The Carolina Hurricanes must have lost their mojo somewhere between Raleigh and Toronto last night! In a very important game in Leafland, they were out-shot, out-hit, out-chanced, out-hustled, out-coached... well let's just cut to the chase, they were out-everything and lost the game 6-1. The game got started with an all too familiar sight. The Leafs scored on their very first shot on goal less than a minute into the game. Does this team hold the record for allowing first minute goals?Â It sure seems like it.Â The score was about the softest of goals you will see Cam Ward allow. It was obvious that Ward was not on his game as he had trouble playing the puck behind the net as well as in front of it almost the entire time he was in. For Toronto's next goal, Ward actually put the puck in the net himself while trying to sweep a rebound away from the crease. You don't see that very often! By the end of the 1st period the Canes were losing 3-1 and most observers felt that there would be a goalie change. Not so fast! Ward would remain in net starting the 2nd period and allow 2 more goals before Laviolette finally made a move to bring Johnny Grahame into the game. By then it was 5-1 and the game was as well as over. But I'm not blaming this loss solely on Cam Ward. I'm simply stating that he had a bad night and should have been pulled earlier. Unfortunately, the whole team stunk as well. I never saw so many odd man rushes that the Leafs were given. It was definitely a fun night for them! But it was obvious that Cam was not on his game from early on and it seemed logical to make a change before the game got out of hand. But that's just one blogger's opinion!
I'd like to point out some positives about the game but I really can't think of any, other than the fact that it was not played on home ice and Caniacs didn't have to witness the slaughter in person. I don't think anyone expected the Canes to win all their remaining games, but I doubt anyone expected the team to be blown out at this crucial stage of the season either. Oh well, it's best just to forget about it and move on if that's possible. The loss puts the Canes into the precarious 9th position in the East. That's not the place where you want to be when the season is over. The Habs won last night and exchanged places with the Canes in the standings. Carolina is also tied with Toronto and the Islanders with 84 points, so things don't get any easier. Tampa Bay and the Islanders also both lost last night, but that doesn't do the Hurricanes any good unless they can win their games. They get another chance to do that tonight in Philadelphia.
Glen Wesley left the game early with a "lower body concern" and is doubtful for tonight. That probably means that Dennis Seidenberg will see some action. Hopefully he brings his "A" game against his former team. According to Tripp Tracey, the Flyers have been playing very well, but they have lost 4 in a row and 6 of their last 7. They have the worst record in the league by far. There are just no excuses to come out flat again this game and allow Philadelphia to hang around. These 2 points are vital. Will we see the passive Canes from last night or the aggressive Canes from the previous few games? Hopefully the team can put this game behind them like they did game 6 of the Cup finals, which wasn't exactly their best effort either. Time will tell. Go Canes, beat those Flyboys!
J Geils Band