After spending 11 of the first 15 games on the road to start the season, the Carolina Hurricanes return home for a long homestand for the next couple of weeks. The team had three days off after their back-to-back road trip in Florida before facing the Philadephia Flyers on Wednesday, Nov. 15 at home. The game was the Hurricanes’ Hockey Fights Cancer night, where there was a plethora of purple in and around PNC Arena.
The players wore purple stick tape on their blades for the cause and gave out purple bells for survivors or loved ones who lost family due to cancer. Carolina was coming into the game on the back of a 4-0 shutout win over the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Flyers were coming off a 4-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings. The Hurricanes were hoping to build off their win versus the Lightning. This game, however, did not go the way the Hurricanes expected.
Hurricanes Received Not So Brotherly Love
Right off the bat, this game did not indicate that the Hurricanes were in for a tough night. Flyers’ Owen Tippett scored his sixth of the season to give Philadelphia an early lead just 1:50 into the game. Carolina’s netminder Pyotr Kochetkov seemed to be caught off guard from the Tippett shot as the puck snuck between his arm and the body. Not sure if that is on Kochetkov, but it’s one of those goals that Carolina as a whole will want back.
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It did not get much better with under a minute left into the first period, Travis Konecny scored his 10th of the season to give the Flyers a 2-0 lead before intermission. He was able to tip in the initial shot by Nick Seeler past Kochetkov on what looked like a defensive breakdown from Carolina. It looked like the defense was out of sorts for most of the period, and the Flyers made them pay with a two-goal lead after the first.
Noesen is Elite
The second period did not start off well, as the Flyers got their third goal of the game from Ryan Poehling. He scored just 29 seconds into the middle frame. Carolina, in this game, gave up all three goals within under two minutes at either the start or the end of a period. Not an ideal way to start or end periods for any team, especially when having to fight back the whole time.
The lone bright spot came from a goal with nine minutes left into the second period from a Stefan Noesen marker.
This play from the Hurricanes had to be the best sequence from them in the game. Dmitry Orlov was the one who was able to get the play going from the Hurricanes’ zone as he got it up to Noesen. The puck went off the board on a back pass to him as he did a casual drop pass to a streaking Jack Drury. Drury found Tony DeAneglo, who was in the Flyers’s zone with room to skate.
Credit where credit is due, DeAneglo made a great pass to Noesen, who was all alone in the right faceoff circle placing it in his wheelhouse for the one-timer. The slapshot from Noesen had no chance of being stopped by Carter Hart, as the Hurricanes got on the board with nine minutes left in the period.
The goal was extra special for Noesen as that was his 100th career NHL point. While the Hurricanes did end up losing 3-1 to the Flyers, that is something he could hang his hat on. Noesen, so far in the 2023-24 season, has four goals for 10 points in 16 games played. His contract will be up at the end of the season, where he will be an unrestricted free agent (UFA). The current cap hit for his contract is $762,500. He has played in Carolina, heading into his third season with the team, and is closing in on 100 games, as well. The most he’s played for one team in the New Jersey Devils is 145 games over three seasons.
The 30-year-old forward will be looking to get another contract when the season is over. It is unclear if it will be with Carolina, but Hurricanes for sure will hope the team will keep him long-term. He has more than earned an extension with the team. A deal worth $1.5 to $2 million over two or three seasons could be an ideal contract for both sides.
Something Seems Off with Hurricanes
Other than the goal, it was a night not to remember for the Hurricanes. Head coach Rod Brind’amour did not mince words after the effort in the team’s 3-1 loss. “[Our game] is not consistent enough. It’s hard enough to win and we’re making it harder on ourselves. We’re trying to be too cute here or there. They blocked a ton of shots, give them credit. They played exactly how we said they would… We need to stick to our game plan more.”
We saw something similar after the loss to the Florida Panthers on Friday, Nov. 10, where he needed the team to step up. This seems to becoming a constant theme and one that hopefully works itself out. Whatever is happening in the locker room is not usual for a team during the Brind’Amour era. Hopefully, something gets figured out, or this could be a long season of yoyoing between wins and losses. There have only been 16 games into an 82-game season. That is so many games and so much time to work out the issues and get back to 100% Hurricanes hockey. One will hope that it has to come soon.