Closing out last night’s shut-out loss to Tampa Bay with Brendan Lemieux, Dmitry Orlov and Jack Drury in the penalty box for fighting (Lemieux and Drury) and Misconduct (Lemieux) isn’t the kind of chaos I think the Hurricanes are interested in causing. As half of the Caniac nation continues defending the need for “grit” and the other half reminding the group we all like that this isn’t the way to win hockey games, we all missed the fact that it was Jack Drury, of all the Hurricanes left on the bench, that answered the bell last night. Let that one sink in for a second. Jack Drury. If that is telling of the anemic efforts at selling the Canes as a “gritty” team, then there is no hope.
Worth mentioning is the footage of Orlov’s tie up in front of Carolina’s goal after the nail in the coffin goal making it 3-0. Watch the rest of the Canes on the ice. Only Seth Jarvis jumps in initially, and that was because he was right there. He couldn’t not get involved. Kudos to Jarvy for not letting his teammate get completely hung out to dry. Still his effort was not all it could have been. Some might call it half hearted. And yes, eventually other Canes jumped in as they could, but even Pyotr Kochetkov skated away, choosing to stayed out of the fray. Remember this is the same Pyotr Kochetkov who won our hearts by taking swings at Brad Marchand two seasons ago in the playoffs. Even he saw the futility and backed away.
Somehow Brendan Lemieux ended up with a misconduct from the bench which tells you he must have said something pretty bad to warrant it. More on that in just a second.
No sooner had things gotten back to normal after the fracas then we had Jack Drury dropping his gloves and answering the bell against Nicholas Paul. Drury has been in exactly one NHL fight as of this writing. When, you might be asking yourself, did such an ennobling battle take place? Last night. And boy what a fight it wasn’t. Hockeyfights.com overwhelmingly gives the fight to Paul and Drury gets maybe one good swing in before taking the rest.
Drury (whose record is 1-3-1 according to Hockeyfights.com) dropping the gloves to answer the bell is really not the greatest show of brute force that I think the Hurricanes are trying to convey. And do not take this as a slight to Drury. He did the job the best he could. It was late in the game, and things were well out of hand before the 3rd goal, but Jack Drury? Of everyone on the bench, it was Jack Drury that everyone looked to to defend the honor? Come on.
I thought Carolina had all kinds of grit with Orlov, Lemieux, and Tony DeAngelo. Where were they? Oh right, Orlov was already in the box for fighting, Lemieux, who already has 31 PIM in just 6 games) was there for comments made. This, the second time in three games a Hurricanes player has found themselves in the box as the result of comments made to officials. Lest we forget Tony DeAngelo’s brush with officiating and subsequent trip to time-out.
For whatever reason, the Hurricanes have the notion that 5 on 5 hockey is not the way to win. It appears that no amount of evidence is to dislodge penalty magnets likes Orlov, Lemieux, and DeAngelo from their lackluster places in the line up. Meanwhile the Hurricanes are 3-4-0 for the first time since Rod Brind’Amour has been the head coach, and Canes fans will be stuck watching the likes of Jack Drury being sent out as tribute to the hockey gods because all the other viable options have already heard their final bell.