LATEST STORIES FROM SHUTDOWN LINE

All Three Zones Project aka How I Spent My Summer Vacation

Hello everyone, I’d like to start out by apologizing for the lack of activity on the blog over the off-season. It’s been a busy time for me because, as some of you may know, I’m currently in the middle of a project that involves me tracking zone entries & exits from all 1230 games of last year’s NHL season. My intention was (and still is) to track every game and release...
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10 days ago  |  Discuss

Zone Entries on Jordan Staal’s lines

The other day, I wrote about the struggles of the Hurricanes “second line” and how some of it stemmed from Muller relying on the trio of Jordan Staal, Patrick Dwyer & Nathan Gerbe to play in a top-six role. This was a unit that was reliable and decent when it came to winning the territorial battle at even strength, but they were a glorified checking line and didn’t produce...
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April 22, 2014  |  Discuss

Jordan Staal and the “Small-Medium-Large” line

The summer prior to the 2012-13 season was an exciting one for Carolina Hurricanes fans. Stuck in mediocrity for years, the Canes made a couple of significant off-season moves that figured to re-shape the team and possibly lead them back to the playoffs. One of them was making a big trade for Jordan Staal at the draft, giving up a top-ten pick, a solid roster player in Brandon Sutter...
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April 19, 2014  |  Discuss

Effort vs. Strategy: Neutral Zone Play

If there is one thing that gets tiring about following an under-achieving team, it’s the idea that everything can be solved with a little bit of hard work, grit and leadership. That’s seems to be the general analysis with the Carolina Hurricanes lately. All of their problems, whether it be scoring goals or preventing them, stem from the team having no heart and not giving an...
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April 16, 2014  |  Discuss

Game 82 By the Numbers: Hurricanes at Flyers

Much like the previous two games, there isn’t a whole lot to say about the Hurricanes 6-5 shootout win over the Flyers. You had two teams whose seasons were basically over, one already clinching the playoff spot and one being officially eliminated from contention about a week ago. To add to that, the Flyers were starting an inexperienced AHL goalie and both teams were letting most...
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April 14, 2014  |  Discuss

Game 80 By the Numbers: Capitals at Hurricanes

This game is a few days old and was dominated by score effects so there isn’t much to say about it. I don’t think the Hurricanes were outplayed as badly as the scoreboard indicated, but they didn’t have much of an answer for the Caps forecheck and ended up paying for it early. Maybe things would have ended up different if they finished a couple more of their chances, but that...
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April 14, 2014  |  Discuss

Game 81 By the Numbers: Hurricanes at Red Wings

The Hurricanes have been playing some very bad hockey for the better part of the last couple months and despite the result, last night’s 2-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings was another poorly played game. There’s nothing shameful about getting outshot against a playoff team like Detroit and this is usually the case in the second half of a back-to-back regardless of the opponent...
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April 12, 2014  |  Discuss

When A Plan Doesn’t Come Together: An Overview

It’s not easy to sum up the problems with the Carolina Hurricanes because there has been just so much that has gone wrong in a short amount of time. Everyone likes to point out one person as the “root” of the problem and assume everything will be fine that piece is removed, but it doesn’t work like that. There’s a lot that goes into building a team and sometimes things...
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April 11, 2014  |  Discuss

Game 80 By the Numbers: Hurricanes at Rangers

With last night’s 4-1 loss to the New York Rangers, the Carolina Hurricanes are mercifully officially eliminated from playoff contention and it was fitting that a game like this would be the final nail in the coffin. The Rangers outplayed and skated circles around the Hurricanes in route to a win and this was with them missing a key player in defenseman Ryan McDonagh. Yes, the...
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April 09, 2014  |  Discuss

Justin Faulk: Building Block or Centerpiece?

“Rebuilding” in sports is usually a long, painful process and the Hurricanes have seemingly been stuck in one for the last four years or so.  It wasn’t planned for it to end up like this, but the reality is that the Hurricanes have finished out of the playoffs in seven of the last eight seasons and there have been indications of changes being ahead this off-season. Most of...
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April 07, 2014  |  Discuss

Game 78 By the Numbers: Devils at Hurricanes

The Hurricanes point-streak ends at five-games as they dropped a 3-1 loss to the New Jersey Devils last night in what was a pretty uneventful game overall. Carolina continued their recent trend of staring the game off on a poor note, falling behind 1-0 in the first period and using the rest of the night to play catch-up. Things weren’t nearly as bad as they’ve been in recent...
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April 06, 2014  |  Discuss

Game 77 By the Numbers: Stars at Hurricanes

As sports fans, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the emotion of a game and get jazzed up over a win even when the season is basically over. Nobody likes to lose, but all winning does at this point is worsen the Hurricanes draft position, so it’s important to keep your eyes focused on the process more than the results. If the Canes are just squeaking out wins while relying on goaltending...
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April 04, 2014  |  Discuss

