. They also drew four penalties against the Canes, outshot the Canes, and drew first blood. I don't think there's any question that they DID control the period. However, I'd like to hear why you think otherwise.

Desdemona said...

Well, I can't give you specifics tonight as my mind is replaying one long disappointing blur. Tomorrow I'm sure I'll remember each disappointment one by one.

But I digress. Not long into the first period, I thought that I was looking at the same Edmonton team that had played in game 2. Pretty passes, not too many shots. That's not Edmonton's game. Sure they're capable of winning with speed and finesse, but they're much better with when their defense aren't always jumping in on the play.

Sure, one of those pretty plays managed to result in a goal, but their confidence seemed to be really low after not being able to capitalize on any of their PP's (most of which were pretty shady calls IMO). Carolina seemed to recognize that and forced them into making bad plays.

They were more physical, but they weren't dominating. Defense broke down, Offense was scared to shoot and the goalie - oh no wait. He was the only reason the score wasn't in Carolina's favour after the first.

That's how I saw it. Judging from the blogs that I've visited so far, most disagree with me. Oh well.

d-lee said...

as per your comment about the pretty passes, I already said this in the comment thread at the penalty killer , but I totally agree with you. In fact, I took the time to text message a friend -- "Oilers are too cute with their passes". They might have screwed the pooch in the big picture, but I still think they had a pretty good hold on the first 20 minutes.

And I agree that the reffing was questionable. All night long. Both sides.

Desdemona said...

I'll tell you what. I'll agree that they 'hung in there' for the first 20 minutes. I haven't reviewed any stats or seen any replays yet, but to have controlled the first, they would have had to have had puck posession most of the time and played most of the period in front of Ward. Maybe my mind's playing tricks on me, but I don't think that they did either. At least not dominantly.

Even if they did manage both, does it count if Carolina's forcing them to the boards and the points and getting in their passing lanes all of the time?

Ron said...

Des, maybe it's fan perspective. I too thought the Oilers controlled the first period. I thought they skated better, were more physical, and kept the puck in front of Ward the first 20. It felt like they stayed on offense the whole period. I was surprised at the number of shots they didn't take though.

Oilers fans really showed how classy they are during the anthems. I saw many with hands over hearts during the singing of the US anthem. And when the guy stopped singing O Canada and let the crowd take over....DAMN....sent chills down my spine. And I'm not from Canada.


Chris said...

My first impression was that the Oilers got the better of play in the first - I think they outshot the Canes 8-4, but I think that's deceptive.

The multiple power plays skewed things and definitely made it look like Edmonton was in control. When they couldn't capitalize and the refs laid off the calls a bit, the game took shape like you said - the Oilers trying to be too cute and maybe clutching their sticks a bit too tight. The shots were pretty even, but the Canes definitely had the better scoring chances.

I have been incredibly impressed with Carolina's defensive game this series. After the first fourty minutes in game 1, they have been stellar.

Desdemona said...

It's a new day, and the cloud has been (partially) removed from last night's game allowing me to see the good that Edmonton did.

Even if they were in control, I wasn't watching the same Edmonton team that had got them through the first 3 series. They weren't playing the game that works for them. Perhaps they adjusted to Carolina style well, but if they had controlled the game, I don't think that they would have had to.

Why do they keep taking LaRose out? He's not a force, but he creates a lot of chances for Carolina, gets the other team running.

d-lee said...

To answer your question about LaRose... I really like Sharpie, and he has a wonderful future ahead of him. He's quicker than just about anybody on the team, and he tries harder than anybody. He's probably the nicest and most genuinely excited guy in the room. However, there's a talent issue. He's got skills, no doubt, but aside from his speed, he's probably the least skilled player on the team. He has great chemistry with the Adams Family line, but he needed to sit.

In game three, I think the only reason as that Lavi wanted to roll seven defensemen. He would have rather had Tevvy out there as an extra defenseman who isn't going to hurt you in any way.

In game four, Lavi just wanted to get Josef Vasicek some ice time. Lavi really likes Joe, and he's come back a long way from a terrible knee injury. he was only able to play in 23 regular season games, and looked a little shaky after missing 59 staight games. His return came near the end of the regular season, and he was great on his first night back, but only so-so after that. Anyway, he looked good in practice, he wanted to play, and Lavi wanted to grant him that opportunity. Big Joe led the team in scoring in 2004 and worked really hard to come back from the injury. There's some speculation that playing Vasicek was done only in the interest of making him eligible for getting his name on the cup.

DrFrankLives said...

what a freaking chokejobr


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