The Carolina Hurricanes are down 3-1 in the first round.
With the Carolina Hurricanes 3-1 down to the Bruins in the series, it’s looking bleak. How did they end up in this situation in the first place?
Where do we start? I warn you, if you are someone who believes every player is great, and that there aren’t issues with this team, this may not be the article for you. I like to use my role here at CardiacCane as a cheap therapy session. I have thoughts, I explain them to you, you tell me why I’m an idiot. Please, do the same because I’m not happy in the slightest right now with this team.
For nearly a decade, Carolina’s major issue was goaltending. At least that’s what everyone thought. All the years we put the blame at the feet of Cam Ward. Even now, the stereotypical fan thinks Carolina’s major issue is their goaltending. The best defense in hockey, three elite forwards on the top line, and a great bottom nine they say.
James Reimer and Petr Mrazek have outdueled their Boston counterparts. Reimer has a .934 save percentage and Mrazek boasts a .930. Those are cup winning figures from your goaltenders. They have not been disappointing at all. They have been amazing. I mean, the save from Reimer against the Rangers with his stick kind of sums up how they’ve been. Absolutely outstanding.
Sebastian Aho has more than done his part. With 11 points in 7 games, Aho has done an outstanding job of dragging the Canes as far as they’ve gotten already. He’s truly developing into one of the best players in the NHL. Again, his first goal in game 3 against the Rangers sums up exactly how he’s been. Absolutely outstanding from him.
Andrei Svechnikov is a 20-year-old sophomore who recorded the Canes first-ever post-season hat-trick. 4 goals and 3 assists for 7 points in 6 games. He’s more than done his job. in terms of production. He’s been fantastic for the Canes. His injury sucks but in general, he’s been a real bright spot after a missing some time in the playoff run last year.
So, what’s gone wrong? I would be lost to apologize if you can see my temperament starting to fluctuate. I have put a lot of thought into this and I’m aware it’s strongly worded, but it has to be said.
The skater core has turned into a dumpster fire. Nine players still only have one point in the postseason, and two are still scoreless. Ryan Dzingel is excusable because he’s only played three games and he’s not tallied a point yet. As a 4th line player, he’s looked good with his energy and the way he’s been skating, chasing down everything.
However, Jordan Staal? Captain Staal, being paid six million with a no-movement clause in his contract? That’s not good enough. “Oh, but he’s been out against the perfection line”. I know, his job is to shut people down, but 7 games. 0 points. This is the guy that’s leading the locker room? I have serious doubts about Staal’s future as a Hurricane at this scoring rate. It’s utterly unacceptable.
Justin Williams! Mr. Game 7! Six games, one point for someone who’s supposed to be a performer who specializes in the playoffs. It’s not good enough. One goal isn’t enough from him. Maybe father time has taken its toll on Williams, but it’s flat out not good enough from him. I’m not trying to single him out.
I get a lot of criticism over my views on Warren Foegele. I don’t think he’ll be a top-six winger and I think this playoff run has proven it. At this moment, he has one point in seven games.
This is the same man who single-handily downed the capitals, and he’s struggling to produce against teams like the New York Rangers? It’s not going to cut it. If this team has cup ambitions, there needs to be an upgrade on Foegele.
Ultimately, you cannot ignore the blame at the feet of someone like Rod Brind’amour. There’s enough talent on this team for the Canes to glide past the Bruins, especially then their starting goalie’s withdrawn from the return to play scheme! Still, the line combinations have been shakey, the powerplay has been awful, and the “Power kill” has been very quiet. Everything’s taken a major step back.
If I’m going to rip on people, I think it’s only fair to praise those who deserve it too. Trevor van Riemsdyk came in for game 3 I think it was and looked like he did before his shoulder surgery. He looked like a top 6 NHL defender again. He’s starting to show just what he brings when you get all of him, and not just one shoulder Trevor van Riemsdyk. He’s played well in his return.
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With that said, it doesn’t make up for the shambolic performances we have seen in this series. Carolina got outplayed by a Boston Bruins team that did not have their star forward, and if you cannot beat a wounded animal, you do not deserve to be in the fight. It’s absolutely horrible from the skater core. 19 shots on a backup goalie when you’re behind in the series is simply not good enough.
I’m well aware of the fact I’m sitting behind a computer screen and not out on the ice playing, but it doesn’t change the fact the performances have just not been good enough from the Carolina Hurricanes. It is flat out unacceptable to allow 33 shots and only muster 19. When you score 3 times on 19 shots, you should be shooting more often, which is why again I place some blame at the feet of Rod.
This has not been good enough from the team. Now, obviously we’re hoping for a miracle on how the Canes can overcome a 3-1 series deficit. It’s unlikely, but if the Canes want to hoist the cup, they need to find a way to do so. Let me know why I’m an idiot if you must, but these are my honest beliefs.