Dec 20, 2013; Raleigh, NC, USA; Washington Capitals forward Marcus Johansson (90) scores a goal past Carolina Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward (30) in the first period at PNC Arena. The Capitals won 4-2. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

The Carolina Hurricanes Can't Finish Games

The Carolina Hurricanes have blown third period leads in each of their last three games. The Carolina Hurricanes blew a 2-1 third period lead against the Tampa Bay Lightning, a late 3-2 lead against the Columbus Blue Jackets, and multiple leads in the third period against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Carolina Hurricanes have gone 0-1-2 over that stretch, but they should have won all three of those games. Had they done that, they would be in a playoff spot and competing with the Washington Capitals for second place in the Metropolitan Division. Instead, they are still trying to battle back from the bottom of the division.

The Carolina Hurricanes played pretty well in the first two periods against the Columbus Blue Jackets and Pittsburgh Penguins, two division rivals. They did not play well in the third period, so they ultimately lost both of those games.

It is also discouraging that they did this on home ice with two solid fan showings. They had the crowd behind them all night in both games, but they still could not find it in them to pull out wins in those games.

The source of the third period problems is stepping off the gas and getting away from the kind of hockey they need to play. They need to play for 60 minutes every night. It doesn’t matter how talented the team is, that is what you have to do. If the NHL was ranked based off pure talent, the Carolina Hurricanes could be a top five team in the Eastern Conference, but it is not.

I’d love to say that the easy solution is “trade him!” or “trade for him!”, but it is not. The personnel doesn’t need changing. The attitude of the personnel is what needs changing. They can not continue to kill themselves late in hockey games.

The Carolina Hurricanes need to learn how to give it their all for 60 minutes. Until, or if, they do, they will not be a team competing for anything meaningful.

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