Carolina Hurricanes Recap: There Go The Oilers
With a win tonight against the Edmonton Oilers, the Carolina Hurricanes are on a post All-Star break win streak
Man what a difference an All-Star break can make for a team. Before the time off, the Carolina Hurricanes finished off a five-game losing streak to the L. A. Kings. Things didn’t look good for the Hurricanes with regards to their playoff chances as the team dropped into a five-way tie for the bottom of the Eastern conference. But with the time off, Bill Peters and his staff went to work on helping the team improve and it showed immediately in their first game back against the Flyers. The Hurricanes dominated with a 5-1 win in what I termed a must win for the team if they wanted to keep their playoff chances alive.
The Flyers, though, were just the start of another difficult five-game schedule for the Hurricanes. Tonight was the second game in that span and it was against the second place team in the Pacific Division. Sure second place in the Pacific is like the equivalent of seventh in the Metropolitan, but the Oilers aren’t a team to be overlooked. They have this really one guy on their team that is good at scoring goals I just can’t seem to remember his name…oh yeah it’s Taylor Hall. Hall is a great offensive player the Hurricanes needed to watch out for tonight.
Oh, wait apparently Hall got traded in some under the radar trade that I don’t remember reading about at all. Anyways, the Oilers are still a fearsome team due to some young guy David McConnor or something like that. Normally I would do my graphs in things like these but the graphs are taking a hiatus while I learn to make them more efficiently and with better info.
Recapping the Game
Overall the Hurricanes continued their run of great play post All-Star Break and at times really frustrated the Oilers offense. One play, in particular, the Oilers kept running was taking the puck behind their net and waited; hoping the Hurricanes would bite and allow a better break out. It didn’t work though and really only once were the Oilers able to obtain sustained offensive pressure off this play.
It seemed like every time the Oilers tried to carry the puck in with speed the Hurricanes forced the players to the outside and was able to get a stick in the passing lanes. And yeah sure McDavid had that great goal but if a team can keep him to just one goal in a game then that’s a success.
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On the offensive side of the game, the Carolina Hurricanes maintained the puck in the Oilers for long periods of time. Carolina found themselves able to swing the puck behind the net with relative ease setting up great shots either from the point or from feeding someone in the slot. That’s how Jordan Staal scored his first goal.
Also, thank god that the Hurricanes power play actually is looking dangerous now. The power play where Aho scored his second game winner in a row was full of dangerous chances. Even earlier in the game, Teravainen found himself with a wide-open net but just couldn’t bury it.
Like I said before, it’s amazing what a difference a few days off can make for a team. The team before the playoffs couldn’t hockey themselves out of a wet paper bag, but now two games in a row they are playing their best hockey so far this season. They’ll need to keep it up though for a few more games if they want to get back in the playoff hunt.