The Penalty Kill has Become a Problem
The Carolina Hurricanes, only two seasons ago, were the top penalty killing team in the league. This season, after they finally seemed to have fixed their power play woes, seems to have done the reverse for that portion of their special teams. The first two penalty kills last night ended up in quick powerplay goals for the Islanders.
The third power play was quickly negated by an islanders penalty right off the initial draw that led to an almost full two minute 4v4. Which in turn was negated by another Carolina Hurricanes penalty which led to a brief 4v3 and eventually back to a conventional 5v4. That’s when a real penalty kill effort finally showed up.
The fourth power play for the Islanders didn’t come until over halfway through the third period of the game. At this point the penalty kill finally adjusted to the Islanders. It was the only full two minute penalty killed by Carolina last night.
Petr Mrazek looked lost early during those two powerplays that found the net behind him. He did not see a single shot in the final penalty of the game. That might have been his saving grace. But he had a good chance to stop at least one of the two Islanders goals. Just take a look at this wicked shot from Brock Nelson in which Mrazek had a wide open look at:
Now I know that most of those penalties against Carolina were really weak ones, courtesy of Tim Peel, who seems to have a bias against the Carolina Hurricanes for some unexplained reason, but a bad call or three doesn’t negate a need for effort on the penalty kill.
Perhaps Jordan Martinook, who has seen 6:42 short handed time across the first four games of the season, helped keep the penalty kill working hard. There is a reason that man wears a letter. His absence is being felt in this regard. He really can’t get healthy and come back soon enough. The good news is that his surgery went well and his rehab is already under way.