(Raleigh) The Carolina Hurricanes are third overall in the NHL, and the Canadiens have 32Y range. There is a reason for that.
Updated March 31
In fact, it’s not true: there are several reasons, and it’s good, some of them we saw very closely during this lopsided afternoon in Raleigh, which ended in an easy 4-0 victory for the home team.
Sometimes players say that there are no easy matches, but just like the voices of Milli Vanilli, that is not true. There are easy games, well, easier ones, and Thursday night was one for the Hurricanes, who finally relaxed in the third quarter, throwing just twice … after throwing 42 times over the first two quarters.
The players in red began the game by putting constant pressure on the Canadiens’ defenders, who often found themselves stuck in their zone. Without the talent of Jake Allen, the score might have been 6-0 or 7-0 after two periods.
Anyway, it looked like the Tuesday night movie Sunrise.
“We knew they were going to start the game strong,” defender David Savard admitted. They surprised us a bit when they left… The punishments hurt us, he cut our legs. His team is putting records out on the net…it’s definitely been a challenging journey for us. »
And how. But there is in the Canadian that inability to leave the territory, to restart the game. Is it worrying? Yes it is. The defense, though a force on this team as recently as last spring, does little to reassure even the most optimistic about the upcoming season.
Take a look around, you’ll see that the Canadian’s best hopes on the blue line, Kaiden Guhle, Jordan Harris, Logan Mailloux and others Jayden Struble, are all a long way from a starring role in this league. We can probably add Justin Barron to this list. Fortunately for the CH, Alexander Romanov will have taken the lead this season.
But Thursday night, obviously, he was going too fast.
“The Hurricanes have one of the best teams in the league, I have a lot of respect for them,” goalie Jake Allen said. Their first two lines spent the whole night in our territory… We are trying to build a similar culture here. They play fast, they have high-level players, players who are creative, and that’s what we’re trying to achieve as well. It was a good test for the boys. We didn’t win this match, but that doesn’t mean anything, we are gaining experience. We see what it takes to get to the other plateau. »
In his turn at the microphone, Martin St-Louis said the same thing: these games serve to prepare the rest.
“Because we can’t play these games during training,” explained the coach. I know we don’t get the results, but it’s a very good experience for us, I feel like we’re getting better. We lost, but I’m happy with the way we fought. »
“I am happy that we play these games against teams like that, it shows us what these good clubs bring to each game and we can learn something from it. It can help us in our game systems, in our development, in our way of improving. many positive aspects. »
All this is very true, but there is also something very true: for Canadians, this week is a reality check. We certainly can’t deny the infectious energy that Martin St-Louis has brought to his club since his arrival on the bench. Except we can have all the energy in the world, at some point you need talent too, and against top teams like the Panthers and Hurricanes, the Canadian has a hard time keeping up.
This trip also serves that purpose: to remind us that there is still work to be done at the Bell Centre.
Above: Jake Allen
A 40-game save for him, and without him it could have been a lot worse.
Bottom: Nick Suzuki
Only 28% in the head-to-head circle, and also, he spent this game in frustration mode.
The nil is goalkeeper Frederik Andersen’s fourth shutout this season.
Return of Evans and Pitlick, forced departure (again) of Perreault
Jake Evans’ knockdown Tuesday night in Florida seemed painful enough, but eventually Evans was able to return to the lineup Thursday night in Raleigh against the Hurricanes. Before the game, the young striker admitted that he did quite well. “I was still lucky, it was just a minor injury,” he explained. It was an accident, I lost my breath. With him, another attacker, Tyler Pitlick, also reappeared. Another attacker, Mathieu Perreault, had to leave, and let’s just say that Perreault is starting to get used to it. In total, he only played 5 of the Canadiens’ 15 games during the month of March. He had gotten an assist in the previous game, Tuesday night at Sunrise against the Panthers.
A team problem … and a punishment for Jake Allen
When a goalkeeper has technical problems, the referees usually stop the game, but that was not what happened to Jake Allen at the end of the second period. The Canadiens goalkeeper chose to throw away his mask in the middle of the game, after losing a strap, and the referees gave him a penalty for delaying the game. However, in the replay (especially the one with the camera over the game), we could see that the right side of his mask was partially undone. “If the goalkeeper takes off his mask, it’s a punishment,” replied Martin St-Louis. But I think it’s a bit of a gray area. Jake had already done the same thing this season, with the puck on the blue line, and there had been no penalty. I really don’t know those rules. We at the bank immediately saw that he had lost a leash. It is dangerous for a goalkeeper. When the puck was no longer near the goal, we figured a referee was going to blow his whistle on it and give Jake a chance to put his mask back on. »
Two or three weeks without Kotkaniemi
The Hurricanes started this game without a certain Jesperi Kotkaniemi. The Hurricanes player was injured earlier this week after receiving a body check from another CH veteran, Lars Eller. Before Thursday’s game, Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said Kotkaniemi could miss two to three weeks of play. Fine, the Hurricanes coach responded. He was playing well before this injury. You never want to see something like this, but he was definitely enjoying himself. We will try to bring him back to this level of play when he comes back. The ex-CH also stood out on Thursday night; Max Domi had an assist and Sebastian Aho had a goal and an assist.
They have said
There were some strange decisions by the referees, but that’s part of the game. We managed to have very good moments in the penalty kick, so you have to see the positive side of things. When a goalkeeper loses his mask, you have to go with common sense, because it is dangerous.
Throughout the league there are goalkeepers who lose their mask, it happens at least once a month and the shots are violent. I get that they won’t want to whistle if the puck is around the net, but when the puck is on the blue line… They told me if the puck is that far away, I can take my mask off. The first referee did not award a penalty, he knew that my mask was unbuttoned, it was the other referee who did it. I was angry after that, I rarely am, and I wasn’t going to let them score during this punishment!
The Hurricanes and Panthers play similarly, like Martin (St-Louis) wants us to do… we can see what it takes. We spend a lot of time in our defensive zone and that’s what we want to force the other teams to do.
I felt like we did a better job defensively than against Florida (Tuesday night). The Hurricanes bring in a high volume of shots from everywhere, looking to create chaos. I think we handled it well. It’s all part of the progression we’re trying to achieve.
Martin Saint Louis