Canes vs. Blue Jackets Recap 3/29

Just when I thought I’d seen every way that the 2013-14 Hurricanes could lose a game, last night brought a new one to the table. A complete inability to hold on to a lead for more than 2 minutes, and some truly boneheaded plays led to an overtime loss by the home team.

This picture is simply perfect.

After a first period that was hockey’s version of Lunesta (with the exception of a great save by Khudobin), the second period actually featured some scoring. Late in the 2nd, Skinner was the beneficiary of some strong play by Nash and Lindholm as he roofed a loose puck near the crease to give the Canes a 1-0 lead. However, the Skinner giveth and the Skinner taketh away. With only a minute and some change left in the period, Young Jeffrey tried to make a pass to Sekera. Trouble is, Sekera isn’t 9 feet tall with a puck magnet attached to his ass. While uncredited, Skinner absolutely deserves an assist on Matt Calvert’s goal to tie the game at 1 heading into the third.

On their second powerplay of the evening, the Canes took the lead on a really pretty play from Nash to Loktionov. All was well in the building for roughly 45 seconds until Artem Anisimov slid the puck past a prone Khudobin. Anisimov was technically defended by Liles, but the problem is that Liles has all the upper body strength of a newborn kitten and couldn’t clear the damn crease. If it were someone like Lucic that scored, ok fine, he’s a powerful guy. Anisimov goes 6’4″, 198lb; MOVE HIM. As there was no more scoring in regulation, it was on to overtime and both teams got a point. Yay?

In the extra session, Jiri Tlusty was given a delay of game penalty for covering the puck in the defensive zone, giving the Jackets a 4-on-3 powerplay that would prove decisive. James Wisinewski hit Artem Anisimov with a dandy of a pass, who was then held up near the blue line by Justin Faulk. All’s fine with that until Eric Staal joined the battle by the boards leaving ONE Hurricane left to cover the other 3 Blue Jackets. Get this, they scored. Ryan FREAKING Johansen was able to pick his spot since there was an absence of defense on the ice thanks to a stupid play by Staal.

So the Canes got a point, but they were disappointed with the outcome. SSDD. After the game, Eric Staal talked about how they knew they needed to get a point, how guys on the team work hard, blah blah blah. Rather than talking about it all the time, why not show it all the time. I get that us as fans aren’t in the room to see how Eric Staal is (or isn’t) an effective leader. All we have to go by is what we see on the ice and what he shares with the media. At this point, I’m done. Done with the lazy penalties, done with the stupid decisions, done with the same talking points that lead to nothing different. I get that he’s a different guy than Francis or Brind’Amour, and I’m in no way asking him to be those guys. But what about leading by example? How does leading the league in tripping penalties inspire others to move their feet and not just their stick on defense? How does lollygagging on line changes inspire others to skate hard? How does ignoring smart play and pinching on a 4-on-3 inspire others to stick to a system?  He’s a talented guy who’s done a lot for this franchise, but this “leadership” we’ve seen the past couple years isn’t getting it done. I miss the Eric Staal that would take a game over, skate with purpose, and SHOW the other 19 guys on his team how it’s done. Someone get Eric a copy of The Puppy Who Lost Its Way

The Good:

Andrei Loktionov: Scored a beauty of a goal and played a solid, crafty game of hockey

Riley Nash: After playing a mind-blowing amount of time with nothing to show for it Tuesday night, Nash had 2 assists on the evening.

The Bad:

Anton Khudobin: Despite making a couple flashy saves early on, was beaten on two goals late that I’m sure he’d rather not see replays of. An off night from a guy who’s certainly earned the right to have one or two this year.

Eric Staal: See my rant.

The Both

Jeff Skinner: Scored a damn fine goal, then gave one right back.


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