Carolina Hurricanes: Throw away another game against the Capitals

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 27: Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Petr Mrazek (34) makes a third period save on a shot by Washington Capitals left wing Andre Burakovsky (65) on December 27, 2018, at the Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 27: Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Petr Mrazek (34) makes a third period save on a shot by Washington Capitals left wing Andre Burakovsky (65) on December 27, 2018, at the Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
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Another game against a Metropolitan Division opponent, another loss for the Carolina Hurricanes as they dropped yet another game against Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals.

The Carolina Hurricanes have finally got something they haven’t have for years: good goaltending. But what that sudden boost to the team has revealed is the sub-par offense the team’s goaltending has been masking for the last few years. Going into the Capital City last night, the Canes were supported by excellent goaltending, while looking like complete fools on offense. Goaltender Petr Mrazek had another excellent outing after Whalers night, stopping 30 of 32 shots for a 0.938 sv%.


The Canes threw away his incredible play by completely whiffing on the powerplay, going 0/4. At this point it’s getting very frustrating going game after game with this very ineffective powerplay. Had the Carolina Hurricanes managed to find at least one more goal before the empty netter late in the third, Mrazek would have been the first star of the game as I am 100% certain he would have defended the net until the Canes skated away with two points.

The two goals that went past Mrazek were completely not on him. The first goal was completely on the defense as Janne Kuokkanen gave a lazy pass to Calvin de Haan that was barely at the end of his stick as the Capitals’ offense buzzed in the zone. Before de Haan got a chance to do anything real with the puck he was hit by Travis Boyd. This caused de Haan to push the puck away in panic, but before Kuokkanen could take a decent look behind him to locate the loose puck, Chandler Stephenson managed to find it and put it past Mrazek. This whole sequence seems like a lot, but in reality it took less than FIVE SECONDS. Just look at what a mess it was:


The second goal was a much more textbook redirect by T.J. Oshie on a John Carlson shot. The redirect not only changed the lateral direction of the puck but also the horizontal direction, which caught Petr Mrazek going to the wrong end of the net. Very little could have been done on that shot other than not allowing Oshie to malinger in front of Mrazek like that. Seriously, they just left him out there to do whatever he wanted:


The true culprit of this loss will be this Carolina Hurricanes’ powerplay. There was terrible puck movement in the zone. There was terrible puck movement to the zone. I can’t tell you how many times I saw Justin Faulk dump the puck in while his offense was just parked on the blue line waiting for a pass. The lack of shots left fans incredulous. At some point during these powerplays, Braden Holtby found the time to read a book, adjust his skates, and switch to GEICO. Pass after terrible pass, until someone whiffed on a pass or shot and the puck would glide out of the zone like Capital One Arena was tilted.

That’s when Sebastian Aho decided to take things into his own hands. After Micheal Ferland found himself on another breakaway, the first of which had been glove robbed by Holtby, the puck was stopped by Holtby’s pad this time. Aho came in and cleaned up the trash in front of Holtby, logging his 15th goal on the season:

That was the only goal the Hurricanes would get on yet another night where they failed to maximize their efforts. Andrei Svechnikov almost got the equalizer on a shot that was nullified by a Capitals stick. It ended up hugging the line and post. As Svechnikov crashed into the post trying to get his stick to the puck and wedge it in, Holtby got his glove to it. A 50/50 chance for a goal went the Capitals’ way, and the offensive frustrations for Carolina continued.

19. 1. 109. Final. 3

One last remark to make, the Carolina Hurricanes’ away jerseys clashed terribly with Capitals’ alternate jerseys. it was all a sea of red and white and some blue. This makes me glad that Tom Dundon is doing away with them after this season in exchange for something a little different that might lead the team on a new journey. But that a teaser for a future article. For now, Tom needs to help Don Waddell find good players and, maybe, a new coach. Rod Brind’Amour is a legendary player, but his coaching career is already muddled with the mediocrity this team has been needing to leave behind for years. Maybe a call up from Charlotte that isn’t Clark Bishop? I continue to tease.

Next. What three trades should the Canes make?. dark