The donkey line. The fat trick. The Darling dandies.
Wow, the last two weeks were sure refreshing for sore eyes tired of the same old, same old. But on Thursday night, with moms and sisters in attendance, the Carolina Hurricanes went back to the ways of old in a 5-2 loss with serious playoff implications.
(Okay, at this point, any game has playoff implications, but it was Metro-Metro.)
The same lines as before looked just as rusty as before. Even the top line of Teravainen, Staal, and Aho went -2/-3/-3 on the night, not creating any of Carolina’s goals as a unit.
As much as we joked about the donkey line and ponder the McGinn - Staal - Lindholm first-line pairing, they really turned on the intensity against Drew Doughty and the Los Angeles Kings defense on Tuesday. But little of that was seen last night, with the greatest goal coming from three-goal-scorer Brett Pesce on that marvelous toe drag.
Then, there’s Scotty boy. And Scotty boy is still letting pucks slip through.
Darling let by 5 of the Devils’ 22 shots on the night, and there were quite a few head scratchers once again. He even got some criticism for his in-game play from Chico Resch, the former Stanley Cup goalie currently giving New Jersey commentary. And it is exceedingly rare for a former goalie to call out another member of the fraternity.
After a great 21-of-22 performance against the fairly-hot-shooting Canucks last week, Darling still looked like he lacked a certain confidence that GMRF had in him when he was signed as a potential starter (it’s hard to say that without laughing now).
And while Darling got the lowest position on our Rank ‘Em ranker yesterday (2 up, 27 down as of press time), I’d like to propose another candidate for scrutiny: Haydn Fleury.
Though he only brought in 3 up - 11 down, the -3 Fleury was pretty much central to the three goals allowed on his watch.
Most of it comes down to being positioned for the puck. On the first, he has an attempt to clear along the wall and lets it through his own legs. The second, he isn’t positioned to cut off the pass from back-to-front of the net. The third, he chips it back in but gets caught up, allowing the 2-on-1 rush the other way.
I think I speak for everyone when I say that Fleury, the number seven pick in the 2014 draft, could pick up the role a little more comfortably than he has this year. A rookie, sure, but I don’t really like the idea of having a coin flip between him and Klas Dahlbeck.
Will Peters switch the lines back up at home? I don’t know, but it feels a little weird to put them back into the stagnant “same old” of months past in maybe the most crucial game of this current period.
And maybe we’ll be due for a correction since Jaroslav Halak made 50 saves for the Islanders last night. Thomas Greiss could allow six of 22 for all we know.
But I know the same old story isn’t going to cut it this late in the season—not for our team, and not for our fanbase’s trust (listen closely, Mr. Dundon).