Damn, who pissed in Eric Staal’s Cheerios? And can they do it more often?
+ ERIC STAAL. People who wonder why he’s got such a fat contract or why the Hurricanes failed it up so much the first half of the season, watch this game. Eric Staal is a difference-maker. When he’s on, the rest of the team is on, and tonight, he was really on.
+ It was nice to watch the Canes hang five on another team, I won’t lie.
- Cam Ward wasn’t stellar – but then, he didn’t need to be.
- Augh, Tuomo Ruutu. And possibly Justin Faulk. The Canes can’t afford to lose a defenseman who gets minutes like Faulk does, or really their top-scoring forward. Hopefully Faulk being back on the ice means he’s okay, and Ruutu’s not seriously injured. You know, for that playoff push the Canes are totally going to make.
+ The Canes did a great job of pushing through Montreal. The dump-and-chase prevented Price from playing the puck, and they were great at generating turnovers and creating chances from the neutral zone. The Staal shorty is a prime example of this.
- The Canes still need to work on not collapsing in the defensive zone. They’re getting better at laying down in front of pucks and cutting off shooting lanes, but Montreal cycled the puck without challenge quite a few times.
- Special teams aren’t great. The Canes were 2 for 5 on the power play, but 3 for 5 on the PK. They had plenty of opportunities to practice tonight, at least.
- By the end of the game I was screaming incoherently at Tlusty. For God’s sake, Staal’s giving them to you gift-wrapped. Get a shot off.
- Jeff Skinner has got to stop taking stupid penalties. I don’t care how mad he is, or how much Subban’s head snapped back; that penalty lead to a near-collapse by the Canes, starting off three unanswered goals and allowing Montreal to pull ahead. That can’t happen.
+ Honestly? All in all, play was pretty tight. For God’s sake, Eric “the only way out is down” Staal was a +3. That’s cause enough for celebration.