GDB 63.0 WRAP UP: REACTIONS

  • Tyler Stewart

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You’ve likely noticed by now that Facebook launched new buttons called “reactions” this week, which give users a variety of ways to respond to posts, both good, bad, and otherwise. Sometimes reactions can be overblown, or they can be reached too quickly. Rather than reacting emotionally as quickly as possible in order to express ourselves, it can be valuable to take a moment to pause and reflect, then zoom out and looking at the bigger picture.

Tonight’s 8-4 win over the Edmonton Oil Kings game presented many opportunities for reactions from Canes fans as well, mostly good…let’s discuss below…

 

Really, this was a solid game from the Canes. They played hard, made smart passes, and threw pucks at the net. That’s what wins games, and that’s what they did tonight. No big mistakes, and solid netminding too.

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The Canes were guilty of giving up yet another early goal in this one. No biggie though, as it was only a few minutes later that starting Oil Kings goaltender Payton Lee took an unfortunate slip on a banana peel behind his net, which sufficed to wake up the Canes and remind them they’re still contending for the Cup this year. After some strong pressure, an odd man rush led to Cory Millette accepting a beauty pass from Ryley Lindgren to tie it up. 

From there, the Canes repeated the same effective passing to turn another rush play by the first line into a dirty rebound goal by captain Tyler Wong only seconds later. Things settled down for a bit, until Carter Folk nearly took a breakaway home to the net, but instead the next rush saw Igor Babenko making a very smart pass play to Lindgren for another sniper goal (in spite of many fans yelling for him to shoot through traffic instead – look how that worked out!). Jordy Bellerive shoveled another one home from out front right before the end of the first to put the Canes up 4-1 at the break.

The team we remember, right? Well, Wong took a hard shot to the chest and limped off, then there was a bad Canes penalty to end it, but things were still okay heading into the second.

 

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The second opened with a string of penalty calls, including Bellerive being called for a double minor which resulted in an unfortunate trickler that found it’s way through Stuart Skinner. The Canes then grabbed the momentum again with Brayden Burke just throwing the puck at the net for an easy-looking goal (you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take, kids) and then Andrew Nielsen fired in a wrist shot a few minutes later to put the Canes on easy street. Plus tacos….

 

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The third period played itself of rather uneventfully, other than a little bit of emotion spilling out into a few minor scrums. Didn’t seem like either team really wanted to get into it at this point in the season, but figured they save it to really get nasty in the first round of the playoffs maybe…?

A couple of soft goals ended the game at 8-4 with Drayton Thunder Chief getting on the scoreboard with an assist in his first regular season WHL game.

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THE GOOD

  • The fans applauded the team at the end of each period. Not just cause they like them, but cause they worked their asses off tonight. Some kudos from the fans goes a long way to restoring confidence in a team that has lost five straight. Good job fans.
  • The top line was one fire. Great passing, smart play-making. This is what got them to the top of the league and now hopefully they can regain that title after shrugging off a losing streak.
  • Drayton Thunder Chief was in the starting lineup and I’d like to think that shaking things up and putting a hometown guy on the roster helps change the mindset in the locker room.

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THE BAD

  • Another bad start to the game, giving up a weak goal in the first five minutes. Nothing too serious, but if you look at their first period stats according to whlstats.com it’s their Achilles heel. They need to start coming out stronger in the first frame and start the game with fire instead of fizzle.
  • I didn’t win the 50-50 draw.

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THIS AND THAT

  • The Canes broke their 5-game losing steak. That’s the longest losing streak they’ve had all season.
  • The Canes will be making the playoff this year after six consecutive years of failure. Keep that in mind.
  • They will likely have home-ice advantage for their first round match up. Get excited for that.
  • Skinner gave up four goals but that shouldn’t be an indication of his play necessarily. He mostly faced outside, low, kick save shots, but let a couple tricklers in. Maybe because the intensity wasn’t there due to the big lead? Maybe cause the defence wasn’t collapsing as hard as they could have? In any case, he was solid overall and the goaltending if far from a concern on this club.
  • The Hurricanes DJ plays some damn good tunes. Thanks for the MSTRKRFT halfway through the first, and for playing Hollerado almost every game.

CONCLUSIONS

It’s easy to start freaking out when your team loses a few games in a row. However, the Canes are still one of the best in the league and they have a shot at going deep into the playoffs this year. There are 9 games left and some are against top ranked teams, so it’s time to get serious here.

If some key players come back from injuries ASAP and a few guys in the lineup who are obviously playing on some sore muscles get better, things are looking pretty good right now.

It’s important to criticize your faults in order to better yourself. In order to be the best that you can be, you must accept that you always have room to improve. That’s where the Canes are right now, and if this team takes a hard look at itself in order to overcome their flaws, they will have us cheering long into the months of spring this year.

Take a step back, take a deep breath, and get ready for the last few games of the regular season as we get ready to go hard into the post-season and show the rest of the league the Canes are no longer the laughing stock they’ve been known as.

What do you think? Are there major flaws that are ready to bust open, or is this a solid team ready for a Memorial Cup run? Drop your thoughts below.

 

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Tyler avatar

Born in Edmonton during the Oilers dynasty, my world was shattered after moving to Moose Jaw at the age of four. Made Lethbridge my adopted hometown. Somehow Canuck fan. Too much creative energy for my own good. Follow me @teestewww on Twitter and Instagram

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