Sometimes a team loses.
After 11 straight wins, a 17-game point streak and a 12-game road point streak, the Carolina Hurricanes counters have all been reset to zero.
A 5-3 loss at the hands of the New York Rangers in the heart of the Canes’ own personal hell – also known as Madison Square Garden – saw Carolina suffer its first regulation loss since a 4-0 loss to the Arizona Coyotes on November 22.
It wasn’t a pretty game for the Canes – nor the officials to be honest but that hardly mattered in the end – and a poor effort in the second half of the game sealed their fate.
Nearly every goal was of the ugly variety.
A Brent Burns blueline shot hits a skate, then another skate, then a stick, then Shesterkin, who then kicks it in.
Then Jacob Trouba shoots one from the blueline that hits Derek Stepans stick and then Jalen Chatfield’s skate and then goes between Pyotr Kochetkov’s five-hole.
But then immediately the Blueshirts decided not to play defense and bang-bang Andrei Svechnikov to Martin Necas 16 seconds later for the lead again.
Then in the second period, a bouncing shot from the blueline found its way through Kochetkov’s five-hole again.
And then the Canes scored 29 seconds later as a Chatfield shot hit bodies in front and went in past Shesterkin.
And then Carolina was asleep at the wheel as the Rangers scored immediately at the onset of the third period from a toss on-net from the blueline, and once again, through the five-hole.
Then finally a tipped shot by a cycling defenseman who apparently was playing behind Carolina’s net.
Oh, yeah, and an empty net goal.
So despite the special teams having a bad night on the stat sheet — 0-for-3 on the power play 2-for-5 on the penalty kill — it really wasn’t a bad showing, just really bad luck.
To be fair, Kochetkov hadn’t started a game in over two weeks, dating back to December 20, and there was some obvious rust with his game, especially with his five-hole.
Hopefully he’ll be able to get back into form once he gets into a rhythm, because his general awareness and stick were good, but he struggled with that five-hole.
It also didn’t help when the Canes couldn’t roll out all four lines because Stefan Noesen left early with a lower-body injury and would not return. His absence in turn also hurt the power play.
The Sebastian Aho line wasn’t nearly good enough either. Aho hasn’t been as noticeable since returning from injury and Jarvis once again seems to be a bit snakebitten in terms of scoring, goalless in his last eight games.
The team needs more from them. They need to be the super scoring line that they are supposed to be. They’ll be fine in the long run though.
It sucks that the franchise best runs are now kaput, but hey, maybe they’ll start a new best run.