The Carolina Hurricanes continue to have trouble putting the puck in the net as they dropped another decision, this time to the Toronto Maple Leafs, 3-1 in front of 15,220 on Wednesday night at the RBC. The Hurricanes have only been able to score nine goals in their last six games and have a 1-4-1 record in the process.
Once again they had plenty of shots and chances, but could not finish.
The team did finally score on the powerplay as Paul Maurice switched up the lines. The combination of Drayson Bowman, Chad LaRose, Brandon Sutter, Tim Gleason, and Derek Joslin broke through when LaRose tipped in a Joslin shot from the point at 12:24 into the first period.
The goal broke an 0-28 streak with the man advantage, but the team couldn't score another one and went 1-4 on the night. That also gives them just 4 goals in their last 71 powerplays.
The Canes dominated much of the first period and outshot the Leafs 12-6, but ended up surrendering a powerplay goal to the visitors with just 59 seconds left on the clock. Dion Phaneuf squeezed one by Cam Ward from the point as the puck hit the goalie, but barely got in.
The second period was not a good one as the Canes blinked their eyes and the Leafs scored twice in a matter of seconds.
First, Phaneuf would score again from the point on another powerplay, this time hitting the post with his blast. Then boom boom, Tyler Bozak knocked one in from in front of the net, just 12 seconds later.
The Hurricanes spent the rest of the night creating chance after chance, but either could not reach loose pucks in the crease, couldn't lift the puck over James Reimer's leg pads, or just couldn't get enough stick on the puck to get it in the net. They practically lived in the Toronto zone most of the third period and while they outshot the visitors 15-4, they could not light the lamp.
Carolina will not practice on the ice Thursday but will have a team meeting in preparation for their Friday match against the New York Islanders. Perhaps some members of the team will share a few words.
After the game when asked about speaking up to the group as one of the team captains, Tim Gleason mentioned that he talked to the team over a month ago. "I don't know if the message got through, or if it's in one ear and out the other," said the defenseman. "But we're just hoping, and we can't just hope to make the playoffs, we have to earn a spot."
Quick Stats and Thoughts:
- The Canes outshot the Leafs 37-19, missed the net 15 times, and had 32 shots blocked for a total of 84 attempts. It sounds very much like the Washington game.
Eric Staal led the team with nine shots. He had a nice shorthanded opportunity but was not able to lift the puck when he needed to. He was not alone.
- Staal also had 25:38 of ice time, well over his 22 minute average, (which is second highest in the league for forwards). Over twenty five minutes is a lot of ice time for a forward, especially in the second game of a back-to-back. If it looked like he was out of gas in the third, he very well might have been. When asked about the captain's ice time in the post game press conference, Paul Maurice responded, "He's not going to sit on the end of the bench."
- Drayson Bowman had a very nice move but was unable to finish. He looked good in this game and his play demanded more ice time, which the coach granted. The winger finished with 11:30.
- The Canes had 25 hits led by Ruutu with four.
- Derek Joslin had over 20 minutes of ice time and played another solid game. The newcomer looks like a great pickup.
- The team is now 6-10-1 in the second game of back-to-backs. Four more to go.
post game interviews: