At some point, the Carolina Hurricanes need to learn how to get the puck out of their own end and close out games.
Whether it’s getting the clear when the puck’s on your stick or actually getting the puck into the empty net, the plays have to be made.
The Hurricanes currently rank 30th in the league in empty net goals with just three and have given up just as many goals in 5v6 scenarios.
Essentially their late game plan seems to be just try and turtle it out, but that’s what cost them the win tonight as Brock Boeser tied the game up with 17 seconds left in the third period.
But overall, the team looked flat and listless, mostly just asleep at the wheel through the majority of play, allowing the Canucks to be able to stick around long enough to win it in the shootout.
Even when coming out of the first period with a 2-0 lead thanks to Paul Stastny and Jordan Martinook, the Canes couldn’t keep up much in terms of pressure.
Eventually Ethan Bear popped one in after sneaking in unmarked in the second period and then JT Miller split the defense and scored off of his own rebound in the third period.
It looked like Carolina had grabbed the backbreaker goal as Teuvo Teravainen hit Sebastian Aho with a perfect pass for a breakaway score with just 2:52 left in the third, but that’s where the inability to close out the game came back to haunt them.
Perhaps the absence of Jordan Staal — who missed the game due to personal reason — played a larger effect in the game, but the roster needs to be able to finish off the game regardless of who’s on the ice.
It was also another strikeout for the new look power play units who just looked discombobulated and out-of-sync all night. The Hurricanes’ power play is quickly sinking to the league’s basement which is baffling for a team with as much talent as they have.
Coaching can only do so much, as it’s up to the players to go out and execute the plan, but currently it looks like their is no plan or even offensive instincts among any of the players on the man-advantage.
At least the PK has been solid.
It was the also the best game that Kochetkov had played in a while by far. Got beat in alone and in close twice and ultimately crumbled in the shootout, but he was good throughout the majority of regulation and especially overtime.
It seems that Andersen has solidly won back the net, but he needs to keep his game up and work on improving every day.
Overall, there’s little reason to worry as it was evident they just didn’t have the juice in a less than 24 hour turnaround. Moving forward they should be fine and we should see a much better team against the Minnesota Wild on Thursday.