What does it take to win hockey games? Grit, determination, good goaltending, things like that, right? But what does it take more than anything else to win games? GOALS! What do the Carolina Hurricanes struggle to do? Score goals! What do the Hurricanes have stockpiled in Charlotte? Goal scorers! Why is that so complicated to understand?
No excuses need to be made with the Hurricanes getting shut out by the New York Islanders 3-0 last night. It was a pathetic showing by grown men who get paid to play a game. Meanwhile, the Caniac faithful who have been promised better results by a suddenly quite new owner sit watching their team choke away games they absolutely needed. It was utterly embarrassing and unacceptable.
Don’t give me excuses
The first thing anyone will want to point to is that Thomas Greiss was a beast and deserves credit for a 45 save shut out. No he doesn’t. That was the easiest shut out Greiss will ever be gifted in his career. So many shots but only one or two actually good chances. Seriously Canes, how do you let a guy with a 4.03 GAA and a .855 save percentage shut you out?!? There’s a fairly simple answer to that and it is not Greiss being a beast. It’s called not giving a blank.
Here’s another good excuse - The effort was good? Certainly there are players and coaches who will say they tried hard, put 45 shots on goal and just couldn’t buy a goal. BS. You didn’t provide good enough effort? How is zero goals against Thomas Greiss good enough effort? How is giving away two key divisional matchups easily good enough effort? There was no net front presence and there was not passion to score. So do not give us that ‘We tried but came up just short crap’ that PR majors love. The time to prove that talk isn’t cheap was a few weeks ago, yet only Justin Williams will man up and say it. The fans deserve better than that mess you iced last night and it would be nice if someone would not only admit it, but do something about it.
Then there is the excuse that Cam Ward failed us on the first goal and no doubt he let in a soft one. But do not start trying to blame Ward for this disaster party. He did his job and kept the other team to scoring less than three goals, which is far more than Scott Darling can say Thursday night. The 18 skaters in front of Cam Ward were a group of utter failures last night. Period.
Lastly, there’s a common sense that the current line up is good enough to win hockey games. On some nights that is indeed correct, but on most it is not. This team has lacked scoring depth for years and most of that was because the prospect pool could never develop scorers that could be called upon when needed. That excuse sailed away a long time ago. When you have the goal scoring and point producing talent within your system that the Hurricanes do there should never be an excuse that the line up is good enough.
The fact that Ron Francis won’t call up scorers is inexcusable. Sending Josh Jooris and Marcus Kruger down was great but it meant nothing when you choose to insert Phil Di Guiseppe to be your savior. It’s way past time to call up Valentin Zykov or Warren Foegele. They have beyond earned their shot and Francis’ refusal to do so is costing the team games and will cost them a playoff spot.
Guess Who’s Back
Faulk is back, tell a friend. Run and hide, this is the end.
Everyone remember that magical night on Tuesday where we all got a glimpse of what Justin Faulk used to be? That memory sure fades fast when you see him cost the Canes yet another goal. Noah Hanifin tried to go d to d and, while it was a bad pass to Faulk, he completely whiffed on it like a pee wee learning how to play the game. Great job, Captain.
It was fairly easy from there for Anthony Beauvillier to skate down the ice and outwork Hanifin to put the Isles up 2-0 late in the third period.
The only good Faulk is serving the Hurricanes right now is a bomb from the point on the power play. Other than that he clearly provides more liability on defense and even a blind mouse could see he isn’t bringing Captain worthy leadership to the ice.
Win three. Lose three. Win three. Lose at least two. There is no consistency at all with this team. They are so fragile that the smallest blow does them in for the game.
Look no further than Jeff Skinner’s potential game tying goal last night. When it was overturned thanks to the ever-helpful NHL rules, the team deflated faster than me slashing a football with a Samurai sword. No sense of urgency or desire to go get it back. Just a whatever, who cares attitude. Great job guys.
You deserve every bit of sitting outside the playoffs now while teams that outworked you climb ahead. Complacency is set in stone at PNC Arena and despite claims from Tom Dundon that that will change is surely has not yet. You simple cannot pull this streaky mess and expect to get it to the playoffs. Yet here we are yet again. No, the season is not over yet, but games last night make you truly question who on this team actually gives two hoots.
Bill Peters said after the team that the Canes are still playing playoff hockey and they need to “stay with it”. What exactly are they staying with Bill? Losing? Not showing up for games? Failing to score on some of the league’s worst goalies? Come on Bill, even you know getting shut out and telling the team to stay with it is not okay.
Moral of the Story
Two big games and two big losses pretty much sums up the year so far. Creep closer than the team has been since 2011 then watch it slip away. Rinse and repeat. The Canes needed to win three out of the four games within the Metro during the stretch and they’ve already proved that impossible. Should they screw around and wash away the games against New Jersey and Pittsburgh then Francis needs to hit the sell button.
This team as they are constructed is not good enough no matter what kind of happy PR crud they are feeding us. They will not get in with the current players and the fact that the organization is turning a blind eye to that when there are guys in Charlotte that can help is beyond alarming. Last night was embarrassing, pathetic, and just plain awful. Yet we are told to “stay with it” and somehow expect different results. Something just isn’t right about that.