Happy Monday, Canes fans! I hope you all enjoyed your weekend. I had a good one myself, and I had the Canes game on Friday night to get mine off to a good start.
The Canes went on their first extended road trip of the season this past weekend, playing contests against the Los Angeles Kings, San Jose Sharks, and Anaheim Ducks in that respective order. You could say the Canes were California Dreamin’.
At least last Tuesday night they were. Fresh off their first loss of the season, which occurred against the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Canes were looking to get back into the winning column. Against the Jackets, the Canes played good hockey, scoring two goals in the process, but dropped the game after allowing three in their own goal.
Against the Kings, the Canes looked much better. They scored two goals: one from center Martin Necas (his second of the year) in the second period, and one from right winger Sebastian Aho (his second of the year) in the third period. Starting goalie Petr Mrazek put on a show, recording 24 saves and giving the Kings fits all night. The defense was preventing the Kings from getting a lot of clear lanes to the net, as a lot of the Kings’ shots were off of passes or rebounds.
I know that not all good teams can win every game. As cool as it would be if the Canes were undefeated, that reality is very unlikely in an 82-game season. Good teams go through rough patches, too, and the Canes witnessed their first of the season in their matchups against the Sharks and Ducks.
Start with the Sharks. After the Sharks’ Evander Kane scored the first of his three goals at the 8:36 mark of the first period, Canes defenseman Dougie Hamilton ripped a shot past the left side of Sharks goalie Martin Jones at the 10:46 mark of the first period to tie the score up at one.
From that goal one, things got worse, at Kane scored two more first period goals to record the hat trick. The Canes would not score again until the 15:41 mark of the third period, when Erik Haula put a one-timer home past Martin Jones to bring the deficit to 4-2. Haula’s goal was after Barclay Goodrow scored for the Sharks, and minutes before Tomas Hertl of the Sharks closed the scoring at 5-2.
Continue on to Anaheim, where the Canes played last Friday. The Anaheim game was perhaps the toughest game of the bunch, as Petr Mrazek had to be pulled after allowing four goals on eleven shots. James Reimer came in and dominated, saving all seven shots he faced.
But it was too little too late, as after Ducks goals scored by Adam Henrique, Troy Terry, Jakob Silfverberg (500th NHL game), and Carter Rowney, the Canes could only muster two of their own: one from Erik Haula (his seventh goal on the season) on the power play, which has been an impressive unit so far this season, and one from Haydn Fleury (his second of the season). Both goals were in the second period, giving the Canes plenty of time to come back, but Ducks goalie Ryan Miller recovered to not allow another goal the rest of the way.
After the Ducks game, Canes center (and new captain) Jordan Staal spoke to the media. “I think the boys, hopefully, will learn a lesson from that one. It’s not easy. We’re showing up thinking that it’s just going to be easy. It’s not. It’s a good league and they played well.”
The Canes will need to play much better on Thursday, as they travel to Columbus, Ohio to take on the Blue Jackets, the team that dealt them their first loss of the season.
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