After watching the Canes v. Sharks last night, I may understand their style:

  • They are a quick team that plays a simple north – south game and shoots a lot.
  • They do not have much playmaking ability. Their offensive system is very simple. Get open, take a shot, get a rebound. I didn’t see too much cycling or dot to boards play.
  • Last night’s victory was as much the Sharks trying to get cute and playing the Canes’ game as the Canes playing well. San Jose did not play physical enough, they did not maintain offensive zone pressure and did not look to outwork the Hurricanes. On defense, the Sharks were content in letting the Hurricanes find lanes and firing away. These weaknesses in the Sharks’ game last night are the Kings’ strengths. Look for our defense to suffocate Carolina’s offensive game. Unlike the high-powered offensive systems in the league, the Hurricanes don’t bring high-end playmaking ability that spreads out the defense and takes the play down low.
  • The Hurricanes have players that play physical but the team as a whole is not a hard checking team.
  • Their defense is average to above average.

My keys to the game:

  • Win those faceoffs. They can’t shoot if they don’t have the puck.
  • Take away lanes and take them into the boards. The Canes are a center of the ice team.
  • Cycle and spread their defense out. Don’t play shinny hockey. It’s all about grit and punishing them out there.
  • Good goaltending with minimal rebounds. One shot and out for Carolina.
  • Inexperienced goalie in net for the Hurricanes. Crash that net! Force him to move lateral on cross ice feeds, create traffic and bury those rebounds.

If the Kings play their defensive game and puck possession style on offense, we will destroy Carolina.