Lord knows I love seeing the Canes hop to the top of the Southeast (admittedly narrowly), but they did it in a fashion Muller specifically said they’d try to avoid – namely, the Islanders opened up the game and made it high-scoring in spite of the Canes’ best efforts.
Still, a regulation win is nothing to sneeze at, and 2 points is 2 points. Onward:
- The PK was dismal. Dismal. The Canes need to fix that mess and fix it quick, because allowing chances galore and not managing to curtail Islander shooting lanes was painful to watch.
+ Semin had a great game, along with the entire top line – which had 3 goals among them. Not at all shabby.
+ Skinner seems determined to drive play. This is not a new thing; he was last year, too. This year, though, he appears to have some discipline to match, along with more experience. It’s downright great to watch him develop.
- McBain remains serviceable, with glimpses of excellence, like his shot that Wallace tipped in. But in between those flashes are long, long stretches of him chasing the puck and looking insecure in his position. That needs to improve.
+ Many times tonight, I thought, “Thank God for Jordan Staal”. He’s so good at opening up play and he’s so defensively responsible, something the Canes desperately need.
- The Canes in general did a very poor job at slowing down the Islanders’ momentum. Fine, the refs called a lot of penalties; but the PK wasn’t the only time during which the Canes pretty much completely failed to control play. They had their moments, but in between those moments were long stretches where I wondered why they were playing with their heads jammed up…other orifices.
- Honestly, Cam Ward could’ve been better. He was due for some regression, but still.
Overall, this was a solid effort. The Canes play the Devils tomorrow, which means they’ll need as much rest as possible and to get some jump in their step. They have the chance, being on top of the Southeast, to widen that berth and try to stay in playoff contention. Hopefully they’ll manage to grab another two points tomorrow.