This has been a bit of a dismal Monday for some fans of the Carolina Hurricanes. They are coming off an emotional overtime home loss yesterday and their team has been outplayed for much of the series against the New Jersey Devils. The Canes have yet to take the lead at any point in regulation. They have been outshot in every single game, are 27 shots behind in total for the series, (108-81), and have only been able to garner more shots on goal than their opponent in one period out of nine in regulation.
Is too much being made out of the "shots on goal" statistic? Considering that they are facing the winningest goalie in NHL history, one might think that they need to shoot as much as humanly possible in order to beat him. Experts would say that is difficult against a stingy defense like the Devils, but how is a defensive orientated team outplaying the Canes on offense? Perhaps the best defense is a good offense?
A recent Stanley Cup winning coach once said, "they can't score if they don't have the puck". That is why he preached puck possession, and that is one of the strategies the Devils are using right now against the Canes. They are dominating with their time controlling the puck and that is one reason why the Canes can't put more shots on goal.
The good news? The series is still young and the Hurricanes still have a chance to overcome their deficiencies and turn the series around. The Devils are not perfect. They can and will make mistakes. It's up to Carolina to take advantage of them, just like Jersey has done. Plus, the Hurricanes have been hanging right in there the past two games, and they have not played their best hockey.
Momentum is a crazy thing, it can change on a dime.
Caniacs can join together with the fans of the seven other NHL teams behind the eight ball right now and keep repeating the old saying, "It ain't over 'til it's over."
What brilliant philosopher came up with that saying?
Not Socrates or Plato.
None other than Yogi Berra enunciated that truism.
Although Berra was a baseball legend, it would have been fun to have him in hockey spouting off his unforgettable "quotable quotes". Is there anyone in hockey who reminds you of him?
Need a chuckle this afternoon? Here are a few more of his best:
- "This is like deja vu all over again."
- "You can observe a lot just by watching."
- "Think! How the hell are you gonna think and hit at the same time?"
- "You've got to be very careful if you don't know where you're going, because you might not get there."
- "I knew I was going to take the wrong train, so I left early."
- "If you don't know where you are going, you will wind up somewhere else."
- "If you can't imitate him, don't copy him."
- "You better cut the pizza in four pieces because I'm not hungry enough to eat six."
- "Baseball is 90% mental -- the other half is physical."
- "It was impossible to get a conversation going; everybody was talking too much."
- "Slump? I ain't in no slump. I just ain't hitting."
- "A nickel isn't worth a dime today."
- "Nobody goes there anymore; it's too crowded."
- "It gets late early out there." -- Referring to the bad sun conditions in left field at the stadium.
- Once, Yogi's wife Carmen asked, "Yogi, you are from St. Louis, we live in New Jersey, and you played ball in New York. If you go before I do, where would you like me to have you buried?" Yogi replied, "Surprise me."
- "Do you mean now?" -- When asked for the time.
- "I take a two hour nap, from one o'clock to four."
- "If you come to a fork in the road, take it."
- "You give 100 percent in the first half of the game, and if that isn't enough in the second half you give what's left."
- "90% of the putts that are short don't go in."
- "I made a wrong mistake."
- "Thanks, you don't look so hot yourself." -- After being told he looked cool.
- "I always thought that record would stand until it was broken."
- "If the fans don't come out to the ball park, you can't stop them."
- "Why buy good luggage? You only use it when you travel."
- "It's never happened in the World Series competition, and it still hasn't."
- "How long have you known me, Jack? And you still don't know how to spell my name." -- Upon receiving a check from Jack Buck made out to "bearer."
- "I'd say he's done more than that." -- When asked if first baseman Don Mattingly had exceeded expectations for the current season.
- "The other teams could make trouble for us if they win."
- "He can run anytime he wants. I'm giving him the red light." -- On the acquisition of fleet Ricky Henderson.
- "I never blame myself when I'm not hitting. I just blame the bat, and if it keeps up, I change bats. After all, if I know it isn't my fault that I'm not hitting, how can I get mad at myself?"
- "It ain't the heat; it's the humility."
- "The towels were so thick there I could hardly close my suitcase."
- "You should always go to other people's funerals; otherwise, they won't come to yours."
- "I didn't really say everything I said."