We all knew that a tough stretch of games was coming up. 10 games against 10 playoff teams. And like a bad omen, the stretch started with a game against the Pittsburgh Penguins on a back-to-back night for the Canes. To make it worse, the second game was an early Sunday game at the start of daylight saving. Only 21 hours from the end of Saturday’s game until the Canes had to get to Pittsburgh for the start of this 10 game stretch.
Then the four-game losing streak started and fans started wondering how the Canes could play so well while not scoring goals. Fans were starting to get frustrated. Others talked with calm reassurance; because we would rather see a slump now than in the playoffs.
However, the panic would not be coming from Rod Brind’Amour. After the March 24 loss to the Dallas Stars, Rod would go on to say,
"“I don’t know if I’ve seen a better game in 20 years being here as far as doing everything we were trying to do. We just didn’t get it in the net as much as we’d like.” Ryan Henkel Canes Country"
It is the reality of this game. Sometimes it seems the hockey gods are on your side and you are scoring goals. Other times you can play your heart out and come up empty. This, precisely, was the narrative for the Canes coming into the week of March 20.
Here are the Carolina Hurricanes: The Good, the Bad, and the Fantastic for the week of March 20.
The losing streak would end: After a four-game losing streak the Canes would stave off the defending Stanley Cup champs, Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2 at home.
DeAngelo is back: After missing a month because of an injury to his midsection, Antony DeAngelo would make his come back against the New York Rangers on Sunday. Even though the Canes would lose that game they still played great and DeAngelo’s presence would be felt on the power play.
The slump is over: I’m calling it now. After trouncing the Blues 7-2 in St. Louis, the Canes are done with their slump. They are not going to win every game, but the Canes that we have all loved watching this season is back. Expect to see a lot more scoring, and a lot less frustration, this upcoming week.
Struggling to Score: I know that I said the slump is over, but before Saturday night’s game against the Blues, it was almost baffling to see how hard of a time the Canes were having getting the puck in the net. The Canes had a shutout against the New York Rangers at home and a loss to the Dallas Stars after outshooting them 47-15.
Shut out at home: Starting the week getting shut out at home against the New York Rangers was a shot to the gut. Especially after losing their lead late in the third during their previous game to the Capitals.
Two more losses at home: The Canes have lost 3 of their last 4 home games. This single factor is most likely the cause of most people’s frustration with the team. Especially since they have been fantastic at home this season going 24-5-4.
The best part of the entire week was Martin Necas scoring a shorty against the Blues. I will admit that watching Svech score after a brilliant pass from Trocheck and Necas was a very difficult second; but seeing Necas glide from goal line to goal line and lasering a shot past Ville Husso, short-handed on top of that, was a scene of absolute beauty.
Necas has been struggling to score since the start of 2022 and there have been some jeers directed toward him from the fans. So the impact of seeing him perform this fantastic play carried a lot of weight with it. This is why Necas had the fantastic play of the week.