The first preseason game does not make or break a season. The 4-3 loss the Hurricanes endured against the Blue Jackets shouldn’t have fans to bummed out. The Hurricanes showed better possession and registered more shots than their opposition. The Canes can take positives out of this game and use the rest of the preseason to work on the strong points that they showed Sunday afternoon.
First Point – The Power Play was successful
If you read previews on the Canes season around the Internet, or listened to new coach Bill Peters, you know the team wants to strengthen their power play this season. The team capitalized on two power play opportunities in the opening preseason game. Elias Lindholm, Riley Nash, and Jeff Skinner were the prominent forwards on the top power play line and created exciting opportunities. Andrej Sekera showed why he leads the the teams defensemen on the power play and scored on a shot on their first power play attempt. They capitalized late in the game as well with Sergey Tolchinsky fed Chris Terry for a goal in the final period to bring the team within one. Two goals on the power play will positive point point moving forward in training camp.
Second Point – They dominated in shots and Jeff Skinner shined
Carolina dominated the shots department out shooting the Blue Jackets 32-19. They were also the more disciplined team. Being disciplined and getting the most shots on net will is always a positive when building towards a season. The team has only practiced together for two days but was the more put together team. Jeff Skinner showed he is ready to play this season, getting two assists on the day, one of which on the power play. Earlier in a preseason teams will be looking at the positives more than the negatives with time to fix issues in training camp.
Third Point – Cam Ward gave up three goals in half a game
Cam Ward started in net for the Hurricanes looking to show he is ready as the starting goalie for the season. He gave up three goals on 13 shots against playing only half of the game. It’s just preseason and Ward hasn’t played a game since the last season so it is not too much to read into. One issue is how Ward got beat twice glove hand during the game. Hopefully that glove hand gets a little quicker as games start to count creep up on the Hurricanes.
Overall I think the Hurricanes got some good vibes with this game and still have the rest of training camp with positive notes. They can also go back into camp and work on the negatives. They also didn’t have many veteran players in the game, and the younger players and new veterans seemed to settle in well. Remember, the opening preseason game isn’t the final product that Hurricanes will put on the ice this upcoming season. What do the fans think of the preseason opening loss for the Hurricanes?
Philip is a Sports Journalist covering the Pittsburgh Penguins. Duquesne University Journalism Grad 2013.