Injuries, fluke goals, tough schedules…these are all things that count under adversity and things that the Carolina Hurricanes are struggling to overcome this season and especially in the last five games.
When Cam Ward was injured against the Minnesota Wild, the team seemed in disbelief during the game. Understandable, given the players had just seen their starting goalie injured for the second season in a row and Anton Khudobin injured the previous week.
But the team has yet to win since that happened nearly 10 days and four games ago. The offense can’t score – just like when Ward was injured last year – and the team has been giving up soft goals, and it’s not always Justin Peters‘ fault. The defense has made some bad mistakes in the last few games also.
Obviously it’s easier to win when there’s a Stanley Cup winning goalie in net, rather than an AHL one, but the Canes cannot think about that and just get back to their winning ways.
In the nine games before Ward’s injury, the Hurricanes scored three goals or more four times. Not great numbers, but it shows the team could still rely on some scoring.
In the five games without Ward (counting the Wild game), the Hurricanes have scored two goals just once.
Some of the scoring problems could be because of leading scorer Jeff Skinner‘s injury, but the goals can’t come down to one person, the whole team has to be able to contribute, especially when four forwards in the lineup are making over $4 million a season.
But injuries haven’t been the Canes only adversity. In last night’s game against the New York Rangers, the offense was getting a lot of chances but couldn’t score on Henrik Lundqvist.
The Rangers ended up scoring first and it set the Hurricanes back a little. The team needs to fight through a hot goaltender and a deficit to win games.
In today’s NHL, most of the goalies will have strong games like Lundqvist last night, but the offense just needs to continue working hard and not let anything bother them including a goal against.
With the recent losing streak, a lot of people are calling for the firing of Kirk Muller. I wouldn’t say it’s time yet, but he needs to do something to get his players going and get over the adversity they are currently facing.