Carolina faced Tampa Tuesday night after a road game against the Capitals the day before. The road trip caught up with the Canes, and so Carolina will return home with a point to show from Tuesday night’s OT loss.
Let’s talk about last night:
Seth Jarvis does it again
The Canes have been on a tear this season, and have been among those at the top of the standings all season. I would partially credit this success to newcomer Jarvis and his added depth as well as his knack for getting himself on the scoresheet when it’s needed most. In the Canes last five games, he’s tallied three goals and three assists.
“[My confidence] is pretty high, but I think obviously it feels a lot better when you win,” Jarvis said. “Right now, we’re just focusing on the outcome, but my confidence is good.”
Tonight marked his 13th goal of the season in 53 games played. The kid has been doing everything right, and has gained the praise of head coach Rod Brind’Amour from the very beginning of his endeavors.
He was able to score a go-ahead goal for the Canes to put them up 2-1 midway through the second period. He deflected the puck into the net and scored on one of the best goalies in the league, Andrei Vasilevskiy.
A controversial call
Now, I don’t usually comment on these things. I like to leave the reffing to the refs. But there was one call in particular that caught my attention— peaked my interest, you could say. You know the one? I’m sure you do.
It’s the one that won Tampa the game.
There was a holding call on Jordan Staal during OT that cost the Canes a win, and it was not necessarily the most clear call in the book. Postgame, Brind’Amour agreed that the call seemed weak. I’ve seen people calling it “silly” or “egregious”, but honestly, this stuff happens. Sometimes it goes your way, and sometimes it doesn’t. A linesman never has a perfect night. Yes, it was unfortunate that it came at such an integral point for the Hurricanes, but what can we do about it now?
“I think, obviously you don’t want to take penalties, but especially at a time like that,” Jarvis said. “You don’t like that that’s the way to decide the game, and it leaves kind of a bad taste in your mouth.”
Road trip fatigue
This was the Canes third time playing in four nights, and they looked the part of a team that was just too tired to win.
Fortunately, impressive goalie play held the Canes in the game until the very end, and was what allowed Carolina to take home one point instead of none from this matchup. He saved 28-32 SOG, but the numbers don’t tell the whole story. The defense looked tired and not up to par with what we’re used to seeing, especially during the Canes PK. Tampa was able to score three powerplay goals and one at 4-on-4.
The Canes PP also heavily struggled, going 0-2 with just two shots. It was not an ideal night for the Canes special teamers.
“[We were] just a little slow,” Brind’Amour said. “That to me was mental and physical fatigue. More mental than anything. The schedule caught up to us a little bit. Every team has it in stages. You could see it tonight.”
Sebastian Aho was able to redirect a Tony DeAngelo shot into the net to give the Canes a 3-2 lead. It was his 30th goal of the year, which ties him for 19th league-wide for goals scored this season.
“To score goals, and more than a couple, you have to get to the net,” Brind’Amour said. “He has to know how to do that too and obviously be good at hand-eye coordination. All that kind of stuff adds to that, but you have to get to the dirty areas if you’re going to score.”
The goal was also his 175th career goal, which was able to move him past Brind’Amour on the franchise’s scoring list into 10th.
“He’s certainly grown as a player,” Brind’Amour said. “He’s become a very elite player. I think he’s going to get better. He wants to be known as that kind of player and, to do that, you have to keep getting better.”
Thankfully, the Canes (44-15-8) will have a day off Wednesday, but are right back on home ice tomorrow at 7pm ET facing the Montreal Canadiens (18-38-11).
The Habs were just the first team to be eliminated from playoff contention, and the Canes were able to shut them out 4-0 earlier this season.
The Canes will need to get some rest today and regain their strength and energy, though, if they want to achieve a better result than last night’s game.