Cary, NC – Scott Darling may be big enough to play football but when you lose a hockey game giving up a touchdown and extra point, something is wrong.
Stick a fork in the Canes season and forget the math, their season is done and for the most part. The effort on the ice and, on the bench, was pitiful. Any team that is able to hold Connor McDavid to just one second assist and scores three goals has to think they’d be the team coming out on top so despite the fine effort by Jaccob Slavin, Brett Pesce and Jordan Staal containing McDavid, the Canes managed to have another horrible game.
Just watching McDavid was worth the price of admission as this kid is phenomenal, clearly skill-wise above any player on the ice. After the third Oiler goal, many were thinking Cam Ward would come in as Darling was clearly having an off night but Coach Bill Peters didn’t even think about or discuss a goalie change with the assistant coaches to turn the tsunami.
McGinn Takes Hit, Then Scores
Brock McGinn continues to play his hard nose, run-and-gun style of game and got 90 percent of a hard hit just inside the offensive zone blue line that knocked him to the ice. While taking a hit like that I might have stayed down for a couple of days, Ginner bounced up and went to the net. Just as he went through the crease, he did a nifty backhander pass through his legs over to Justin Williams.
The defense collapsed and the only luck the Canes had that night was when a defender’s stick shuffled the puck past Cam Talbot for an early and only Canes lead. The Oilers scored just 23 seconds later on a goal that Darling had bad positioning but also not having a Canes defender within six feet of the shooter didn’t exactly help Darling. The Oilers’ second goal will be sure to make a few highlight films as Matt Benning first took a shot that off the side of the net, went high off the glass behind the goal with Benning backing up and with a purpose batted the puck out of the air aimed between the three’s on Darling’s back to bounce the puck in the net.
Another Oiler goal a few minutes later and the air and hope of the Canes, Caniacs and evidently coaches, was gone. Sebastian Aho scored a powerplay goal late in the period teasing the Caniacs to stay at least one more period.
Aho To Teravainen, Again
The Oilers got an early goal in the second period on a horrible turnover by Justin Faulk. After a pass from Elias Lindholm, Seabass set up Teuvo Teravainen on a pretty goal that was a one timer catching Talbot off guard. The Oilers scored two more goals from impossible, well I guess possible now, angles that were frustrating to witness.
I sit in front of the visiting team’s radio announcers and this crew is the loudest and most animated. After the Oilers’ sixth goal, the announcer said, “six goals on 22 shots, wow, guess the word in the locker room is ‘just shoot'”. That’s tough to hear but for this game, good advice.
No idea how Peters will play out the remainder of the season for who is in goal. Ward is on the last year of his contract but is playing much better than Darling whose contract is for a few more years. Ward has stated he and his family love this area and I suspect he may sign for another year. The General Managers meeting was this week and I would think one or both of the Canes assistant GMs was there now that Ron Francis is upstairs. Owner Tom Dundon, if impatient as he says he is, is going to have to open the pocketbook for an immediate turnaround so this Summer should be one with many changes throughout the Canes organization.
Next game is Thursday, March 22, 2018 against the Arizona Coyotes at 7 PM. Be There!