Raleigh, NC — Normally, after a road trip in which you go winless and score just three goals in three games, you would be longing for home ice.
The problem is that the Carolina Hurricanes don’t play much better at the PNC Arena than they do while away, as they scored just five goals in their last four home games. The Canes scored two goals in their only win and scored just a lone goal in all others.
Mr. Grinch Has a Handle on the Canes
To paraphrase a line from the Mr. Grinch Christmas Song: There are 3 words to describe the Canes’ play during their three game road trip: Stink, Stank, Stunk.
Sure, not every player was bad all the time, and some actually played well. Despite losing every game he was in, Cam Ward played very well. Ward was actually one of the three stars in a 2-1 loss at Tampa Bay that started off the road trip. Both goals were back breakers–the first one was a bad deflection off the station between glass panels. Ward was going behind the net to control the puck for a defense-man when the puck took a weird bound to right in front of an empty net.
The last one had 30 seconds to go in a 1-1 tie when a centering puck bounced off Ron Hainsey’s skate from six feet in front of the net to the open part of the net. Justin Faulk scored on a bomb blast to add to his team leading point total.
A Forgetful Game in Philadelphia
The 5-1 loss in Philly was one to forget. The Flyers scored 53 seconds into the game and, from the body language shown by every Cane, the game was over at that point. The only bright spot was a nice power move by Eric Staal on a power play. The defense must have been on a tour of the Liberty Bell, as they sure weren’t on the ice.
Anton Khudobin was in net–the poor soul has yet to get a victory this season. He may have been a touch rusty, but the game was film material for describing the term “left out to dry” by the defense.
Young Guns Show Hope for the Future in Montreal
There were a few bright spots in the last game against Montreal. The Young Gun line of Jeff Skinner, Victor Rask and Elias Lindhlom had speed, skill, tenacity, and that shoot-first mentality. The defense played better, but better still isn’t good enough.
After the Canadiens got off to a fairly quick 2-0 lead, the Canes started playing hockey. The Canes had their most effective shots and scoring chances in the past six games, but they ran into a red hot goalie–Carey Price. Victor Rask was credited with the Canes lone goal, but replays showed that it belonged to Skinner.
Montreal broke the game open with two goals late in the third, sending the Canes reeling with their sixth consecutive loss–and their score of only one goal in each of those losses. No defense, no offense, no grit: Stink, Stank, Stunk. It can only get better from here.
Next game is at the PNC Arena this Thursday against Toronto.
Canes coverage by Bob Fennel. Photos from the Carolina Hurricanes. Read more Canes coverage.
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