Red and Black Hockey
by David Lee on 02/11/11 at 12:41 AM ET
On Thursday, the Hurricanes lost 2-1 in Philadelphia. Both Flyers goals were third period power play markers and Carolina’s lone goal was off the stick of Tuomo Ruutu.
Carolina hadn’t given up a power play goal since January 24—six games ago.
Cam Ward didn’t have the best of nights. While Danny Briere’s game-winning goal was a very good one, Jeff Carter’s was a bit soft. Ward actually made the stop, but couldn’t control the puck. It fluttered in off his glove for the first goal of the game 18 seconds into the third frame. Ward only made 23 stops and gave up one bad one.
On the other end, Brian Boucher was really good in making 31 saves, including 15 in the third period.
Carolina had plenty of chances on their own power play. Five to be exact. During the second period, they had three power plays, even if two of them were abbreviated. Unfortunately, they couldn’t cash in. On one power play, they didn’t even manage to register a shot on goal. This is, of course, credit to the defense of the Flyers. Still, though, it’s frustrating to watch a power play evaporate with no shots.
The Sabres have just beaten the Panthers in overtime, which moves them within two points of the Hurricanes. And they have two games in hand. This is not good news for the Canes, as they will have three more tough road games before coming home. Their next game is Sunday afternoon at home against the Islanders. By then, Carolina will have played another game, which will bring the Sabres games in hand to three. Of course, they will at some point have to give those games back. Next week, they will begin a stretch of seven games in twelve nights.
I was expecting Carolina to lose this game in regulation, but they stayed in it long enough to give some sense of hope. It shouldn’t be considered “points left on the table” because they were supposed to lose. However, the points (or at least a point was within reach. I’m still thinking that they can get at least one point against the Lightning on Saturday, then consecutive wins at Atlanta on Sunday and New Jersey on Wednesday. That would make six points out of ten, and everybody would be happy with that.
I also think that the Rangers will continue to fall in the standings. Carolina shouldn’t think about things like this, though. They should just focus on their own task, which is to win hockey games and improve their playoff status.
I’ll be in Charlotte for a couple of Checkers games this weekend, so I won’t see either of the Hurricanes games, but I’ll absolutely have my eye on the score.
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About Red and Black Hockey
David Lee is a restaurant manager with an unused degree in political science. He can be found at Carolina Hurricanes games, Scrabble tournaments and indie-rock shows. Sometimes, all in the same day.