The Hurricanes’ high powered offense finally cracked through the Red Wing’s defense in the third period where a three-goal period propelled them to their fourth-straight win.
Here are a few takeaways from last night’s game:
Battle of the Brothers
While the marquee matchup was Andrei and Evgeny Svechnikov’s first ever game against one another, there was also a less talked about title fight between another pair of brothers, Jordan and Marc Staal.
In terms of the Svechnikovs, it was a close battle, but was in favor of Andrei. A. Svechnikov registered a power play goal and an assist in 16:34 of ice time while E. Svechnikov got only a single assist in 11:29 of ice time.
The real heavyweight bout though came between the Staals.
J. Staal registered three points against the Red Wings — including the game-winning goal — was 59% in the faceoff dot and registered two hits in 17:56 of ice time.
Marc Staal was second among all Detroit defensemen in ice time, led the Red Wings defense in Corsi For Percentage with 57.69%, High Danger Chances For Percentage with 50% and the only goal against he was on the ice for was A. Svechnikov’s power play tally, where M. Staal boxed out his guy on the opposite side of the crease, so nothing he could have done.
But being reliable defensively pales in comparison to a big offensive night, so J. Staal gets the TKO for the title.
Jordan Staal, the scorer of goals, has returned. pic.twitter.com/rKn71PiItF— Canes Country (@CanesCountry) March 5, 2021
A big day for younger brothers.
Power Play chugging along
The Carolina Hurricanes’ power play is one of the most dominant in the NHL, scoring in 6 of its last 11 attempts and operating at a 30.1% success rate — the fourth best in the league.
The Canes’ power play pain train didn’t slow down last night, going one for two, and this time it was Svechnikov shaking off his goal drought with a beautiful snipe top-shelf.
Was there ever any doubt?... pic.twitter.com/qbtDJqyazF— Canes Country (@CanesCountry) March 5, 2021
A thing I feel we don’t talk about enough is with both Staal and Vincent Trocheck on PP1, the opening faceoff draws are seemingly automatic. Not just last night, but in the game before it too, winning the opening faceoff draw on the power play led to a goal.
Dougie Hamilton has been a big part of the success of PP1, being able to walk the line and get pucks through and just the net-front presences of Staal and Trocheck provide a myriad of problems whether it’s traffic or deflections.
Add in Svechnikov and Aho on each side and that unit is going.
The second unit, while not as potent, has been producing here and there, mostly Jesper Fast as of late. The return of Teuvo Teravainen (who has found himself on that second unit just because he’s been out for so long) could boost that unit with him and Martin Necas being able to work the sides.
Nino Niederreiter and Fast are good net-front and goal-line options as well, and that just leaves the quarterbacking. Jake Bean has been hit or miss in that role, but I truly feel that Jake Gardiner is the best option there. Once he’s back to being healthy, his reinsertion into that role can help jump that unit to a high level too.
Pesce facing further discipline?
Early in the second period, Brett Pesce made a play so uncharacteristic and so stupid, it left me — and much of the hockey world — speechless. It was a completely blatant and dirty slew-foot on Robby Fabbri that only earned him a two minute trip to the penalty box, but really should have been an automatic ejection.
Brett Pesce with a blatant slew-foot on Robby Fabbri. A bad/dangerous play that led to the Wings taking a 2-1 lead on the power play. pic.twitter.com/B4znhCK2YS— Brett Finger (@brettfinger) March 5, 2021
He didn’t receive that and in probably one of the fastest Department of Player Safety decisions of all time, Pesce was fined $5,000 for a “dangerous trip.”
Pesce has no previous history, which probably played a role in the decision, because he is far from a dirty player, but there’s no one way around this one for me. It’s a dirty play and has no place in the game. He should have faced more supplementary discipline for that play because it was no accident. It was a heat of the moment poor decision.
Ask yourself, if that had happened to one of Carolina’s players, how would you have felt?
Rod Brind’Amour reached 100 career wins as a head coach with the win last night — the fastest in team history to reach the milestone and 12th fastest of all time league wide. He’s been a major part of Carolina’s emergence as a league powerhouse and has the full commitment and respect of his team and peers.
Brind’Amour has gotten his team to a point where they can honestly beat any team and certainly outwork and outskate any opponent. For instance, the Hurricanes’ current 16-6-1 record is the best 23-game record in franchise history.
If the team’s high-level of play continues, he better finally get into that Jack Adams conversation.