Well my friends, are you religious or superstitious? If you are, it's time to call upon that extra strength for the Hurricanes because the team's playoff hopes are on virtual life support. Get on your knees, throw salt over your shoulder, bathe yourself in garlic, do "whatever it takes", that's the motto! It's too bad the players forgot about that "whatever it takes" slogan from last year. I've noticed that the phrase hasn't been bantered around lately in commentary by anyone in the Canes organization.
If someone had watched the game last night without knowing anything about the standings, the person would have undoubtedly thought that the Canes were the last place team and the Flyers were the team desperate for a win to qualify for the playoffs. It kind of looked that way to me, and I knew where each team stood! While shots on goal were about even, don't let that statistic fool you. I love to look at the game's superstat sheet because that really tells more of the complete story. Looking at last night's sheet, I see that the Flyers outhit the Canes 20-14 and had 22 blocked shots to the Canes 12. Those are very telling stats. Blocking shots and hitting people, hurts! Most players don't enjoy that. But that is the dirty work that needs to be done in order to earn wins. The more players on a team that are willing to do that dirty work, the better chance there is for victory. The sad facts are that for the past 2 games, the Hurricanes did not deserve to win because quite simply they didn't work harder than the other team. It's a pretty simply game really which normally rewards the more deserving team. The more deserving team certainly won last night, 5-1. One more performance like that on Friday night, and all the playoff drama will probably be over for Caniacs.
So, why are the Hurricanes getting out-worked during games which are so important and when they are supposedly "desperate" for a win? That's the million dollar question. What motivates them to throw their bodies in front of a puck moving at 100 miles an hour? What motivates them to sacrifice their bodies by throwing them at an opponent? Maybe they are just too tired, mentally and physically? Maybe most of them are looking forward to a longer off-season?
Lord Stanley's Blog gives the address of a website designed to give the odds of any team making their respective playoffs. It's called "Sports Club Stats" and according to them, the Canes still have a 24% chance as of right now to make the playoffs. If they can beat Tampa Bay tomorrow night, that moves them up to 39.5%. Those aren't good percentages if you are a betting man, but there's still a chance. Have a good Thursday!