The Hurricanes kept on truckin' (actually bussin') their way last night from Madison Square Garden to their hotel nearby the "pristine" confines of Nassau Coliseum for tonight's game with the Islandgirls. The game last night against the Rags could certainly have been better. The team looked out of synch and a bit disjointed all night. They also lost most of the one on one battles that you need to win if you want to win a hockey game. Coach Laviolette called it a "lazy" game but seemed to indicate that he didn't think it was a trend since the team had been playing so well lately. In other words, it's okay to stink up the joint every once in awhile. I won't disagree with that as long as we come back strong tonight. It's a little bothersome though that we have been shut out 3 times already this year. Last year we were shut out 3 times for the whole year and two of those were after February. There will be no "Bubba's Star" of the game for last night's 4-0 drubbing.
Far be it for me, a lowly blogger who doesn't even deserve a press pass to want to ask a Stanley Cup winning coach an ignorant question, but I'll do it anyway. Why are we healthy scratching Andrew Ladd? Especially so that we can play Andrew Hutchinson a whopping 4 minutes! Is Hutch that valuable? All of our 4 lines had been clicking the past few games. Last night with Ladd out, the forwards were taking turns double shifting and filling in certain lines, usually playing with Belanger and Letowski, (neither of whom have been lighting the lamp much themselves). If you need to bench Ladd, why not Eric or Trevor? I don't see how their play has been any better than Ladd's. Belanger hasn't scored a goal in ages now and seems snake bitten. He missed another open net last night when he shoved a rebound off a Whitney shot right back to Lundqvist instead of in the net. At one time last night Lavi was playing 5 forwards at the end of a powerplay when it seemed fairly obvious we would need some defensive help at that time. The Rangers almost scored when our guys were scrambling to make a line change as "speedsters" Shanahan and Jagr were breaking away from the blue line all alone. I think that chance was too easy for Jagr, he shot the puck over the net but chose to score a little while later by getting the puck past both Commie and Ward on a superstarish type of release that neither of our players detected until the puck was in the net.
If we are going to blame this loss on a "lazy" game, I think the coach should take some of the blame as well for not making the best of coaching decisions for this one. That is just this blogger's opinion. One positive note, at least the game wasn't at home. Hopefully we can turn things around tonight, find our legs, and give the fishsticks a better game. I expect to see Johnny Grahame between the pipes tonight and I hope to see Andrew Ladd on the ice too, but one never knows.
In other notes, since Nic Wallin returned from his injury he is -4 in two games. Did he come back too soon? Rod Brind'Amour's 8 game scoring streak came to an end last night. Rod took a nasty spill in the 1st period and crashed hard into the post, knocking it off and crashing into Lundqvist as well. Could that be why he only played 20 minutes last night? Did the crash bang him up at all? All these questions and more answered tonight at the Coliseum at 7:30PM! Don't miss it on Fox Sports South!
Yesterday, I noted how trade rumors had died down since we had been winning more and there would probably be no trades for awhile. Shortly after that posting, the Canes announced a trade! Yes, even bloggers screw up sometimes! Brad Isbister was traded to the Rangers for Jakub Petruzalek and a conditional draft pick. Isbister was wasting away in Albany having only played inÂ 9 of 17 games due to some veteran player restrictions that the AHL puts on their teams. The Canes receive the draft pick only if Izzy plays more than 40 games at the NHL level. Petruzalek has bounced back and forth from Hartford and Charlotte this year and doesn't seem to be an impact player but at only 21 years of age he still has time to improve.
Time for me to get truckin' myself! Go Canes Go!
The Grateful Dead