Red and Black Hockey
Entries with the tag: losing streak
On Friday night, the Hurricanes dropped their 14th consecutive game, even if they managed to force overtime. Since October 9, they have gone 0-10-4. However, the news isn’t all bad.
On Wednesday, the Canes overcame a two goal deficit only to lose 5-2. On Friday, they overcame a horrible first period in which they fell behind 3-0. Tim Gleason took a really dumb double minor early in the game which ended up spotting the Islanders two goals, but it was his goal late in the third that forced overtime. The Canes were 14 seconds away from going to shootout when defenseman Bryan Rodney, recently called up from Albany, committed a bad turnover deep in the Canes zone. This led directly to the winning goal and although the Canes looked like they would end the horrible streak, they added one more tick mark to the locker room wall.
The good news is that some of the forwards are starting to play well. With five (3/2) points in his last seven games, Brandon Sutter has looked like a Sutter, and Tuomo Ruutu is starting to assert himself. And for only the second time in this dry spell, the Canes scored more than two goals. That’s a start.
On Saturday night, the Hurricanes lost more than just the game. For the third time in the last four games, they scored the “all-important” first goal. For the second time in as many nights, they led after one and looked great after two. For the twelfth time in a row, though, they ended up with a loss. Not only are the losses piling up, but so are the injuries. And tonight, the Canes suffered an injury loss that they can’t afford: Cam Ward.
Early in the first period, Ward was cut by the skate of Blue Jackets captain Rick Nash, who was skating through the goal crease. Although it was well inside the crease, the contact was incidental, and nobody will blame Nash for causing the injury. Ward had to be rushed to the hospital, where he was stitched up and where he will be held overnight.
In March of 2007, Ward suffered a similar injury in a game against the Rangers. The fear was that he was going to miss the remainder of the season and that he wouldn’t be able to play for Canada in the IIHF World Championships. He only missed three games and played very well in the IIHF tournament. Hopefully this fall, he’ll be able to make a similar speedy return to the lineup.
The Hurricanes, at 2-8-3, are off to the worst start in franchise history. They have now gone nine (0-6-3) games without a win, and in some of these games, they haven’t been very competitive. They’ve been plagued by lapses in focus, lack of presence in front of (either) net, defensive breakdowns, lack of discipline, and mostly, an inability to score. Some nights, the Canes have run into crazily hot goaltenders. Some nights they’ve squandered too many scoring chances. Some nights, they have bad luck. The bottom line is that the puck isn’t going in the other team’s net. All of this has led to a frustrated team and an angry fanbase.
A friend asked me today if I think the Canes have hit rock bottom. I immediately answered that things could be a lot worse, and that they haven’t bottomed out (yet).