We have all heard of the dreaded Stanley Cup Hangover.Â Anyone have some strong coffee?Â Â I hate to jump on my team because I love my team, butÂ where are they?Â Where's the forechecking?Â Where's the backchecking?Â Where's any kind of checking?Â Â I don't even recognizeÂ this team.Â We had more hitsÂ during game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals than we have had the first 4 games of the year.Â As a die hard fan I don't expect to win every game but I do expect 100% effort, especially from a core of players thatÂ haveÂ each signed multi-year contracts for millions and millions of dollars.Â It's just sad when your best performing players are all newcomers who are near the bottom of the payroll list.Â
In yesterday's blog I was assuming the Canes went to Florida with a chip on their shoulders and some attitude.Â I couldn't have been more incorrect.Â There was no chip, there was no attitude, and there sure wasn't any "nasty".Â The only "nasty" I saw was our ineffective passing and our repeated inability toÂ clear the puck from our zone.Â Â Brett Hedican hit Kevyn Adams harder earlier in the week than he hit any Panther last night.Â Something isn't right here.
There were a couple of quotes in the paper this morning that bear mentioning.Â John Grahame said that he felt likeÂ he "let the team down".Â You've got it wrong John, it's the exact opposite.Â They let you down.Â While that certainly wasn't the best performance by a goalieÂ I ever saw, (and was downright ugly at times), the repeated turnovers in our own end cost us that game more so thanÂ just bad goaltending.Â Another interesting quote was from Rod Brind'amour.Â
"Tonight was one of those games where if you watch the whole game through, you're going to say it wasn't that bad. Our power play wasn't very good at times, and that's been the difference here in the first few games."Â
It wasn't that bad?Â Your coach doesn't agree with you Rod and neither does the final score.Â This positive retrospect, coming from a player who has yet toÂ register a single point this year.Â
Let'sÂ move on and put this one behind us Caniacs and try to look at the positives.Â It's still early.Â There are 78 more games left in the year to right the ship!Â We are looking better than we did against New Jersey! We're tied withÂ St. Louis so we are notÂ alone in last place!Â Laviolette hasn't yet changed the name of his bottle of wine from "Relentless" to "Harmless".Â There is still hope!Â
Our next stop is in Atlanta where the Thrashers have beenÂ unbeatable and their goalie has been red hot.Â Maybe this challenge is just what the Canes need.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â