Stanley Cup Celebration
Tracking the Storm
 
  • PRINT
  • RSS

Series Living up to its Billing

Monday, 04.20.2009 / 10:50 AM ET / Tracking the Storm
By Paul Branecky
X
Share with your Friends


Series Living up to its Billing
Many thought this would be one of the closest first-round series across the league this postseason. After two consecutive overtime decisions, Carolina and New Jersey have shown that will indeed be the case.

Paul Branecky
Index | Archive
Now that the Hurricanes have worked their tails off for the majority of those two games, things are about as even as they can get. They have a very tough opponent in New Jersey, who has shaken off any doubts caused by its late-season slump. There are teams that entered the postseason with more fanfare than the Devils, but it’s hard to imagine a tougher opponent in this series.

We knew how responsible New Jersey is defensively, so it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that the Canes have managed only five goals in the first three games. That being said, they’ve done a much better job of banging bodies and cycling the puck down low, which they’ll have to continue doing to be successful and eventually get some breaks. Grinders like Ryan Bayda, Patrick Eaves and Scott Walker put in notable performances in that regard last night.

There’s a new poll on the front page about this now, so feel free to have your own input either there or on the beards, but my feeling is that if there’s one thing the Canes could improve upon, it’s clearing the puck out of their own zone when under pressure. 

Both of New Jersey’s goals in regulation came seconds after a Carolina defenseman had controlled possession of the puck behind the net (one a little more obvious than the other). Zach Parise’s goal last night was eerily similar to Mike Mottau’s goal in Game 1, where a hasty clearing attempt was sent to a well-covered Carolina player on the boards, allowing New Jersey to gain control of the puck and fire a quick shot on net that caught the Canes off guard.

That hasn’t been something the Hurricanes have been doing consistently throughout entire games, but it seems like each instance comes back to bite them. In a tight series that will come down to which team makes the fewest mistakes, eliminating those should go a long way.

You can’t ask for a much better effort than the Canes gave last night, and more often than not they’ll win if they bring that kind of intensity to a series that demands plenty of it. Here’s hoping that’s the case in a crucial Game 4 at the RBC Center.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 50 37 9 4 163 112 78
2 FLA 52 31 15 6 143 115 68
3 NYR 52 29 18 5 148 134 63
4 TBL 51 29 18 4 137 118 62
5 BOS 52 28 18 6 151 137 62
6 DET 52 26 18 8 130 131 60
7 PIT 51 26 18 7 132 130 59
8 NJD 53 26 20 7 119 120 59
9 NYI 50 26 18 6 135 126 58
10 CAR 53 24 21 8 129 141 56
11 PHI 50 23 18 9 119 130 55
12 MTL 53 25 24 4 142 142 54
13 OTT 53 24 23 6 148 165 54
14 BUF 53 21 26 6 120 139 48
15 TOR 51 19 23 9 117 140 47
16 CBJ 54 21 28 5 135 168 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Faulk 53 15 19 -13 34
V. Rask 51 12 19 1 31
K. Versteeg 52 10 21 1 31
J. Skinner 53 18 12 -3 30
J. Staal 53 12 18 7 30
E. Staal 53 9 21 0 30
E. Lindholm 53 8 16 -8 24
A. Nestrasil 46 7 12 -1 19
J. Nordstrom 42 5 9 2 14
R. Hainsey 53 3 11 -12 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 15 11 5 .905 2.43
E. Lack 9 10 3 .901 2.74
Alumni Game