3. Get Offensive First
The following statement is a cliche and thats okay. The first team to score set the tone for the rest of the game. The Carolina Hurricanes need to be that team. The Carolina Hurricanes were the first team to strike in three of the four first games of the season. And while they did allow their opponent to come back in two of those games, having that first goal allowed them to come back.
It’s critical to get the first goal against any good goalie. Thomas Greiss is no exception. Playing from behind to start a game is a daunting task. But playing from behind while at least being on the scoreboard is a mentally different aspect. At least then you know that you can get one past the goalie. After all, you’ve already done it once.
Perhaps it is time for one of the seven (eight if you count Gauthier) skaters on the roster who do not have a goal to get their first. In fact with the exception of the Washington game, the only game that Carolina failed to be the first to score, the first goal of the game came from a Carolina Hurricane who was seeking their first goal in the season.
This tradition should not stop just yet. Nothing gives a group of players more confidence than a guy getting his first goal of the season to open up a game and give his team the lead. This team is extremely talented on both sides of the puck, so it’s up to the defense to keep the Islanders out of the defensive zone and away from Mrazek and the offense to hammer at Greiss until something sticks.
Perhaps this is the time for Haydn Fleury to get his first NHL goal? Perhaps even Julien Gauthier? What about Joel Edmundson, who is looking for his first goal a member of the Carolina Hurricanes? It doesn’t matter at the end of the day. The important thing is to get on the board first.