Sunday, October 24, 2010

Western Roadtrip Recap

So, the Canes finished up their yearly October roadtrip last night, and I saw or listened to exactly none of them, so let's just do a brief recap.

The obvious stat after this period of time is the record. Currently the Canes have a 4-3 record, which isn't really that great... until you consider that last season the Canes got their fourth win 21 games into the season. From that perspective, the Canes are absolutely amazing this season. Also, considering that the Canes opened up overseas and then went straight into the Western Conference road trip, traveling something like 15,000 miles, I think that their record is spectacular.

Going back through the games, the Canes lost to Ottawa, lost pretty badly to the Canucks, won against the Sharks, lost to the Kings, and finally won last night over the Coyotes in OT.

Obviously, the bright parts are the wins against the Sharks and Coyotes, although the Sharks have not started out as great as last season, having not won a game at home yet. But even the losses don't look too alarming to me - the LA game sounded close and I'm not surprised that the Canes lost to the Cup-favorite Canucks. Perhaps the game against Ottawa should be a win, but, again, I'm just happy that the Canes weren't blown out. Last year definitely does put a perspective on losses.

The best news to me is the distribution of scoring. So often last year, our offensive production (and therefore wins) depended on a few people being able to score *cough*Staal*cough*. This year, we seem to be more well-rounded in the scoring department, only two people on the roster having not notched a point. This is especially shown in the San Jose game, where eleven different Canes got on the scoreboard. A specific player to commend (beyond my two favorites whose stats are at the bottom of the post) would be Eric Staal, who after a slow start in Helsinki, has stepped it up, with 6 points in 5 games. I do think it is a good sign for our season that he is currently at the top of our leaderboard in points.

But just because the road trip is over, doesn't mean that it gets any easier for the Canes. The home opener this Wednesday is against the C[r]apitals, who are never easy to beat, then they must play the Rangers and then the Penguins in a back-to-back. If the Canes can play with Washington and Pittsburgh, then I think we might actually have a worthwhile team this year. If not, well, I'm not pinning the whole season on two games - I just won't be as blindly optimistic.

Erik Cole stats (Oct 14th): 1 assist
(Oct 19th): 1 goal
(Oct 20th): 1 assist
On the season: 1 goal, 3 assists

Chad LaRose stats (Oct 19th): 1 goal, 2 assists
(Oct 20th): 1 goal
On the season: 2 goals, 2 assists

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