Only one point earned on the four game road trip. Only one point earned out of a possible eight. The Canes are back home, finally after this marathon road trip where they seemingly played the part of sacrificial lamb to the teams of the Northwest Division. Hopefully the guys enjoyed the scenary because the hockey they played certainly wasn't their best and hopefully the teams of the Northwest are grateful for the boost in points and stats! The Canes were outscored 15-6 and probably should feel fortunate that they came away with the one point.
Last night they gave up their obligatory goal in the first minute or so of the game, (1:22 to be exact), but then the game was a good one for 2 periods. The forecheck was working. Cole and Staal were hustling hard and creating chances all over. Things were just a bit off though and numerous scoring chances just missed, or the timing was just off. The return of Cory Stillman made the powerplay look a bit better, but it still had zero results until he banked a centering attempt off of Justin William's leg during a 5 on 3 advantage early in the 2nd to tie the score 1-1.
After a nice forecheck by Eric Belanger, Justin Williams jumped in to take the free puck and skated in unimpeded for a goal to make the score 2-1 Canes. It looked like the boys might take control of the game early in the 3rd period, but the exact opposite happened. After a turnover at center ice, the puck found it's way to Andrew Brunette who skated in, had his first shot stopped by Grahame, but then was able to put back in his rebound to tie the score. After that the wheels fell off for the Hurricanes as the Avs scored 2 more goals in just 4 minutes to take a 4-2 lead, then added another one for good measure to turn the game into a laugher. Three of Colorado's four 3rd period goals were scored on the powerplay, something that has somehow alluded the Canes for several games except for the 5 on 3 earlier in this game.
How important is Captain Rod Brind'Amour to this team? Well, the Canes can't kill penalties without him, they can't win faceoffs without him, and they sure don't show the capability to win without him. Hopefully Rod can find a magic balm to put on his groin because we need him on the ice, desperately. For instance last night Carolina only won 39% of the faceoffs taken, the Avs went 3 for 5 on their powerplay, and the Canes record the past 2 years is 1-4-2 without Rod in the lineup. The game in Vancouver wasn't any better regarding those stats. In case you were wondering, Brindy also leads the team with powerplay points and assists as well. I wonder why Coach Lavi had been playing him more than any other skater on the team?
The good news is that they have a few days off with the next game at the RBC not until Friday night against the Leafs. They have the day off today, but there is a season ticketholder party and open practice Wednesday night. Plus, the Canes will be working on a house for Habitat for Humanity during the day Wednesday in the RBC parking lot. I can't picture these guys with hammers and saws in their hands, but I'll try to get more information on that.
I'm going to make some subtle changes to this site later this week, so look for that. Also, I'm going to add a song to my playlist for readers to enjoy every day from now on. So far the number one played song on the songlist is "Holiday", by Greenday. Today's new song is "Only One" by the Goo Goo Dolls. Rest up Canes!