A handful of Hurricanes got one-upped by their exes on Saturday as Chicago rallied from 3-1 down to win 4-3 in overtime. It was an especially painful loss as the Hurricanes finally found a scoring touch, but didn’t translate that to a win.
Instead of going through the scoring play by play, I’d like to break this post down into a few topics instead.
Topic #1: Brock McGinn and Alex DeBrincat
These young studs went to work last night. McGinn made a smart move off the faceoff, slipping behind the goal and tiptoeing into position to collect Derek Ryan’s pass for the first goal, then the break-to-backhand that made me scream. Just gorgeous.
DeBrincat’s goals were less exciting in my opinion, but counted just as much on the scoreboard. His first was set up by a rare feat of beating Jaccob Slavin to the net, which is pretty exceptional on its own, followed by some serious precision on his second goal.
Alex DeBrincat + Patrick Kane = Goals pic.twitter.com/vFzqKSJmvL— Blackhawks Breakdown (@HawksBreakdown) November 12, 2017
Who had a better night? Tough to say. I’d say McGinn’s all-around game was better, but DeBrincat drew Hanifan and Aho together to set up the game-winner by Brandon Saad. You decide.
Kneel before Saad! pic.twitter.com/FizzpStgOZ— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) November 12, 2017
(Side note: DeBrincat is French for “bringer of cats.” Don’t quote me on this.)
Topic #2: Scott Darling
I really thought Scott Darling had a pretty good game. It’s weird to say that with four goals to his name, but he showed a lot of patience as scoring chances developed for Chicago and didn’t really put himself in bad positions. Two of the goals he allowed were helped by bad Carolina defense (first and fourth goals) as well as the Hurricanes not directing traffic out of his way on the third goal.
(Three Blackhawks in the crease? No loitering in PNC Arena, people.)
Topic #3: Hurricanes Penalty Kill
*cue “Anchorman” intro music*
There was a time, a time before this season,
When the Carolina penalty kill reigned supreme…
We saw some glimpses of that strong penalty kill in this game, and this time it wasn’t just killing penalties, it was killing penalties and creating good shorthanded scoring chances. A couple probably should’ve been scored on (mentally staring at Jeff Skinner), and DeBrincat’s first goal technically came at even strength but just as Marcus Kruger left the box, but either way the handful of chances were strong and if the Canes can consistently do that on penalty kills, teams may be a little more shaky on power plays.
The power play, on the other hand, looked like...well, any other power play of recent history (meaning 0-for-insert-any-numeral). The less said, the better.
Topic #4: Will We Ever Win in OT?
Not in shootout, though that’s the same thing as OT points-wise, but the OT period itself. The last time the Canes won in OT was March 30th against Columbus. In games decided in the OT period, they are 5-11 since the beginning of last season including 0-2 so far this season.
There is obviously a scoring problem, and that shows up in the shootout as well as the regulation period. It would help to take advantage of these 3-on-3 periods, especially since we’re in them more often than I’m comfortable with.
Topic #5: Sebastian Aho Still Goal-less
15 games, people. 15 games.
He seemed to skate well last night and wasn’t giving away pucks in the offensive zone. He even created a couple of good chances (that early goal would have been a great first one to have), but they’re just not dropping. Any answers or suggestions for Mr. Aho? Leave your thoughts in the comments.
Some Individual Notes:
Brett Pesce looked pretty sloppy in his second game since returning to the lineup. His puck handling was especially sub-par.
Jeff Skinner once again proved he is a netside presence that defenses will have to deal with. Quite a few chances that felt like they could drop but the lone goal was on an albeit soft goal with Forsberg out of position in net (also thanks to Skinner).
In all the McGinn hype, Derek Ryan also needs to be lauded for his great puck movement to find McGinn for both his goals. Dilly dilly!
What did you think? Leave a comment.