Tonight the Carolina Hurricanes opened their season against the Florida Panthers in hopes of making a statement against the reigning Southeast Division champs. Sadly, that wasn’t the case as the Canes fell 5-1 to the Panthers after instilling a 4-0 lead early on.
The biggest factor here for all Caniacs is to remember that this is just ONE GAME and that there are still 47 more on the schedule. Yes with a shortened season winning right out of the gate is crucial however, the first game is too quick to really judge. Rather than give the dry recap of the Panthers’ highlight reel, let’s take a look at what the Canes did right.
- Dan Ellis proved to Carolina that he is deserving of the back-up spot after allowing just one goal on 13 shots faced after replacing Cam Ward. It seems as though fans don’t have to concern themselves with how he will fare coming off of a groin injury at the NHL level.
- As pre-determined the Canes dominated the shot clock with their offensive depth and held the Panthers to just 9 shots in the second while they posted 17. A margin of 42-25 in favor of the Canes was the final count.
- Drayson Bowman showed promise as he led the team with 5 shots on net with only 9:30 of ice time. He created some golden opportunities and helped to keep the puck in the offensive zone for the Dwyer goal in the second.
- Jussi Jokinen won 75% of his faceoffs, (9 of 12). Jordan Staal finished at 53%,Tim Brent 50%, and Eric Staal 38%.
What Needs Improvement:
- The Canes need to work on their special teams as they went 0/6 on the power play tonight. Meanwhile they allowed 3 goals to go in for the Panthers out of their 6 opportunities.
- The Hurricanes shot 25 pucks wide of the net tot eh Panthers 4, they need to take the extra second to settle it down and set it up.
The Canes have until Tuesday to regroup, refocus and get their heads in the right place. They will take on the Tampa Bay Lightning who beat the Washington Capitals 6-3 in their opener.