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Systems Analyst: Creating Space

An excellent shift and some elusive skating generated a big goal against Vancouver.

Vancouver Canucks v Carolina Hurricanes Photo by Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images

After a forgettable Tuesday night performance in Missouri, this week’s Systems Analyst is choosing to focus on the positive of this week and circle back on the Carolina Hurricanes’ shootout win over the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday afternoon.

Specifically, the second Carolina goal of the game came as a result of great cycle work and some terrific individual talent.

First, Andrei Svechnikov completes a nifty self pass off of the back of the goal to dance around Christopher Tanev. Sebastian Aho then collects the puck and finds Trevor van Riemsdyk at the point. Instead of forcing a shot through bodies, van Riemsdyk wisely throws the puck to open space in the corner, allowing Carolina to continue their attack.

Svechnikov retrieves the loose puck and turns towards the point, finding Jaccob Slavin with a backhand pass that the Colorado native fires towards the net. The puck is redirected and sits loose in the slot until Aho finds it and beats Thatcher Demko. Instead of remaining stationary in his point position along the wall, Slavin walks to the middle, giving himself a better shooting angle and allowing Svechnikov the space to work up the wall.

In the clip below, notice Aho’s elusiveness while in zone. Quinn Hughes will likely be a Calder finalist and is a great skater in his own right, but he can’t keep up with Aho’s sudden stop.

With the newly created space, Aho has time to corral the puck and beat Demko glove side.

The goal was well deserved after a hard working, dominant shift. It’s the type of forechecking effort the Canes will need moving forward in order to stay in the playoff race.