The final game of Carolina’s first half of the season was probably 10 times more exciting than whatever will happen at the All-Star Game. It had it all—the scoring runs, the fisticuffs, the late-third-period teeth-gnashing tension that 90% of Hurricanes wins have.
There’s plenty to look at in this About Last Night post, but as I watched last night, the one thing that stood out to me was the many different ways that the Canes hit the back of the net. Each goal was different, and let’s see that goal by goal:
1) How’d he do that?
Teuvo Teravainen scored within the first two minutes, and the goal was created by a slick backhand pass Justin Williams. This was a little bit of magic around the crease that the Canes haven’t seen much of this season.
As much as the fundamentals matter, these exceptional plays that make you turn your head are what the great teams have, so it’s great to see an example so early in the game.
2) Rebound, rebound, rebound
The basketball maxim is just as true in hockey: good rebounding leads to more scoring chances.
Instead of trying to finesse a shot through whatever few inches Carey Price may have presented (in this case, he was sliding far left so maybe more), Victor Rask strikes one hard off the right pad and Jordan Staal flips it in for the goal.
If the Canes can keep a man rushing the net for rebounds, I don’t see why this strategy wouldn’t be utilized more with clustered defenses that don’t present clear passing lanes. Getting the shot near the chest pad is an easier save, so pad-pounders may be a great route for second-half scoring this season.
3) Net presence
Sometimes you earn it, and sometimes you just time it right. The latter was the case for the third Canes goal, as Jeff Skinner flicked in a puck dangling on the post.
Skinner is essentially just waiting it out near the post, but being alert, aware and close by makes the difference here. He’s actually waiting to sweep it in (you can see him start the shooting motion), but adjust very quickly to stab the puck in.
Turbo got his second goal of the game by executing in shootout fashion after Montreal turned the puck over.
He doesn’t really give a great shot- or head-fake, but his forehand-to-backhand sweep is too clean. Tervainen has been one of the Canes’ most reliable one-on-one resources this season, alongside Sebastian Aho...
5) Odd-man rush
The Canes had been practicing 3-on-2 rushes specifically in recent practices, and while the third goal started as a 2-on-1 turned 2-on-2 opportunity, Derek Ryan’s speed got him ahead of the next Canadien and he finished as if he were the third man.
Maybe he rushed so hard to make it an odd-man opportunity because the second period was in its dying seconds, but Ryan has been one of the visibly hard workers for the Canes despite the team’s struggles.
6) Leave a tip
The game-winner was a tiny deflection by Justin Williams from Turbo’s shot just 10 seconds after the game-tying goal went in for Montreal.
That little bit from Williams’ stick made all the difference, directing the rising puck under the left arm of Price. The OG Cane of the current squad has really been one of the better puck-paddlers this year, and this one was a great example in a big moment.
So even though we heard the same nasal-y goal horn five times, we saw six different ways for the Hurricanes to get on the board. Neat!