On the comeback win:
Oh Captain, My Captain
Jordan Staal is on a certified hot streak, folks.
The Canes captain, who joked last week that he was only getting started, has scored now scored five goals in the last seven games after scoring both of Carolina’s regulation tallies Friday night.
That nice streak for Staal comes after the driest spell of his entire career, a stretch of 35 straight games spanning from late October to mid February without a single goal.
“I guess so. It took long enough to get going,” said Staal Friday about the second half being kind to him.
And the Hurricanes needed that from Staal Friday night in a game where things started poorly and turned around nicely. The captain stepped up, which captains need to do from time to time.
“He’s got to stay hot and shoot more. He’s going to score more for sure,” said Andrei Svechnikov.
Staal scoring is something Carolina is going to need, and it’s a great sign for the team that he’s getting going after an unbelievably long streak of bad puck luck and lack of chances.
Fighting back, again
The Hurricanes played what Vincent Trocheck called “pretty awfully” Thursday night in an ugly loss to the Washington Capitals, and they came out Friday night against Pittsburgh lacking the energy you’d expect from a team looking to rebound from a tough loss.
But, they stuck with it, and that’s what matters.
Things completely turned around for the Canes after the first, as Carolina started controlling the play and the puck and eventually paid off thanks to Staal’s two tallies.
While the Canes technically won the Corsi battle in the first (57.14%), they dominated in the second (65.38%) and third (73.91%).
“Nobody was really happy with how we were playing,” Trocheck said. “[Brind’Amour]’s message was pretty positive. Down two goals against a team like that, just come out and play our game and work for one at a time.”
That ability to stick with it is something that the Canes have preached all year, and it’s good to see it paying off after a slow start for certainly not the first time in the past few weeks.
Carolina definitely is going to need to find that “60-minute game” they love to talk about on a little bit more of a consistent basis, but winning games is always good.
- Speaking of Trocheck, what an unbelievably intelligent play by him in overtime. In a game that was chippy and tense from start to finish, Trocheck got the Canes’ the game-winning power play in overtime by baiting a penalty out of Kris Letang.
- While the result is good, there is still a whole lot to be concerned about with the Hurricanes game right now. There’s some carelessness with the puck, a struggle to start on time and some inconsistency down the lineup right now. Neither the Martinook-Trocheck-Necas nor Lorentz-Kotkaniemi-Jarvis line were particularly good Friday.
- Still though, the Hurricanes proved once again they can beat even the NHL’s best teams on a night where it isn’t all quite clicking. That’s a sign of a great team, one that just needs to iron some things out.