Last night, fans were grumbling as they left the RBC.
Even if several of the players on the ice were different, parts of last night's game looked eerily similar to the worst of last season. Collapses on defense, sloppy passing, and in general, uninspired play was what stood out to many.
The good news is that it's just preseason and the game doesn't count. The bad news is that the highlight of the game was watching a cute, chubby kid dance on the jumbotron. (Hey, he was pretty good!)
To put things in proper perspective, the team has only been practicing together on the ice for the past four days. But unfortunately, they looked it.
On the positive side on the ledger, the powerplay looks like it could be lethal with Corvo and Pitkanen on the points. Matt Cullen seemed to be skating around no worse for the wear. Scott Walker was feisty and was looking for a "dance" partner. None could be found.
On the other side of the ledger, the opposition continues to find ways to get behind the Hurricanes defense. That has to tighten up, somehow. The passing was sloppy and there were too many turnovers.
Coach Laviolette probably has a list of things to work on.
Tim Gleason was hurt and limped off the ice. The nature of his "leg injury" is not suspected to be serious, but no specifics were given.
The four players who needed to make an impression the most, Brandon Sutter, Jeff O'Neill, Dan LaCouture, and Drayson Bowman were kind of quiet, although they each had minor contributions. Bowman showed good speed on a couple of occasions while chasing down loose pucks. Sutter played pretty solid defense, mostly against Michael Nylander.
But it seemed that Dwight Helminen and Matt Murley had a bit more jump.
The Hurricanes meet the Caps again tonight, this time in Washington. I'll have a pre-game hype post up sometime after lunch. Hopefully, I will be a bit more accurate with my projected lines than I was for this game.
In other news, Carolina released some junior players from training camp as well as a couple of free agents. Returning to juniors are Mike Murphy, Chris Terry, Michal Jordan, Samuel Morneau, and Justin McCrae. Free agent tryouts, Robert Slaney and Brett Theberge have also been cut.
Finally, the Hurricanes announced that they will have one practice session on Thursday morning from 10-11:30.