Originally written on Shutdown Line  |  Last updated 10/23/14
For the second game in a row, the Hurricanes outchanced their opponents only to come out on the losing end of a blowout. Despite outchancing both Florida and Tampa Bay by a combined 40-34 and 32-23 at even strength, the Canes have been outscored 2-9 and now find themselves starting the year with an 0-2-0 record. This is frustrating to watch, but the fact that Carolina has been winning the battles at even strength should mean that better days are on the horizon. I mean, simple regression should tell you that the Hurricanes aren't going to continue to shoot at less than 3% forever and Ward won't continue to let in more than 20% of the shots he faces in the long-run. So this team isn't as bad as their -7 goal differential through two games would lead you to believe. There are some problems with this team, though and the main killer in both games has been slow starts. They had a parade to the penalty box in the first period against Florida resulting in three powerplay goals against. The same trend continued against Tampa Bay, as the Hurricanes created only three scoring chances (despite several offensive zone draws) and allowed two early goals to put themselves in a 2-0 hole heading into the first intermission. Carolina managed to wake up after that and ended up on the right side of the shots and scoring chance ledger, but the slow starts are something that really needs to be fixed. Cam Ward hasn't been playing well enough to bail them out of it and they can't keep spotting teams 1-2 goals five minutes into the game. Scoring chance breakdown coming after the jump. Carolina Hurricanes vs. Tampa Bay Lightning 1/22/13 Carolina's chances are in red, Tampa's are in blue Period Total EV 5v4 5v3 4v5 3v5 1 3 5 2 5 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 8 6 5 4 3 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 3 8 4 7 2 0 0 0 0 1 2 0 0 Totals 19 15 14 11 4 0 0 0 1 4 0 0 This illustrates what I said in the introduction. The Canes got off to a horrible start and spent the rest of the game climbing out of the hole they dug themselves into. They actually had the game within reach in the second period, but two goals in the third by Tampa made the lead insurmountable.  Most of the chances the Hurricanes created in the third came with the less than five minutes remaining when score effects had already taken their toll, so the fact that they had a +4 chance differential in this game isn't as impressive as it may appear. Lightning goaltender Mathieu Garon definitely had to work late in the game to keep it 4-1 but it wouldn't have made much of a difference regarding the Canes having a chance to win. At least the penalty kill didn't totally stink. Carolina Individual Scoring Chances # Player EV PP SH 6 Tim Gleason 15:41 3 3 0:00 0 0 5:42 1 3 8 Kevin Westgarth 3:22 0 0 0:00 0 0 0:00 0 0 11 Jordan Staal 12:48 6 2 4:12 4 0 3:30 0 2 12 Eric Staal 15:19 8 6 5:04 4 0 2:28 1 1 19 Jiri Tlusty 13:18 4 2 2:57 0 0 2:56 0 1 21 Drayson Bowman 13:34 6 6 0:05 0 0 0:00 0 0 23 Jeremy Welsh 5:46 0 0 0:00 0 0 0:00 0 0 24 Bobby Sanguinetti 12:40 6 6 0:00 0 0 0:18 0 0 25 Joni Pitkanen 15:16 6 6 4:44 2 0 2:55 0 0 27 Justin Faulk 17:32 3 2 3:18 2 0 5:26 1 3 28 Alexander Semin 16:31 9 7 5:24 4 0 1:27 1 1 30 Cam Ward   14 11   4 0   1 4 36 Jussi Jokinen 9:54 0 4 2:58 0 0 2:37 0 0 37 Tim Brent 5:49 0 0 0:00 0 0 0:39 0 1 39 Patrick Dwyer 11:44 4 0 0:00 0 0 2:27 0 0 44 Jay Harrison 13:04 5 3 0:00 0 0 2:53 0 0 53 Jeff Skinner 10:36 3 4 5:24 4 0 0:20 0 0 59 Chad LaRose 9:22 1 4 3:06 0 0 0:50 0 0 77 Joe Corvo 12:25 5 3 2:58 0 0 0:00 0 0 Best EV Forwards: Patrick Dwyer & Jordan Staal +4 Worst EV Forward: Jussi Jokinen -4 Best EV Defenseman: Jay Harrison & Joe Corvo +2 Worst EV Defenseman: Bobby Sanguinetti & Joni Pitkanen EVEN  
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