Yes, it's been a long losing streak. Yes, the team has looked pretty awful at times. But of the nine losses this year, all but two (Minnesota and the Islanders) have come against teams with at least a .500 record. Cold comfort, I know, but maybe a little broader perspective than OMG WE R AWFUL FIRE TEH COACH TRADE THEM ALL.
My bigger concern is the psyche of the Canes. They can't stand any adversity and there seems to be a disconnect between coach Mo's philosophy and what is happening on the ice. This is a veteran team -- oldest in the league -- and has 9 players that were on the roster for the Cup win in '06. They know the level of effort necessary to win, but they aren't doing the hard, dirty things that make the difference in the NHL. Maurice has even started calling them out about their work ethic, and the quotes from the players from the same article sound like some of the players are beaten before the puck even drops. They have no rhythm, no joy, no pride in wearing the sweater. If the season is going to be salvaged, that has to change now. As Canes fanatics, we would all feel better about the losses if we could see more effort and more teamwork and more of that fire that got them through two game 7 playoff wins on the road last year.
That being said, if we get to the end of November and are still at a .6-points-per-game pace, then smack that panic button with a mighty smite. The November schedule has 8 very winnable games. Assuming we go 0-2 this weekend, and we go 2-5 against the good teams in November, 12-14-3 going into December with 27 points should be the least of our expectations, with a record of 10-5 in November. That would be something to build on, and that might restore some confidence to the weirdly fragile psyche of this team.
I, personally, really REALLY don't want to be muttering in the spring about how bad October was and how it cost us the playoffs. REALLY RLY.