The headlines after the game were that Teuvo Teravainen had a hat trick, and Antti Raanta got his 20th career shutout as the Canes beat the lowly San Jose Sharks, 3-0.
Before the game, the big headline was Andrei Svechnikov made his season debut, seven months after tearing his ACL. Svech was sporting a zipper on his chin as a puck deflected off his stick in practice earlier this week, causing a deep gash requiring seven stitches.
A minor headline is the very poor start the Sharks are having, scoring just eight goals in their first eight games. After losing Brett Burns to the Canes a couple of years ago, Erik Karlsson to the Penguins this summer, and Timo Meier to the Devils at last year’s trade deadline, the Sharks have the inside track for next year’s overall #1 draft pick.
Teravainen Pots 2, Svechnikov Returns
Rod Brind’Amour started the Jordan Staal line as usual, and from the opening faceoff, the Canes were in control. Svech started on the 4th line centered by Jack Drury along with Stefan Noesen but wound up playing on various lines as Rod had a particular game plan to ease him back into the lineup.
Every time he touched the puck on that first shift, the crowd responded loudly. It was the Sharks that tested Raanta early when Fabian Zetterland got off a hard shot low that forced Raanta to slide left for a stretched-out pad save. A few minutes later, Luke Kunin got his stick high on Brady Skjei, putting the Canes on an early powerplay.
With the top powerplay unit out for Rod, the Canes were in complete control, passing the puck at will in the Sharks’ end. On a set play, Martin Necas had the puck on the high corner, near side, making a swift pass to Sebastian Aho in the mid-slot. Aho fired off a one-timer that was blocked in front, and Seth Jarvis used quick hands to get control, looked at the goal but saw Teuvo Teravainen all alone on the right side of the crease. He passed to Turbo, who faked low and shot high to put the Canes up 1-0.
Later in the period, the Canes stole the puck in the center ice and went quickly into the Sharks’ end. Jaden Chatfield had the puck at the right point, passing over Dmitry Orlov on the left. Without wasting any time, Orlov made a cross-ice pass to Turbo on the outer perimeter of the faceoff circle, cocked his stick, and sent a pretty one-timer into the upper near corner from 62 feet out. With Chatfield getting an assist, all Canes now have at least a point before the first month is in the books.
Svech did get recorded in the stat box as he got called for interference against Giovanni Smith just as Smith passed up the ice. Both live and on the replay show it was a questionable call, but Svech was in full compliance with the rule book, just not the refs’ eyes.
Raanta, Defense Play Is Solid
The second period started with Jesperi Kotkaniemi getting his stick caught between the legs of Nico Sturm. The Sharks might have been on the powerplay, but it was the Canes that had the best scoring chances. The Canes’ speed was more prevalent than the Sharks’ defense, which is part talent, part coaching (you can teach speed but you can’t teach desire and commitment), and part drive.
The Canes PK units needed a night like this, killing off all powerplays and allowing just a few shots on goal. Later in the period as play was along the far boards, Jarvi tried to grease his way by Giovanni Smith, but the big guy nearly decapitated Jarvi, resulting in a Canes powerplay.
No goal on this 2-minute advantage, but plenty of shots, many good looks, and solid possession. The second period ended with the Canes having a 26-16 shot advantage, with goalie Kaapo Kahkonen keeping the Sharks in the game.
It’s Turbo Time: Hat Trick
The Caniacs were getting restless starting the third, as they knew this game could turn on a single shot. If the Sharks scored, it became a tense 1-goal game, and with the Sharks smelling blood, it was a whole new game.
If the Canes got that one shot in, it was all but game over. The Caniacs and Canes felt confident as the possession game was still working for the Canes. Svech was moved to Fishy’s line, and it was pure beauty to watch. The passing, skill level, and openness of the ice seemed to have everything go in favor of the Canes.
Late in the period, it was déjà vu all over again. Jaccob Slavin had the puck up on the left point, passing down to Fishy, who dangled the puck a bit, and then passed to Jarvi on the left side of the crease. Jarvi settled the puck, realized Kahkonen had his side blocked, saw Turbo quietly alone, made the same pass as earlier in the game that once again, Turbo settled the puck, dangled a time or two, then sent a snap wrister top shelf to net the hat trick.
Hard to believe, but that puts Turbo as 2nd in the NHL for goals. Not bad for a player who made a career out of a passing-first mentality. Turbo is a talented player who had Rod in his corner last year when many thought his time was up.
You could tell during training camp that Turbo was going to have a good year. All that was left of the game was protecting the shutout. With less than 2 minutes to go, Kyle Burroughs tried to clear the puck out of the Sharks’ defensive zone, and he did, but it was a direct loft into the stands, giving the Canes a powerplay for the remainder of the game.
Brind’Amour did what went mostly unnoticed, as he had all players not usually on the powerplay. Everyone’s been on the other side of the scoreboard with all the chips stacked up against you.
The game was in hand, no need to rub it in. Class act from a coach that’s respected in the league at every level. Great win before heading up to Philadelphia for a contest against the Flyers who, under John Tortorella, are having a surprisingly good start.
Tony De Angelo is back with the Canes, partly because he and Torts didn’t see things the same way, and Don Waddell pulled off some summer magic again getting him back at a very team-friendly contract.