Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 05/01/13 at 09:59 AM ET
from Chip Alexander of the News & Observer,
In looking at this season’s late collapse, (Peter) Karmanos said the Canes weren’t able to overcome injuries to goaltender Cam Ward and later defensemen Justin Faulk and Joni Pitkanen. Ward suffered a season-ending knee injury March 3 at Florida.
“We had a pretty good record and Cam goes out,” he said. “It was like we were suspended in air for a short time after that injury, for three or four games, and did all right. Then we dropped.
“We lost Faulk. We lost Pitkanen. If a team loses arguably one of the best goalies in the league and then two of its best defensemen, I don’t know of any team that could sustain that and win.”
Despite the string of losses, Karmanos said he found no fault in the efforts of Canes coach Kirk Muller and his staff or the players.
“We still played really, really tough hockey,” he said. “Even when the other teams got breaks, we played hard and were competitive. Our defense was weakened with those three players out.
“Some pretty good teams didn’t make the playoffs. The line between winning and losing in our league is a thin line, the league is so well-balanced.”
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