Captain Jordan Staal was honored pregame ahead of his 1,000th NHL appearance, but that’s about the only good thing that came out of Monday for the Canes.
Here are some takeaways from the unsightly performance.
A disjointed effort from start to finish
“That was gross”
“It was just no good from start to finish, and we got what we deserved in that one.”
“We just didn’t bring it”
Those were just a few of the ways Carolina head coach Rod Brind’Amour described Monday night’s game, a disappointing performance for the team on a night where the Canes celebrated Staal’s 1,000th NHL game.
The Canes looked out of it, disjointed and completely lost from the opening puck drop, lucky to be in the game as long as they were. The Hurricanes had almost nothing going in the first, got a little better in the second before eventually collapsing early in the third to let Detroit take the game.
It was one of, if not the team’s worst performance of the year. Pretty much everyone on the Canes struggled, including some uncharacteristically bad nights from guys like Jaccob Slavin, Sebastian Aho and more.
On a night where the Canes honored their hard-working, gritty captain before the game, the performance on the ice was the farthest thing from a good tribute to the veteran center playing in his 1,000th game.
Not so power play
A big issue for Carolina Monday night came with a man advantage, as the Canes’ league-best power play was completely unthreatening in an 0 for 4 outing that featured almost no danger.
The Hurricanes spent 6:01 of ice time on the man advantage, mustering no goals while totalling just two shots on net the entire time. The Canes had just one high-danger chance over the six minutes of man advantage, putting up an abysmal 0.09 expected goals for during that time (with the actual goals, the more important stat, an even worse 0.00).
Carolina created essentially nothing on the power play, with a man-advantage heat map looking like something you would see in the first minute of a game.
Neither unit was good at all for Carolina on the man advantage, as the Canes managed more high-danger chances during Detroit’s 4:12 of power play time than it did during its own 6:01. The power play has been such a strength for Carolina all season, but Monday night it was, simply put, awful.
James Reimer the lone bright spot
The one, very small positive from Carolina Monday night was the play of Reimer in net, as the goaltender had maybe the only good performance on the team in his first game in 11 days.
Between Petr Mrazek’s return and Alex Nedeljkovic’s emergence, Reimer was subjected to the bench for a while, starting Monday night for the first time since April 1. The layoff, a not all too unfamiliar thing for the career backup Reimer, didn’t seem to affect him much, as he was good from the start and pretty much good throughout.
Reimer kept the Canes afloat some early through the game, and the two goals he did allow weren’t necessarily to his fault. The first, which came on an uncharacteristic defensive breakdown from Jaccob Slavin, left Reimer out to dry, and the second game on a 5-on-3 advantage for the Red Wings.
Reimer in total stopped 27 of 29 shots faced, turning away 10 of the 11 high-danger shots he faced. His goals against (2) was lower than his expected goals against (2.3), and he didn’t give up a single rebound shot attempt. He made a few really challenging saves to keep the game scoreless through the first two periods.
Mrazek and Nedeljkovic have been fantastic, and the net should be theirs as things move forward and potentially even into the postseason, but Reimer showed Monday night that he shouldn’t be written off just yet. It was a strong performance in an otherwise unsightly effort from the Hurricanes.
A two-game stretch to forget, quickly
The Carolina Hurricanes, fighting to win the NHL’s Central Division, just played the Detroit Red Wings twice in a row at home.
The Canes put together two ugly performances and were lucky to manage even a point between the two games. Against Detroit, the division’s last-place team with a -41 goal differential on the year, that just isn’t acceptable for a Carolina team with aspirations of winning the division and the cup.
It’ll be two games the Hurricanes will want to move on from very, very quickly, with the Central Division now tighter at the top with just 15 games left on the schedule.
“We showed up like that. It’s definitely not acceptable,” said Nino Niederreiter, who scored Carolina’s lone goal. “We’ve got to bounce back.”