The Hurricanes lost to the Washington Capitals last night, 5-2. The Capitals jumped out to a 3-0 lead before Erik Cole muscled his way around and through 2 Caps, then slipped one past Olaf Kolzig with just a few clicks left in the 2nd period. I believe that was the highlight of the game for the Hurricanes. The lowlight was the abysmal penalty kill. Washington scored their first 3 goals during their first three powerplays and they made it look easy. Too easy. It seemed to be another one of those games where the Canes had sporadic effort, although as I have mentioned before it's difficult to judge sometimes how the team is skating by watching them on television. They had double digit shots on goal for each period, so it seems some effort was there, but the intensity certainly picked up and seemed much different in the 3rd period than it was earlier in the game. Ray Whitney scored the Canes other goal on a nice tip on a Glen Wesley shot. The game was 3-2 for quite some time until late in the game, when Alexander Ovechkin skated around untouched in the Canes zone and rifled his 2nd goal of the game past John Grahame. That iced the game. The Caps added an empty netter and that completed the scoring.
Fortunately, the loss doesn't hurt the Canes too much because each of the other contending teams playing in the Southeast Division lost as well. Most Caniacs will be happy to see this mediocre month of November in the rear view mirror though. The loss gives Carolina a .500 division record. They also now sport a losing record (1-2) to the team with the worst record in the NHL. Obviously, the team is still searching for consistency in their game. In my opinion, they'll have to crank up the intensity and play with urgency for more than for just a half of a game at a time, to find the consistency they seek.
This week should be an interesting one as the Hurricanes have off until Wednesday night when the Flyers come back to town. The 6-3 loss from this past week should still be fresh on everyone's mind. Then the Caps come to Raleigh, so the boys will have yet another shot at redemption. I would be very surprised if we didn't see much better effort in both of those games than we witnessed in the recent losses, but we will see.
Before I sign off for the night, I just wanted to briefly say a few words about Steve Williamson, the Lightning fan who recently completed his 30 games in 30 nights feat. Apparently Stevarino was a bit miffed that his team blew a 2 goal lead and lost to the Canes the night he visited the RBC. He used that disappointment as an excuse to basically trash the fanbase in his subsequent blog posting, even though he was warmly accepted and treated well by the fans here. He deleted his most volatile remarks, such as "the fans were slow to realize when the refs arm was up or down, slower than the fans from Nashville or Atlanta", but the damage is already done. He made countless redneck innuendos and even resorted to calling Rod Brind'Amour "the ugliest pro athlete since Jim Plunkett".Â He also stated that Caniacs didn't give their team a standing ovation for the great comeback, but when called out on that falsehood, tried to backtrack by saying that the ovation they gave wasn't good enough. Whatever. I'm not sure where you were sitting Steve, but maybe you should get your butt out of the luxury suites and sit with more boisterous fans. It was plenty loud where I was sitting and standing. (yes, many fans were standing at various times) The Caniac Nation is used to being trashed by the Northern media, but I think most of us expected a bit more from a fellow Southeast Division fan. Tampa Bay lost again last night to New Jersey on Steve's 30th and final night. Thank you Hockey Gods!