Back from the Bye Week, Carolina Hurricanes looked to start strong against the Colorado Avalanche
Back to work, as they say, the Carolina Hurricanes finally got back last night after having a long hiatus. Not only did they get a five-day break but with the lite schedule the prior week it felt like the season was over and we were watching nothing but other teams playing each night. Coming into town was the Colorado Avalanche with the worst record in hockey and playing on the backend of a back to back, And their loss to Buffalo last night put their losing streak at five. Normally an opportunity for most teams to get back into the swing of things with a lightweight opponent.
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That’s where you couldn’t be more wrong!
Earlier this week my amigo Matthew Barlowe penned this article. After reading the article, it brought to mind a trend around the NHL so far this season with the bye week. I can say with being at the game last night and seeing the Canes 1st period inconsistencies with passing, forming plays and just getting back on defense, his article was dead on.
During the first period, I lost count of how many times the Canes were on their heels. The goal given up to Barrie was a nice play by the Avs but just sloppy defense by the Canes. The Avs outshot the Carolina Hurricanes during the first. Getting outplayed by a team that played yesterday, and was on a five-game losing streak isn’t a pretty site. The Canes were well rested and still showed no energy. If it wasn’t for a Jeff Skinner and his“I ain’t foolin’ anyone with this crazy shot” the Avalanche would have held the lead at the end of the first.
It didn’t get better after the first
From the beginning of the 2nd and pretty much all the 2nd period the Canes played well and kept most of the play in the Avs end. There was life on the ice and on the bench. I would call this a normal 2nd period for this year’s Canes. But like the same ole song and dance, the Canes just couldn’t put it in the net. The Carolina Hurricanes impressed me for the most part, but as my Caniac partner and 312 faithful put it “If you let them stick around, you know what will happen”.
The 3rd started out much like the 1st with just really bad execution on timing and defensive play. The Avs which had limited shots in the 2nd picked it back up in the 3rd . This period was pretty much like watching two evenly matched (bad) teams duke it out without much to show for it.
Then you guessed it, OT. Canes started OT a man down with a really bad trip by Justin Faulk. To no Caniacs surprise, the #1 penalty killers in the NHL played great OT hockey. For the most, the PK teams took it to the Avs with a couple of good scoring chances like this one with Ron Hainsey:
Then the disappointment. After a great PK, the Canes control the play for the most part. But another brain fart on defense lets Matt Duchene (future Cane?) carry the puck into the zone unabated. Duchene then makes a nice pass to Mikko Rantanen. Game Over.
Let’s look at the positive, Canes got at least a point? Does this spell the end? Just remember only a week and a half before the trade deadline. Stay tuned.