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About Last Night: Averting Disaster

Teuvo Teravainen led the Hurricanes to a much needed victory last night over the Flyers

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NHL: Carolina Hurricanes at Philadelphia Flyers Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The Carolina Hurricanes managed to hold on and defeat the Philadelphia Flyers last night 5-3 after roaring out to a large lead and almost giving it away. There was some Grit(ty), some grind, and lots of goals to go around, but thanks to Teuvo Teravainen the Hurricanes brought home the two points.

The Good

Maybe it’s the fact the Canes have been playing the Flyers who are, amazingly, even worse than the Hurricanes. Maybe they’ve actually started to turn the corner on something. Regardless of the why, the last two games the Hurricanes have shown something that some thought to be nonexistent: offense.

For the majority of 2018 Carolina’s offensive ineptitude directly cost them numerous points and led to the frustration of everyone with even a minor interest in what occurs at 1400 Edwards Mill Road.

Over the last two games that has not been an issue as the Hurricanes have scored 3+ goals in each contest. Last night they put up five, including two power play goals.

It started with a snipe by Dougie Hamilton early in the second period.

It continued shortly thereafter with an extremely rare power play goal by Justin Williams. This PPG broke a streak of 26 straight goalless power plays for the Hurricanes.

Teravainen would get a power play tally himself later in the second to put the Canes up 3-0.

Maybe 2019 is the year of the power play?

Warren Foegele scored on a tip in and Teravainen added the game sealer late in the third for a total of five Hurricanes goals scored on an actual opposing goaltender. That’s been an extreme rarity for the Canes this season so it was good to see. Granted, the Flyers goaltending situation is indeed questionable at best, but Carolina has made a habit of making questionable goaltenders look like Vezina nominees. There’s no way you can say the Flyers made it easy on the Canes.

Power play goals and timely goals are not the normal game for Carolina, but maybe the team made a New Year’s resolution to change that. If so, that means we should see about three weeks of this, a climb in the standings, and false hope, only to be severely let down in about three weeks.

The Bad

The Hurricanes did nearly everything they could to give the game away last night just as they did against the Capitals last month. Up 4-0 in the third period, they allowed the Flyers to storm back when Philadelphia scored three unanswered goals in less than five minutes. Two of the goals were power play goals, for the Flyers including Wayne Simmonds’ tap in.

This is a defensive breakdown to allow Simmonds to be alone in front of Petr Mrazek but at the time this made the game 4-1 so not all is lost. But fast forward to what is now a 4-2 game, and the penalty kill unit failed the Hurricanes again. Just as before, they allowed a Flyer to get free in front of Mrazek and James van Riesmdyk made them pay.

Just like that, the Flyers were within one goal and every Canes fan is thinking here we go again. Thankfully Philadelphia was unable to complete the comeback but Carolina almost gave this game away.

The Hurricanes got complacent and truly stopped play their game after going up 4-0 and it’s a mystery as to why they would do that. One would think after the Capitals did this to them in December they would know they cannot let their foot off the gas when up big in a game.

Teuvo The Great

The best player from last night was Teuvo Teravainen and it wasn’t even close. Scoring two goals including a power play goal, Teuvo surely made his case to be the last man voted in to the NHL All-Star Game (which — shameless plug! — you can do here). Everyone know Turbo has a great shot but is usually reluctant to use it. Even though his second goal was a soft one, it only happens because of his willingness to shoot the puck.

The play was a two on one with Sebastian Aho on the other side and any bettor would have guessed Teuvo would have passed the puck in that situation. Teravainen has some serious Finnishing abilities (ed. note: ) if he would only use them more the Canes would be better off.

It should be noted that ever since Teravainen and Aho have been consistently used on the penalty kill, both have seemed to show more offensive promise at even strength. They are both continuing to round out their game, and in contract years for both — despite the fact that their price increases by the day — that is a good thing for the Hurricanes. The two Finns are inseparable on and off the ice and should continue to be the faces of this franchise for a very long time.

Moral of the Story

There were some very high moments last night and some very nerve wracking ones as well. Up through the first few minutes of the third period it was a great game for the Hurricanes but it was almost all for naught. If the Canes can continue the scoring pace they’ve had against the Flyers it could lead to some great things in 2019. If they revert back to their non-scoring ways it’ll be another tough year. That test begins tonight with a match up against a much better and well rested Columbus Blue Jackets team.

Storm Advisory

Yesterday’s News Today: Kuokkanen and Carrick named AHL All-Stars, Metro Roundup: Tumbling into 2019.

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