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Patience should be the song and word of the day for Caniacs, but obviously it isn't in Coach Peter Laviolette's vocabulary. Disgusted by his team's lack of effort and results in the past 2 games, the angry coach called for a bag skate during a scheduled day off on Sunday. Using terms such as "we're kidding ourselves" and "selfish acts are costing us games", Laviolette reportedly put the Canes through the wringer yesterday at their impromptu practice during which tempers flared. Bret Hedican and Kevyn Adams exchanged pleasantries, then fists as it took several teammates to pull them apart. Afterwards neither player spoke to the press and Adams needed medical attention for a cut over the eye. Maybe it was Bret's way of saying "Happy Birthday to you, Kevyn!".  I'm sure Adams had other ideas on how to spend his birthday rather than enduring a workout as tough as they had all preseason. Captain Rod Brind'amour downplayed the incident but did say he had work to do in the dressingroom and fences needed mending.  The Canes can either use what happened as a means to gather steam for their next opponent, or they can allow the incident to tear them apart. Personally, I see this as a positive.  I'd be much more concerned if they went through the punishment without anyone caring.Â

In a short recap of what went wrong over the weekend, I think 2 periods of extremely poor play basically killed the team. In period 1 against the Devils we saw New Jersey score in the first 30 seconds. By time the period was over the score was 3-0 and the game was as much as over.  The Devils looked very good and the Canes looked lethargic. The rest of the game wasn't much different, but the damage was done in the first.Â

The first two periods Saturday in Washington were pretty even. The Canes had spurts where they put on lots of pressure and looked good doing it. The powerplay was still lacking though and at some points didn't even generate a single shot on goal. But the overall play was decent.  The third period was nothing but a disaster though as the Canes went from a 2-2 tied game to losing 5-2 after taking stupid penalties and playing lackluster defense. Alexander Ovechkin and Alexander Semin took shot after shot after shot. Eventually they were bound to go in. They had too much time and space to take their shots in the third and I'm not just blaming the defensemen. The forwards need to stay in the picture as well. Especially with Ovechkin you know the dude is going to shoot, you just can't allow him the open space they continually did.

Calling Eric Staal, Erik Cole, Eric Staal......is anyone home? Staal had 2 shots on goal Saturday compared to Ovechkin's 15. Yes, 15 shots on goal! While I'm not calling on Staal to look only for his shot and forget about the pass, Ovechkin looked like he wanted to win, Staal didn't.  We need more than 2 shots on goal from Eric Staal if we expect to win games. Cole officially had zero shots on goal. Hello?? Hopefully Lavi got their attention yesterday.Â

The good news is that we are only 2 points out of our division lead even after our poor start. As fans we need to have reasonable goals, expect baby steps, and shoot for being at the top of our division. If we can do that, the rest will take care of itself. Â

Guns N Roses              Â