Cary, NC – After winning all three games on the road, which no other team has done in franchise history, the Canes had a chance to extend their winning streak against the Flyers, who had lost four straight. However, sloppy play in all three zones found the Canes on the losing end by a score of 5-3.
This is not a game coach Rod Brind’Amour and staff will be happy about, as there wasn’t a Canes player that brought their “A-game.” The Canes started out fine but all too quickly lost any sense of discipline and didn’t take advantage of their speed over the slower Flyer team.
Aho, Teravainen Start Hot
The first minute of the game for the Canes wound up being an indication of how a majority would go for the home team but then started to settle down, discarding the sloppiness with set plays. Brett Pesce made a nice soft pass to Teuvo Teravainen along the far boards while Sebastian Aho cut to the greasy area. Seeing Seabass all alone, Turbo made a quick pass that Aho put a quick one timer to goalie Brian Elliott. Elliott made the initial chest save but the puck had some zip and trickled between his legs for the early Canes lead.
On this line’s next shift during a line change, Ryan Dzingel had the puck in the high slot with his back to the net. DZ was looking for a teammate when Andrei Svechnikov skated in from the left side, grabbed the puck then sent a crisp pass to Turbo along the far half boards. Turbo took a couple of strides towards the net, then let loose a silent wrister that fooled Elliott to put the Canes up by two with fewer than five minutes gone.
After that, the game changed for both teams and the officiating crew who were in rare form and not taking any lip from any player. Claude Giroux cut the lead in half on a play that Petr Mrazek would want back as it was just too easy. Not taking anything away from Giroux, as he is a great player, but Mrazek can’t let goals like that in if he wants to be a #1 goalie.
Joel Edmundson was off for a slashing penalty and a 10 minute misconduct for possibly saying something other than Happy Thanksgiving to the officials. Earlier in the period, DZ got called for delay of game due to entering the circle before a faceoff too early. Several replays showed both DZ and a Flyer entered at the same time but picked on DZ and set the tone that the officials were like a Chairman of a Congressional Hearing: wanting all control. Ivan Provorov tied the game on a Flyer power play with a silent wrister from the left point with heavy traffic in front of Mrazek.
Canes Game Takes Steps Backwards
Roddy had to lay into the team during the first intermission however the play by the Canes seemed to get worse, not better. Forechecking was very weak to nonexistent, getting beat in the neutral zone was happening all too often and a glance over the the bench showed Roddy’s face as red as Kris Kringle’s a few times. One time it was beet red, and heaven help the team during the next intermission.
The Canes’ powerplay, while looking strong in the first with Turbo scoring, had trouble in the second. The Canes had a few shots on the man advantage but all were weak and with no real traffic in front, Elliott wasn’t really challenged. With the Canes on an early powerplay, a bad pass or clear by Mrazek got called for icing.
Right off the ensuing faceoff, Giroux won the puck back to young Morgan Frost, who one-timed it home for a short-handed goal less than a second after the faceoff. The only positive takeaway for the Canes in the period was puck possession. Sure, they had a game high of 19 shots but few, if any, could be considered serious scoring threats.
Wallmark Ties Game
The Canes needed a goal early and they got it. Edmundson, twice, kept the puck in the offensive zone. The second save was a shot through traffic that gritty Brock McGinn snagged and made a classy behind the back pass through the low slot over to Lucas Wallmark all alone for a pretty goal all around. One would hope that good looking play would energize the Canes but it didn’t.
On subsequent power plays, the Canes attempted to bring the puck across the blue line utilizing the exact same play with the same line. Once it didn’t work the first two times, they should have tried the Einstein rule: if things aren’t working out, hoping for a better outcome doing it over and over, isn’t smart hockey. (Very few know Einstein was a hockey fan).
With eight minutes and change left, the Flyers were pressing in the Canes’ zone. I’m not sure it was a bad switch or just plain bad coverage but every player on the ice needed to hang their heads on the Flyers go ahead, and winning goal. Frost was dangling the puck behind the net with an appearance of an attempt to stuff it in. Instead he saw a lonely Giroux atop the crease, shuffled a pass through the blue for an easy tap in. The Flyers put a fork in it with an empty netter with 11 seconds left, ending a four-game winless streak for the Flyers and four-game win streak for the Canes.
Next game is Saturday, November 23, 2019 at 7 PM against the Panthers on Hockey Supports Cancer night. Be there!