Red and Black Hockey
by David Lee on 11/25/08 at 02:00 AM ET
On Monday, the Hurricanes dropped a 3-2 decision to the Panthers, missing an opportunity to claim first place in the Southeast division. Carolina showed no signs of life in the first period, and none to speak of at all on Sunday in a 5-2 loss to the Predators. But it wasn’t all bad on Monday.
Carolina played a penalty-free game, which is the first time they’ve ever done that on the road. In franchise history, the last time that was done was a 3-2 Whalers loss at the Islanders on January 26, 1980. Yeah. 28 years ago. The last time they did it at home was the heartbreaking 4-3 loss against Florida to end the 2007-08 season.
The Canes fell behind 2-0 in the first, looking miserable in the process. They were losing all the battles, not passing crisply, and they just looked lost or confused. They came out of the gates on fire in the second, scoring two goals in the first three minutes to tie it up. They were both grinding, hard-working goals. Also, they were controlling the play. Dominating the play. In the first six minutes of the period, Carolina had nine shots compared to none by the Panthers.
Late in the period, the Panthers went ahead for good on a tip-in by Gregory Campbell. There was no scoring in the third, and the game ended 3-2.
This loss, their second in a row, will probably give rebirth to speculation about Peter Laviolette’s job being on the line. Likewise, the rumors will swirl that everyone including Eric Staal is on the trade block. I typically disregard all that stuff. I won’t stop going to the games, and I won’t wear a brown paper bag over my head when I go. I won’t disown the team. I’m not going to call for anyone’s head at this point.
Carolina will return home and will have a home-and-home mini-series with the Flyers bookending the Thanksgiving Day holiday.
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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.