The Carolina Hurricanes played the Atlanta Thrashers in a rare game yesterday which was blacked out to the entire hockey television world. NBC asked for the exclusive rights to the game with the intention of broadcasting it for their game of the week, but later changed their minds. Since they still had the rights to the game, neither the Thrasher's or Hurricane's networks could pick it up which made Carolina and Atlanta fans very angry for the same reasons. As it turned out, maybe it was a game many Carolina fans would have preferred to miss anyway. The Thrashers got more goals from Marian Hossa himself than the Hurricanes could muster all together as a team. In between Hossa's goals, Ilya Kovalchuk added a goal on a power play and the Thrashers beat the Canes, 3-1. Since I couldn't watch the game and could only listen to segments of it, I won't bother to comment on it specifically other than to say the obvious. The team needs to do better. Ray Whitney didn't play (ankle), and of course Erik Cole is still out (muscle pull), and it's tough for any team to perform well missing 2 out of their top 6 forwards. But, after the rousing 41 hit performance on Friday night, it would seem that the rest of the Canes who did show up on Sunday could have managed more than 7 hits for yesterday's entire game. I can't imagine that the forecheck would be very effective with that many hits. According to the super stats, that is what they had, 7 total hits for the game. Even though it was reported that the effort was there and the number of shots on goal (35), was adequate, they still need to try a little harder. They need to find a way to win.
With the next game not coming until Friday night in Washington, the team is taking a couple of days off and won't practice until Wednesday. It sure would be nice if everyone got healthy enough to play sometime soon. If Erik Cole waits much longer to come back, he might as well not even bother. If the team fails to make the playoffs, the season will be over soon and then he'll have all summer to rest his hip pointer or muscle tear or whatever the affliction is. Here's to hoping the few days off will help everyone get healthy!
The Rolling Stones