I'm not going to over-analyze the game last night. Quite simply, the Lightning beat the Hurricanes 6-1. Vincent Lecavalier went hog wild, scoring 3 goals and earning 5 points. It was a total team meltdown by Carolina. There is no need to single out any particular player because after the 1st period, almost everything was ugly.
Here are a few questions about last night's fiasco.
- Why don't the Canes have someone draped all over Lecavalier? In essence, the Lightning are a one line team. If you can stop that one line, you beat them. You do have a problem though when your whole team can't stop that one line. By the looks of the Canes plus/minus stats, the whole team did have their problems. Seriously though, I think the Canes need to focus more on Lecavalier and not allow him to basically do whatever he wants to do, like he did last night. I would make sure that Brindy was on the ice whenever he was and have Rod shadow him, with Commodore on the ice as well as backup.
- Again just like the first game, the Lightning defense outplayed the Canes defense, both offensively and defensively. The defense really needs to step it up, in more ways than one.
- Why not play smart hockey? You don't need your best player at the time, sitting in the penalty box for 7 minutes, do you?
- Why drop the gloves with 2 minutes to go in a game like this? What's the point? At that stage in the game, everyone just wants to get off the ice and go home. If some injustice was done, put it in the memory bank and get even next game. These two teams will be playing each other again next week, it's not like you have to wait long!
While this was another disappointing loss, the big picture doesn't look that bad for the Canes. All in all, it was a successful 3 game road trip, (4 points earned), the team is still in 1st place in the division, and 2nd place in the conference. They still lead the league in scoring. Considering that they were missing 3 of their top 9 forwards and a starting defenseman to injury, it's not surprising to see a drop off in production. As a matter of fact, for the amount of time that both Walker and Ladd have been out, the results have been surprisingly good. But now it's important to put this game behind them and to focus on the next game against Atlanta on Friday night. The trend so far this year has been to win convincingly immediately after a loss. They have yet to lose 2 games in a row, (in regulation) all year! Hopefully, they can continue that course of action. It won't be easy though against a surging Atlanta team, but more about that in another post on another day!