In what hopefully will be a wake up call for the team, the Carolina Hurricanes were thumped on Saturday night by the Boston Bruins, 7-2. You had to know that last year's Eastern Conference regular season champions would be fired up and ready to play. They were humiliated on Thursday night by Washington and would certainly want some pay back for being eliminated by the Canes last postseason.
Sure enough, the home team came out on fire but the visitors were only watching. The outcome was inevitable. The Bruins jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the opening period and out-shot the Hurricanes 21-7. They out-shot the Canes 15-6 in the next period and scored another three goals.
Paul Maurice wisely took Cam Ward out of the game when it was 4-0, but things were not any easier for Michael Leighton.
The game turned into a penalty filled fiasco in the second period. First Jay Harrison and Milan Lucic exchanged blows as Lucic bloodied Harrison and took him to the ice. Lucic mercifully stopped punching the Hurricane as he could have gotten a couple more shots in while Harrison was on his knees.
Shortly afterward, all hell broke loose as Andrew Alberts and Marc Savard got tangled up and their teammates came in to help. In all, six roughing penalties were called and two misconducts, as Tom Kostopoulos and Zdeno Chara were each tossed for 10 minutes.
Mid-way through the third, Andrew Alberts took on Shawn Thornton in another exercise of futility as Thornton bullied the Carolina defenseman.
The Canes suffered several injures of varying degrees during the contest as one after another needed medical treatment.
Eric Staal was hit in the side of the head by a tipped Carolina slapshot. He ended up returning to the game after receiving 25 stitches in the ear area. With the score of the game 6-1, many might ask why bother? But the team MVP scored a goal after his return.
Harrison was cut during his bout with Lucic, but came back as well.
The most notable injury came late in the game when Dennis Wideman lined up Erik Cole with just a couple of minutes left. Cole was entering the Bruin zone with a full head of steam and it looked like Wideman attempted a hip check. Cole tried to allude him, but ended up having his knee taken out on the play. He was helped to the dressing room. There is no official word on his status yet.
The good stuff? With the score 5-0, Scott Walker tipped in an Aaron Ward shot for Carolina's first goal of the year. Staal's score was a powerplay tally, so the Canes finally got off the snide while with the man advantage.
Can the Hurricanes get on track against Tampa Bay on Tuesday night and pick up their first win? The good news is that the season is still very young. The bad news is that division powerhouse Washington looks like a well-oiled machine and the Canes still look in pre-season form.