Carolina Hurricanes: Keys to Game 2 vs. Nashville

May 17, 2021; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic (39) and right wing Andrei Svechnikov (37) celebrate there win against the Nashville Predators in game one of the first round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at PNC Arena. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports
May 17, 2021; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic (39) and right wing Andrei Svechnikov (37) celebrate there win against the Nashville Predators in game one of the first round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at PNC Arena. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports /
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May 17, 2021; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; Carolina Hurricanes right wing Sebastian Aho (20) takes a shot against the Nashville Predators in game one of the first round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at PNC Arena. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports
May 17, 2021; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; Carolina Hurricanes right wing Sebastian Aho (20) takes a shot against the Nashville Predators in game one of the first round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at PNC Arena. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports /

1. Powerplay Problems… Again

The Carolina Hurricanes, despite having the best powerplay in the NHL this past season for huge swaths of the regular season, are no stranger to struggling on the man advantage.

The past few seasons, this has been an area they struggle in, especially in the playoffs against teams like the Boston Bruins and Washington Capitals. This is something that needs to change immediately if they want to have a chance at both surpassing the Nashville Predators in Round 1, and the higher-profile, more deadly teams in Round 2 and beyond.

In Game 1, the Carolina Hurricanes went 0-5 on the powerplay. To their credit, a few of their powerplay opportunities were truncated or cut short by 4v4 play, but that ultimately just means they’re taking penalties while on the man advantage, which brings us back around to my initial point: do better when you have more men on the ice.

More often than not, the Canes’ PP1 unit looked a bit lost and couldn’t quite get as comfortably set up in the offensive zone as we’d previously seen throughout this past season.

Hopefully we see the trend bucked tonight before it really becomes one in the first place. Otherwise, we’re going to be in for a very frustrating road to the Cup, paved with teams who have absolutely no problem taking a penalty or 6 against the Canes on any given night, knowing they likely won’t convert on the ensuing powerplay.