Brock won it, then led the clap. Dougie scored his first goal as a Cane, then flossed on live television. Teuvo earned first star honors after kayaking down the ice. And Tripp even got to reminisce on seeing the Grand Canyon and look forward to his trip to the Colorado River — weird flex, but OK.
The Hurricanes’ victory over the Sharks on Friday was probably the most exciting win of the year, and boy, am I glad to not have the title of Most Exciting Win bestowed upon the game in which we gave up five goals to the Rangers.
The Canes and their supporters knew what the team was facing in San Jose — a group with great puck possession, a lethal blue line, two solid goalies and a ton of experience to go around. With the early shot differentials we’ve produced throughout the season, maybe we didn’t quite expect to be down 2-0 in the first with almost no energy. But hockey’s played in three periods, and the last two -- plus the overtime fun -- made the difference.
Before we get all happy-smiley, let’s talk about what went wrong first.
Not the Best D Early On
The Hurricanes’ offense was certainly lackluster in the first period as evidenced by its mere eight shots in the first, and not eight shots in the way that the Penguins could probably convert two of those against the Flames (sorry, Bill). Maybe Jordan Martinook putting one into the open net early could’ve prevented that, but it didn’t happen.
Meanwhile, the defense and penalty kill had a few blunders that led early goals, including Antti Suomela’s first NHL tally. Just over six minute into the game, Jaccob Slavin lost sign of a puck headed toward the defensive blue line that ticked off of Evander Kane. Suomala corralled it as three Canes were bunched up around Kane, and the rookie went right-to-left at the crease to put it past Petr Mrazek.
Pretty big flex scoring your first career goal like that, @SuomelaAntti. #NHLFirsts #SJSvsCAR pic.twitter.com/ZgX2UehWwd— NHL (@NHL) October 27, 2018
Then, just a few minutes later, on the power play, Timo Meier was left alone in front of Mrazek for a perfect rebound opportunity with two Canes out of position to give a stick check and break up the quick shot.
Then the Sharks’ third goal, also on their power play, was just unfortunate. With less than a minute left on the kill, Slavin was able to get a clean lane to clear the puck, but Martinook apparently saw a pass to him, and touched the puck, cutting its momentum and setting up a dish down to Tomas Hertl to give the Sharks a 3-1 advantage.
TOMAS HERTL BURIES ON THE POWER PLAY!#SJSharks pic.twitter.com/uXl6IWDsF5— NHL Daily 365 (@NHLDaily365) October 27, 2018
Mrazek, yet again, made some great saves to keep the game in hand, but with mistakes on defense and the penalty kill, its hard for him to put himself in good positions for the save.
And once again, Justin Faulk is actually a goalie:
UNREAL @JustinFaulk27 pic.twitter.com/XdMyTBF0UA— Carolina Hurricanes (@NHLCanes) October 27, 2018
A Couple Firsts on Offense
OK, enough with the negativity, Jake. We won. History is written by the winners. Read a textbook.
The goose egg was cracked for the Canes by Dougie Hamilton, who netted his first goal as a Cane about a minute into the second period. (Sidenote: who else is wondering the speech Roddy gave to the team in the locker room after that first? They were probably running through walls on the way to the ice.). Fittingly, it came from his former Calgary teammate Micheal Ferland.
Not throwing away his shot pic.twitter.com/Sm8A9HVLxA— Carolina Hurricanes (@NHLCanes) October 27, 2018
Also this incredible thing happened because of the goal:
Just You Wait pic.twitter.com/4AIVejv9ZD— Carolina Hurricanes (@NHLCanes) October 27, 2018
Then, “The Original Caniac Gritty” Brock McGinn got his first goal of the season. After Brenden Dillon fumbled the puck around the net, he and Lucas Wallmark twirled in front of the crease to allow McGinn to get the puck and a shooting lane just feet from an open net.
Hook, line and sinker pic.twitter.com/0sC4OTRsdT— Carolina Hurricanes (@NHLCanes) October 27, 2018
It wasn’t the net-crashing poke-in that I expected to be his first goal of the season, but, as goes with Hamilton, we’ve seen what happens when a player finally breaks that first goal open -- sometimes, when it rains, it pours.
WE WON THE CORSI WAR
In a matchup of the two of the best Corsi For % teams in the league, you damn right we took home the Corsi Cup!
About Last Night’s Celly
Yes, I’m writing about it. Sorry to all the Toronto media crawling through our blog to learn about our exciting, young team and scoffing at our childish antics after home wins, but guess what — the Leafs haven’t been in reach of a Stanley Cup since ‘67 with their stale fist bumps and 15-year season-ticket queues, so back up off me.
Though Teuvo got the first star, McGinn got to lead the postgame victory celebration. You’ll notice he accelerates his pace of clapping through his set, unlike Ferland, who kept a constant tempo, pausing unexpectedly at the end, then giving one final clap before skating.
Another win. Another epic celly. #TakeWarning pic.twitter.com/IrTemQaLOn— Carolina Hurricanes (@NHLCanes) October 27, 2018
But the Canes really went wild on this one. Instead of skating towards the far glass and jumping, they quickly doubled back after just a few steps, then slid into a kayak row — which (let’s be honest) could use a little work, but once again, I can’t stress this enough … we won!
After the ice cleared, the stars were called out, and Dougie flossed for everyone in attendance and even got a shoutout from ... Fortnite (!) (?).
Our hometown @NHLCanes won last night in a shootout and Dougie Hamilton, one of the nights 3-stars, flosses the Canes back into first place in their division, GO CANES! pic.twitter.com/5a5LZxsgLo— Fortnite (@FortniteGame) October 27, 2018
What celebration do you suggest for next? I’d like to see a game of Red Rover or maybe just more flossing because it makes Tripp Tracy dance on live TV while constantly bringing up dental floss (and a shout-out to liquid courage) and how he needs to use it more.
Also, this happened pic.twitter.com/ZKPjqkg4pe— Brian LeBlanc (@bdleblanc) October 27, 2018