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Mailbag #26: Round One Fun

What was up with the power play last night? What's the difference in minor penalties? Freddie update? Dunkin' or Krispy Kreme?

by Walt Ruff @WaltRuff / Hurricanes.com

BOSTON, MA. - Happy Saturday, Caniacs.

If there's a positive to last night's outcome at TD Garden, it's that the reasons the Canes were on the wrong side of the score at the end of the night were pretty cut and dry. There's no need to be searching high or low for what went wrong.

Rod Brind'Amour and Jaccob Slavin hit the nail on the head post-game, saying that the team lost the special teams battle and the top guys have to be better. Simple as that.

With that being said, the Canes still remain ahead in the series 2-1, but there's no shortage of questions after a game like that.

(Please Note: Some questions have been edited for clarity.)

 

How do you fix the power play? - @s_prevot

First, we haven't forgotten that the power play scored twice in Game Two, have we?

How do you fix what the power play was or wasn't doing last night?

Speed it up.

There was little to no execution from the top unit. The group looked far too lax, seemed content with moving the puck around the outside and then eventually attempting to get a shot on.

When the Canes have had success thus far this season, it's quick puck movement that gets the other team moving, opening up lanes and then a readiness to let it fly when it gets to the right man.

Whenever I think of what the power play needs to look like, I remember this Sebastian Aho tally from the middle of January (below). That's obviously the optimal execution, and as we have seen countless times thus far this season, the approach of getting the puck on and having traffic in front to put home a rebound also works. If you put a side-by-side of the below Aho goal and what transpired last night, last night's would look like it would be moving at .75x speed, if that.

Oh, and if the 0-for-17 stint to start the month of April was not the time to change personnel, now isn't either. Again, the power play scored twice on Wednesday.

Video: VAN@CAR: Aho rockets Teravainen one-timer in for PPG

 

Who do you put in with Martinook's uncertainty? - @isthisdarby 

My answer would be Derek Stepan. Will Brind'Amour feel the same way? We'll find out tomorrow.

Steven Lorentz is a fantastic option, but Stepan is a veteran of the game and we all know how valuable that presence can be this time of year. Plus he plays well every time he gets back in the lineup. He finished the regular season with three points in three games, too!

 

What determines a double-minor penalty? Raanta got injured in Game Two (with blood), Smith was bloody after a roughing last night. Why were these only two-minute penalties? - @MannCameron25

Can I be honest for a second? I had to look into the whole blood rule myself today.

Thanks to Shane Willis and Mike Mansicalco of Bally Sports South, I can tell you that only a high-sticking minor can be four minutes for drawing blood. Everything else has to be a two-minute minor or a five-minute major. Both Raanta being ran and Smith's elbow last night were reviewed by the officials and they made the call to rule both two minutes.

That's what they decided and that's the way it goes.

 

Is there any timetable for a return on Frederik Andersen? - @KochenJustin

There's not.

The last update was Friday prior to the team flight when Rod Brind'Amour said, "we're rehabbing the crap out of him, but it's taking time."

Getting injury information, especially during the playoffs, is rare. There's gamesmanship and coaches don't want to reveal their hand.

If I can aid in cutting some of the red tape, while also being a bit vague myself, when Andersen was hurt in Colorado, the verbiage was "he'll be reevaluated next week". Some have taken that as "he'll be out a week". That's obviously not the case, as today is now three weeks following that night in Denver.

Make of that what you will.

 

Do we have designated black aces this postseason? If so, who are they? If not, what is the reasoning there? - @apritch61

Fantastic question, Alex.

At this present time the Canes do not have any black aces.

For some who are wondering, what is a black ace? A player from either minors or juniors who joins the Canes for the playoffs, traveling with the team, but commonly practicing as a separate group in case extra depth is needed.

By now I hope I've done a good enough job of informing everyone on the Jack LaFontaine situation - as he can be with the team because the NHL allows teams to have a third contracted goalie so we don't have someone off the street (with all due respect to regular season EBUG's) playing Stanley Cup Playoffs games.

Why don't the Canes have any black aces?

For starter's, prior to last night, they had healthy able bodies at the ready at both forward and defense. As we now see with Jordan Martinook's injury, they'll be down to one extra healthy forward. Does that mean someone will come up? Time will tell.

Why hasn't anyone else come up?

Because Chicago (AHL) is about to embark on a postseason run of their own. At this point in the season we know who the usual first recall suspects are going to be - Josh Leivo, Stefan Noesen, Andrew Poturalski. Chicago is obviously still holding practices, honing their game before their Round One series starts on Thursday night against Rockford. It's much more beneficial to let those guys be the top dogs for Chicago, as opposed to them sitting in the press box being the third, fourth, or fifth healthy available options for Carolina and not playing.

If Chicago weren't in the playoffs, it would be a whole different story. Likely all three of those, and probably others, would be with the Canes.

 

In your opinion, which Boston goalie is less better and which will they start tomorrow or Tuesday? - @dstafford

Ha! A subtle jab at my stumble on Hurricanes Live on Monday.

Anyways, it'll be Jeremy Swayman, at least until he loses. Just from my perspective, he looked a lot better and more comfortable than Linus Ullmark did in the first two games of the series.

Although if you're looking at this as a Canes fan, Swayman definitely wants that Jaccob Slavin goal back from last night and there were a few rebound chances, so he wasn't completely unbeatable.

 

How do you think the team will look for an afternoon game tomorrow? - @theudell

Very fitting question, Pete. Great timing.

Yell at me if you will, because yes, the regular season and postseason are two different things, however, if you had to guess what Carolina's record was in afternoon games this season, what would you say?

Think about it.

How about 11-2.

14-2 if you consider 5 p.m. an afternoon start.

They've come ready to go in the daytime this year.

That's as far as I can get you though on this question. If I could predict the future I would go buy a Powerball ticket today and this would be the last article I'd ever write.

 

When talking about pure plain/glazed donuts, is Krispy Kreme or Dunkin Donuts better? - @hadfiiw 

Okay, one last one, because I can't help myself and this is relevant, being in the land of Dunkin' and all.

Can I be honest here, too? I don't know if I've ever been in a Krispy Kreme. I went to the Dunkin' inside TD Garden yesterday though.

However, with that being said, Krispy Kreme's plain/glazed are better. You can mow through a couple of those at a time, easily. Just me? Maybe? Even if it is, I'll pretend like it's not.

 

-
 

Man, y'all were EXCELLENT with the questions this week. Thank you, thank you, thank you to each and every one of you that took the time to ask or read this.

I think this is the longest mailbag of the year and I feel like I could've picked ten more. Wouldn't want to keep y'all too long though, it's Saturday and there's life to be lived.

Plus, there's a Pyotr Kochetkov interview to finally dive into.

See you all tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. for Game Four and then Tuesday at 7 p.m. at PNC Arena for Game Five.

 


  

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