It seems every season with the Carolina Hurricanes that one of their bigger problems is that the team is too soft in the corners and can be beat up by bigger teams around the NHL.
But in yesterday’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers, the Canes proved they do not have that problem by beating the Flyers – a notoriously tough team – in the corner battles and on the scoresheet.
Throughout the whole game, the Hurricanes were tough on the forecheck and unforgiving when the puck ended up in the corners.
The pressure on the forecheck even led to the game-winner when Philly defenseman Luke Schenn misplayed a puck off Jeff Skinner that led to an open Radek Dvorak in the slot. Skinner had been pressuring Schenn, which caused him to play the puck quicker than he would have liked to.
The first goal was created again by Skinner, who played behind Steve Mason twisting and turning away from Kimmo Timonen to get the point back to the point where Jay Harrison wristed the shot for the game’s first goal.
But besides the forecheck and corner battles, the team dealt with the Flyers’ high level of checking to power through and earn a win.
Brett Sutter drew a penalty on Andrej Meszaros when the Flyers’ defenseman boarded him along the wall and Jordan Staal received a tough, but clean hit from Zac Rinaldo to move the puck from the defensive end in the third period.
It’s tough to play a full 82-game season like the Hurricanes did yesterday afternoon, but it did prove the team can play a gritty game and other teams in the Metropolitan Division may have another factor to worry about when they play the Hurricanes.