Quality kills at big moments
Carolina’s penalty kill has been tested a lot this season. Yet again, the team took 10 minutes worth of penalties. Yes, some of them were abbreviated and some were even coincidental minors leading to 4-on-4 hockey. But that does not do any justice to how well the penalty killing of the Carolina Hurricanes has performed in this season so far.
Carolina killed off 2 different 5-on-3’s last night, and one was with 2 vital penalty killers in the box with over a minute left on the first one. To say that each player stepped up big time while this team was shorthanded could not be more understated if you were to try. Carolina owes a big debt to their killers and someone really should be buying them steak dinners after last night.
What makes Carolina’s penalty kill so special is simple. Anyone fits. With the exception of the two lads who were drafted in 2018, everyone kills penalties. The other 10 forwards all know what to do and how to act when they are down a man, and five of the defenseman know what to do when tasked with killing a powerplay off.
Giving up that many powerplays are going to hurt you eventually. However, Carolina’s kill early has been fantastic. It’s a case of staying out of the box, and don’t take dumb penalties if you can avoid it. I get that with NHL referees there are a lot of ghost calls, but most of them in this game were good calls and you would have been angry if it wasn’t called in the favor of the Carolina Hurricanes.