Monday, November 01, 2010

Weekly Recap - Canes apparently can't score at home

Yesterday was the end of the first month of hockey (perhaps the only good thing of fall, in my opinion - temperatures really shouldn't ever go below 70). October has left the Canes at an even .500, 10th in the East and 4th in the Southeast Division with ten points. In other words, leaps and bounds above last year (do you sense a theme this year?), but overall not spectacular.

This past week we saw the Canes first two games at the RBC Center, and, uh, let's just say that it may not be a bad thing that tonight's game is on the road against Philadelphia. Goose eggs were lain in both the opener against the C[r]apitals and Saturday's game against the Penguins.

Perhaps the Washington game wasn't as bad as the 3-0 score would allow you to believe - I was able to view it thanks to living in C[r]apital country. The first goal was kind of a fluke, Cam Ward being run over outside the crease (and, yes, unfortunately he was outside of the crease, resulting in no goalie interference). Niklas Backstrom put Washington up by two just over midway into the third and then sealed the game with an empty net goal. Michal Neuvirth also looked really good for being Washington's fourth goalie or some similar absurd number.

However, while the game was closer than the score would indicate, I didn't really see anything to write home about from a Canes' perspective. Jeff Skinner continues to impress, but not much else really stood out. Pretty lackluster for a home opener performance, to be honest.

Speaking of Jeff Skinner, he really broke out in Friday's game against the Rangers. Skinner scored two goals and had an assist on Erik Cole's game winner. He seems to be a player that whenever he's on the ice he does something noticeably beneficial to the team (Granted, I've watched all of two games, but the point still remains that this guy looks to be a beast).

Finally, to wrap up the week, the Canes lost by another 3-0 tally at home to Pittsburgh. Let's just say that our current 0-2 home record is not really thrilling this Caniac right now. Yes, it is extremely early in the season, but I, and I think most of the Caniac Nation, would prefer the Canes to not become a road-only team. Especially when I think back to the season we won the Cup - let's just say that the 31-8-2 home record definitely helped. But I think that might be reading way too far into things.

But attempts to improve the home record (or, heck, score a goal at home) will have to wait until Wednesday against the Islanders. Tonight the Canes face Philly away - a Daniel Briere-less Flyers team as Briere was suspended three games for cross-checking an Islanders players straight in the mouth. Look at the YouTube video if you, like me, love to dislike Briere (and Carcillo as well). Hopefully the Canes can stay away from any Flyers thuggery and continue with their good away record.

Erik Cole stats (Thursday): 1 goal, 1 assist
On the season: 2 goals, 4 assists 

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