Canes vs. Blackhawks Recap

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The Carolina Hurricanes turned in a pretty embarrassing effort against the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday, losing by a score of 5-2. The game started off rocky for the Hurricanes, but a power play tally from Julien Gauthier was enough to give them a 1-0 lead after the first period. The second period started off with a Blackhawks power play goal, which was then followed up by two more goals. The Canes quickly found themselves in a 3-1 deficit. None of their players could complete a pass, finish a check, or get any sort of offensive zone time. Andrei Svechnikov cut the lead in half with a shot that goalie Alexis Gravel was unable to track, but it was not enough to gain momentum. The Canes lost the game 5-2 and Chicago defeated the Hurricanes for the second year in a row. Careless penalties and a lack of pace haunted the Hurricanes in this game, and it was unfortunately not the newer players that were at fault. The players that spent last season in the AHL were the most careless players on the ice. It’s just a prospects game, however, so I wouldn’t read too much into it. We can be as critical of them as we want, but it’s a game with no meaning.

There aren’t a whole lot of notes from the first period since I was out for most of the period. I caught the last minute of the first period and took notes for the rest of the game. There weren’t a whole lot of great things happening offensively against Chicago, but a few players did well.

  • The Canes’ third line of Henman, Mattheos, and Geekie excels at breakouts. They don’t try to do too much. One player makes the initial pass, the next carries the puck out of the zone and makes a pass, and the last player enters the offensive zone. It’s simple but very well executed.
  • De Jong has gotten a lot faster. He’s worked on leg strength and it shows. He is out-skating the opposition now as opposed to forwards skating in circles around him. I’ve liked his growth this year.
  • Tough start for the Canes. They can’t maintain possession due to poor passes. Pace is a huge issue.
  • Helvig looks like he’s more than ready for the pros. He may bypass the ECHL based on how good he looks in this tournament.
  • Bean killing penalties is not good. He’s still not great defensively and will lose his man every so often. Big reason why Chicago scored on the power play early in the second.
  • Gauthier is still stronger than anyone in this age group. Someone tried to check him, and he just pushed them aside.
  • The fourth line of Struthers, Levin, and Ralph had the best shift that I have seen so far. They could actually hold onto the puck and generate a bit of offense. Struthers looks like he’s a decent two way forward that just needs to get a bit faster.
  • Roy is trying to do too much with his passes. He’s made about four awful passes in the first six minutes of the period.
  • Kuokkanen with two awful turnovers in five seconds. The AHL players haven’t done well at all today.
  • Necas just had a horrible pass on the same shift. The team needs a whistle to slow down. They’re panicking.
  • 3-1 now. No puck control from the Canes leads to a goal for the Blackhawks.
  • I’ve counted three missed stretch passes that end up on the tape of a defender. Stop trying for a breakaway and just play a simple game. Looking at you, Saarela, Roy, and Kuokkanen.
  • Svechnikov gets his first goal of the tournament with a shot that was so quick that Gravel didn’t even move. Nice faceoff play from Roy and Saarela to get the puck to him. Svechnikov has factored in on two thirds of the Canes’ goals in this tournament.
  • Svechnikov draws a penalty within ten seconds of scoring a goal. I’ve loved his effort today.
  • Saarela kills momentum by taking a penalty early on in the power play. He’s done that twice in this tournament.
  • Another Svechnikov note. His shot gets blocked, but he follows the shot and forechecks to keep up the pressure in the offensive zone.
  • De Jong fires a shot and Necas is there for a tip. Good save from Gravel. It’s great seeing De Jong look more comfortable offensively.
  • Henman is dangerous on the forecheck. Once he gets stronger, he’ll be causing turnovers left and right
  • Saarela takes another penalty for a dangerous hit. He’s had a really tough game.
  • My only complaint with Svechnikov is that he tries making a no-look pass too often. It kills offensive opportunities.
  • Roy has been demoted to the third line and Geekie has been promoted. Roy has had a few bad turnovers today and has been very underwhelming.
  • The Hurricanes can’t seem to be disciplined enough to maintain offensive pressure. At least three offensive zone penalties today due to Chicago outworking them.
  • De Jong is calling for the puck now. He takes a shot that is easily stopped. His shot still isn’t strong, but it’s better than it was last season. The fact that he’s getting involved in the offensive zone is huge.
  • Mattheos draws an interference penalty. He’s been quiet on the scoresheet but has done a lot of things well in this tournament.
  • Necas needs to work on faceoffs. If he doesn’t take a false start, he loses the draw.
  • I’m not sure what has happened to “goal-scoring defenseman Jake Bean.” He isn’t shooting at all now. Even when he has a lane, his first instinct is to pass.
  • Gravel robs Necas. Necas’ shot is great, and Gravel has to make an excellent save. He has been great even though most of the shots that he has seen have been with no traffic in front.
  • Bean’s skating is smooth and he does it so well. The way he mans the point on the power play is very fun to watch. The puck isn’t on his stick for long, and he is constantly moving to get a better angle.
  • I’ve seen De Jong get stripped of the puck about five times today. Most Canes players have been stripped of the puck at least once. You have to be stronger.

The Canes will face the Blue Jackets on Monday at 7:00 PM.

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