Carolina Hurricanes: Offensive ability illustrated against Avs

DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 2: Sebastian Aho
DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 2: Sebastian Aho /

Despite the loss, the Canes really stepped up their offense in a 5-3 loss to the Colorado Avalanche giving Carolina its third consecutive defeat. 

Last night, in the most frustrating game of the season, the Colorado Avalanche  defeated Carolina 5-3. Hurricane goals came from Rask, Lindholm and Ryan, while Avalanche goals came from Soderberg, Nemeth, Comeau, Landeskog and Rantanen.

Colorado defense was practically non-existent. Instead, Semyon Varlamov was forced to flippy-flop around the crease stopping an insane 57 of 60 shots. Did Cam Ward match this incredible performance? *Drumroll*

No. Ward was not terrible per se, but he was definitely disappointing. He allowed 5 goals on 27 shots, two of which probably should have been stopped. At this point we may all take a sigh of relief that he is no longer starting. Better? Great.

Alright, we’ve got our Cam Ward-shaming out of the way, let’s dive a bit deeper into the game. The Hurricanes had 60 shots on net last night! Think about that, that is a shot per minute. If a few more chances connected, and Cam Ward hadn’t dished the puck right to Landeskog, then this could have easily gone the other way.

But you know what excites me the most about this, frankly, stellar offensive performance? Well, the consensus on the Hurricanes is that we have a fantastic, young defensive core, matched with a dull offensive lineup requiring improvement. But then we have a 60 shot night, and perhaps our offense is a lot more talented than we give it credit for.

“But the defense is aloud shooting, Tom,” you may rightfully say. “The offense obviously still needs improvement.”

Yeah, to that, I definitely agree. This Hurricanes offense is not taking them to a Stanley Cup. But I do have a rebuttal for the first argument I pretended you just said.

Leading the way in shots for Carolina was center, Elias Lindholm with 7. Following behind is admittedly, defenseman Jaccob Slavin with 6. But the next two shot leaders were Staal and Aho, each respectively with 5. This means that the three top forwards had 28% of the shots for the Canes tonight. I think this is evidence enough that this offense is not incompetent, as many people make it out to be.

And of course, there is the argument that this was a lucky night. Yes, the Avs were sloppy defensively. But a lot of this was fueled by offensive pressure from the blue line, keeping the pressure on and cancelling out a lack of skill offensively.

If the defense is able to keep pressure in the zone every night, getting the puck to the offense and allowing them to do their jobs, then a lack of outright scoring skill is not as big of a problem. If you get enough shots, odds are, you are going to score eventually. Plus, is a truly poor offense really capable of a 60 shot night?

While this will count as a loss on our record, I think we as fans really got something out of this game. The Hurricanes’ offense is not a disgrace to the NHL. If we are able to play this way night-in, night-out, I think this team has, at least, some potential.