The Carolina Hurricanes took on the Washington Capitals Thursday night at Capital One Arena. It happened just hours after the NHL announced that next year’s Stadium Series game in Raleigh would feature the same rivalry matchup.
Needless to say, it did not go Carolina’s way. Let’s take a look at what went wrong:
A parade of penalties, an awful first two periods
The Canes have returned to their early bad habits with last night’s parade of penalties. The first period was home to three Carolina penalties, two of which led to a Capitals 5-on-3 opportunity, and a resulting goal from Evgeny Kuznetsov.
“We weren’t able to find any rhythm,” said Rod Brind’Amour to NHL reporter Emily Kaplan during the first intermission. “Obviously those penalties did not help.”
During that first period, the Canes recorded zero high-danger chances— a rarity for the team. It was a lackluster performance for all, and fans made sure to show their disappointment all over Twitter during the intermission. My timeline was flooded with angry fans and media sharing their hostility towards the lack of effort and synchronization, both in the first and second period.
The second period was slightly better in the penalty department, but still disappointing, as the Canes took an early penalty right out of the gates, followed by another midway through the period. The latter of the two led to Alex Ovechkin’s goal that put the Capitals up 3-0 on the game. The penalty kill started off strong, but as they continued, the PK waivered.
The national broadcast curse
The Canes are now 1-8 in their last nine national TV broadcasts. Bad luck? Maybe. Regardless, it is not fun to see the Canes, who have been dominant all season long, crap the bed for the whole world to see.
They looked nothing like the Carolina that we all know and love, which may be partially due to the lineup last night, but is also partially because the style of play that the Canes adopted last night just did not work. It was disappointing to see, and the national broadcast curse remains unbroken.
Truly missing Tony
The Canes are still without top-pairing defenseman Tony DeAngelo, and it really stung during last night’s loss. They were not only missing his assistance on the blueline, but also his offensive spark that has led to oh-so-many Canes goals this season (nine of his own and an additional 31 assists).
It truly felt like there was no one on the ice for the Canes that could duplicate DeAngelo’s role, and that’s often the case. It just felt a whole lot worse last night during this painful loss.
Sadly, shut out
The Canes were shut out for just the second time this season. For reference, the Canes have had four shutouts themselves this year. It is shocking to see the Canes on the receiving end of this, especially with offensive power and depth they have exhibited this season.
I would like to make this clear, so listen up: Frederik Andersen is not to blame for this loss. The first Capitals goal was a 5-on-3 and an added screen by TJ Oshie and another also took place on a PP for the Caps. The skaters were at fault tonight, and there’s no question about that. There were a few good chances, namely a breakaway from Martin Necas and a few other high-danger shots from him, but nothing went in (clearly). They kept up in the shots category, but it never felt like the Canes were even remotely in this game.
The Canes return home tonight to take on the Pittsburgh Penguins at 7pm ET at PNC Arena. Let’s see if they can use this dreadful loss as momentum to a earn a Storm Surge tonight.