Game 76 By the Numbers: Hurricanes at Penguins

Even with Evgeni Malkin out of the lineup, this was a game that most hockey minds would consider an easy win for the Penguins. They were going up against a Hurricanes team that had just played the night before in Ottawa and are likely heading for a bottom-ten finish in another couple weeks. To add to that, the Canes were also going to be without two of their top-six forwards, one...
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April 02, 2014  |  Discuss

Game 67 By the Numbers: Hurricanes at Bruins

If the fanbase had any optimism left in the Hurricanes, their coaching staff and most of their players, it likely disappeared after their 5-1 loss to the Boston Bruins this afternoon. The result isn't terribly surprising because the Hurricanes have been a team in disarray since the Olympic break while the Bruins are one of the NHL's elite clubs. A loss was expected and the...
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April 01, 2014  |  Discuss

Game 68 By the Numbers: Oilers at Hurricanes

Losing to a team like the Edmonton Oilers at this time of the season would normally be something to panic over but for the Hurricanes, it was really just another game and another loss. This is a team that has lost seven of their last ten games and while the playoffs might have been in reach not too long ago, it's pretty obvious that this club doesn't belong in the conversation...
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April 01, 2014  |  Discuss

Neutral Zone Breakdown: Open Door Policy

Tracking zone entries has been all the rage in the hockey analytics community this year and the main thing we look at is how often a team/player carries the puck into the offensive zone as opposed to dumping it in. That is generally how we judge which players are "winning the battle" in the neutral zone and creating the most offense off of zone entries. As important as...
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April 01, 2014  |  Discuss

Game 69 By the Numbers: Hurricanes at Blue Jackets

During Monday's practice, Carolina head coach Kirk Muller unleashed his frustration over his team's performance publicly. It was a side of him that many haven't seen before (at least during his time in Carolina), but the fact that it's coming out now isn't very surprising. Everyone knows the Hurricanes have been underachieving and I'm sure Muller will be the...
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April 01, 2014  |  Discuss

Game 70 By the Numbers: Hurricanes at Blackhawks

If there was one game most Hurricane fans had marked down as a loss, last night's showdown against the Chicago Blackhawks was likely at the top of the list. Even at the beginning of the year when spirits were higher, not many expected the Canes to come into the United Center and escape with two points, barring a disastrous season from the Hawks that is. Both of these team'...
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April 01, 2014  |  Discuss

Game 71 By the Numbers: Hurricanes at Jets

Since the 2011-12 season, Carolina fans have had a strained relationship with goaltender Cam Ward. Although still loved by many, Ward has struggled with injuries and poor play for the last three years and while not all of it is his fault, it's contributed to many of the Hurricanes problems and this year is probably the low point for him. Ward has missed time with a couple of...
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April 01, 2014  |  Discuss

Game 72 By the Numbers: Islanders at Hurricanes

Almost everyone in Caniac Nation is familiar with the concept of "score effects" by now. It's when a team builds an early lead and opts to sit back for the rest of the game, resulting in the trailing team racking up a lot of shots on goal and ending up in the positive ledger in the "possession" department. Carolina has been involved in plenty of these games...
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April 01, 2014  |  Discuss

Game 73 By the Numbers: Hurricanes at Panthers

The Hurricanes are at a point of the season where there isn't a whole lot to play for from the fan's point of view. Sure, the playoffs are still a "mathematical possibility" but it's going to take a lot of help and it's unlikely that this squad will pull it off. It's tough to figure out what's going through a player's head when they're on...
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April 01, 2014  |  Discuss

Game 75 By the Numbers: Hurricanes at Senators

If you’re looking to use the rest of the season to dig out some positives with the Hurricanes future, last night’s 2-1 shootout loss to the Ottawa Senators probably didn’t provide you with much. On the other hand, if you are just looking for entertaining hockey the rest of the way, then this was the game for you. Sure, the final score may not indicate it, but this was a very...
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April 01, 2014  |  Discuss

Game 74 By the Numbers: Blue Jackets at Hurricanes

It’s been awhile since the Hurricanes lost a game in overtime, so last night’s 3-2 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets was an unfriendly reminder of what haunted this team for most of November and December. They were involved in a close, tight-checking game that they could have closed out in regulation but ended up falling just short due to a few mistakes resulting in goals. The...
Via Shutdown Line
March 30, 2014  |  Discuss

Game 73 By the Numbers: Hurricanes at Panthers

The Hurricanes are at a point of the season where there isn't a whole lot to play for from the fan's point of view. Sure, the playoffs are still a "mathematical possibility" but it's going to take a lot of help and it's unlikely that this squad will pull it off. It's tough to figure out what's going through a player's head when they're on...
Via Shutdown Line
March 28, 2014  |  Discuss

Game 72 By the Numbers: Islanders at Hurricanes

Almost everyone in Caniac Nation is familiar with the concept of "score effects" by now. It's when a team builds an early lead and opts to sit back for the rest of the game, resulting in the trailing team racking up a lot of shots on goal and ending up in the positive ledger in the "possession" department. Carolina has been involved in plenty of these games...
Via Shutdown Line
March 26, 2014  |  Discuss
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