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

Friday, September 28, 2007

Carolina wins fight-filled shootout.

On Friday night, the Hurricanes closed their preseason schedule with an exciting shootout victory over the Blue Jackets. Andrew Ladd ended the nine-round shootout with the only goal, and the Hurricanes emerged with a win, but they can't be all that happy about it.

Carolina mustered just 21 shots on goal. This is unacceptable. It has been an ongoing problem during the preseason. Tonight they had the exact same roster that they'll have opening night, so you can't chalk it up to "a bunch of kids trying to make the team but not trying hard enough".

I didn't watch the game, and I couldn't get a radio feed here in Greensboro I'm just going by the statsheet and the real-time scoring, which I was following the whole time.

Apparently, the game was very chippy. There were four fights including two as part of an apparent brawl at 19:37 of the second. There were two game misconduct penalties assessed there (presumably for second man in) and three other major misconduct penalties issued (two to Carolina and one to Columbus).
Columbus was whistled 18 times for a total of 64 penalty minutes. Carolina was whistled 21 times for a total of 78 minutes. 142 total PIM. That's almost two and a half hours to you and me. Not surprisingly, many of these penalties overlapped.
Carolina had five power play opportunities, and could not cash any of them in. This is also unacceptable. I think the word "anemic" suits the power play, which has been something like 4-45 during the pre-season.

On the flip side, there was good news. Columbus had 14 power play opportunities totaling 18:55. Carolina only allowed one of those to convert. Particularly good is that the Dinner Jackets had a total of six minutes of five-on-three, all of which was killed. In fact, if the scoresheet is accurate, the Canes only allowed one shot during those six minutes. For this, the defense should be applauded.

Judging from the stat sheet, the game wasn't just fight-filled and penalty-happy. It was extremely physical. Carolina doled out a whopping 37 hits. Timmmmmmaaaaay Gleason led the way with six. Again, I didn't watch or even listen to the game. I'm all for physical play, but if it's undisciplined physical play, there's where I have a problem.

Carolina finished 4-2 in the preseason, which is nothing to sneeze at, but they need to get their offense in gear or they will struggle terribly once the games start to count.

Cam Ward has been quite good, and will probably shoulder 75% of the goaltending load this season. The blueline, which was presumed to be Carolina's weak point, has also been pretty good. The rest of it needs to take shape, and in a hurry.

Opening night (and my birthday) is just five days away now!

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