2. Keep your sticks down.
The New Jersey Devils do not have an excellent power play unit. They are 26th in the league with only 14% conversion rate. That said they still scored two of their three goals last night on the man advantage. The Carolina Hurricanes need to ensure that they give them no room to try and improve their numbers again tonight.
That starts by keeping your stick down. The Carolina Hurricanes have been one of the more penalized teams in the league. While their 12th place penalty kill has helped keep them out of trouble, they need to get back to playing Rod Brind’Amour‘s style of hockey and stay disciplined.
It all starts with keeping their sticks down and avoiding high sticking penalties. Last night FOUR different Carolina Hurricanes managed to earn themselves trips to the sin bin on high stick violations. What is even more impressive is that none of them were Andrei Svechnikov, who is notorious for them.
High stick calls are the easiest to detect, the easiest to call, and the more likely to draw blood and force teams to kill four minutes instead of two. They are also the easiest to avoid committing. All you have to do is PUT THE STICK DOWN. I know I am not really saying anything here that Brind’amour isn’t already telling them in the locker room, but it still needs to be said.
If the Carolina Hurricanes can cut out their high sticking and perhaps even other stick penalties such as hooking, slashing, or tripping, they would eliminate over half the penalties they have take so far this season. Stick control is important. And sometimes, it really can dictate the course of a game.