A swing through Alberta was none too kind for the Carolina Hurricanes, as the Canes followed up a loss to Edmonton Thursday with a 3-2 overtime loss in Calgary Saturday night.
The Canes held a 2-0 lead in the first period thanks to Sebastian Aho and Calvin de Haan, but they couldn’t put the game to rest as Calgary climbed right back into it to force overtime and secure the two points for the home team.
For the Hurricanes, there was a lot of good and a lot of bad in the game. The Canes played really well, for the most part, at 5-on-5, but Carolina was 0 for 4 on the power play and couldn’t take advantage of those opportunities.
Here are some thoughts on the loss:
Power (play) Outage
The biggest storyline for the game from Carolina was its inability to do anything on the power play. The Canes spent eight minutes with a man advantage in the game, including a four-minute power play in the waning minutes of the third period.
The result: 0 goals.
The Canes mustered just three shots, four scoring chances and just two high-danger chances for on the power play. In fact, Calgary outshot the Canes when Carolina had the man advantage.
On the whole, the power play was really, really bad Saturday night against Calgary.
But maybe let’s hold off on some of the panic. While the power play hasn’t been great, Carolina is 16th in the NHL early on in this season in PP%. The Blue Jackets have yet to score on the power play.
But yes, there does feel like a sense of familiarity forming in the first month of the season. The power play unquestionably doomed the Canes in the playoffs last year, and it certainly would’ve been nice to see it come out of the gate hot this year with new faces in the mix.
Cory Lavalette had a really good Twitter thread last night on the power play as a whole, which I’ll share here.
The Hurricanes power play either:— Cory Lavalette (@corylav) October 23, 2022
• Tied the game for the final time
• Gave them the lead for good
• Gave them GWG
in 14 of their wins 54 wins last year. The Hurricanes power play does do good things for time to time. Just not tonight.
A "power play coach" doesn't change that. Kirk Muller went to Calgary last year, finished 10th in the league (0.9% higher than Carolina) and then flamed (heh) out in the playoffs (even worse than Carolina did).— Cory Lavalette (@corylav) October 23, 2022
It's a bit of a crap shoot. As long as your team is somewhere in the upper middle of the league (like Carolina), enjoy it when it's good, don't fret on it too much when it's not. None of the 30 best PP teams in salary cap era (starting 05-06) won a Cup that year.— Cory Lavalette (@corylav) October 23, 2022
Is it time to go full-on panic mode about the power play? No. Is it fair to be a bit concerned about how it’s starting the season? Yes. Is the power play the reason the Canes lost Saturday night? Absolutely.
Sebastian Aho’s dazzling goal
Simply put, this is a stupid good goal from Sebastian Aho.
Wowza. #20 cooks Noah Hanifin to the outside and then powers back across.— Walt Ruff (@WaltRuff) October 23, 2022
Six points in his last two games and he's already on the board tonight. pic.twitter.com/gAfKnRufcj
The speed. The power. The finish. It’s perfect.
Aho is off to a crazy fast start, overshadowed a bit by the six goals of Andrei Svechnikov, but still impactful nonetheless.
Aho is on a four-game point streak right now with a team-high (tied with Svechnikov) eight points through five games. For Aho, it’s the second-best five-game start of his NHL career. He had seven points through five games last year, and back in 2018-19 he started the year with 10 points through five games thanks to a two-goal, two-assist fifth game against the Wild.
Still, Aho has come out of the gate on absolute fire. Saturday night in Calgary, he unleashed a brilliant display of personal excellence to get the Canes on the board first. It’s a ridiculous goal that superstars score often, and that’s exactly what Aho is.
- Elliotte Friedman is reporting that the Canes are shopping Ethan Bear, and they probably should be. Calvin de Haan scored Saturday night and has played well, and Jalen Chatfield has been really, really good so far this season. With Dylan Coghlan also in the mix, there just isn’t a spot on this team for Bear right now. It’s a shame, but that’s how it goes sometimes. Do right by Bear and get him somewhere else, and get a little something in return. Sometimes things just don’t work out.
- Stefan Noesen led the Hurricanes with ixGF, and he also had a team-high two high-danger chances for and two rebounds created.
- In fact, that entire line was productive Saturday night. Noesen, Paul Stastny and Derek Stepan had a perfect 100% in CF%, with 12 CF and 0 CA. They had the most scoring chances (9) of any Carolina line, and they were on the ice for de Haan’s goal and did the work to create the chance.
- Worth noting that the Canes did get a point. The result was disappointing based on the game that was played, but getting a point in Calgary is a result that I don’t think a whole lot of teams will be getting this year.