Sunday, January 09, 2011

Canes continue points streak

The Canes managed to get points in each of their three games this week, but I wasn't too impressed with their play in any of the games.

It started with a 4-3 overtime loss against the Panthers. The Canes came out incredibly flat in the first period, and it was a testament to Cam Ward that Florida didn't manage to score more than one goal. The second period wasn't much better, and Carolina only began to look good when they were down by two goals. That being said, it was rather depressing when Bryan Allen scored in overtime, putting to rest any sort of comeback idea.

The next game was also an overtime loss, this time losing by a tally of 2-1 to the New York Rangers. This was one of those games where, despite watching it in its entirety, I don't remember a thing about it. (Except, of course, yelling angrily at my television whenever Sean Avery touched the puck). So I'll gloss over this and go on to the next game.

The Hurricanes managed to win the next game, beating Florida 5-3. Yet again the Canes came out flat and allowed Florida to get out to a quick 2-0 lead. Luckily, Jeff Skinner is on the roster, and he scored the next two in the second to get the Canes back into it. A lot has been said about Skinner, and as far as I can tell, he deserves all the accolades. At times you think that he could be the only person on the ice and still manage to beat five opponents and the goaltender - and make it look easy to boot! Not only can he score, but his assist on Cole's goal later in the game was an absolute beauty of a pass.

So this stretch of games leaves the Canes with 44 points, which at this point is good enough for 9th in the East and 4th in the division - 5 points behind Montreal for the last playoff spot, but with two games in hand. Our record is 19-15-6 - finally above .500! And, yes, I furiously just knocked on some wood after that statement. The Canes have fixed themselves a nice little points streak, but I think they could definitely look better. They struggled early in both games against the Panthers, who are not exactly leading the league. While it is wonderful that they can flip a switch and get themselves back in a game, the question remains as to why the switch wasn't "on" to begin with.

This next week has games against Atlanta and Tampa, two divisional rivals who always give us problems - okay, what divisional rival doesn't? - and Buffalo and Calgary. Hopefully the Hurricanes will continue to get points out of these games - although I would prefer that they do it in a slightly more convincing fashion.

Erik Cole stats (Monday): 2 assists
(Friday): 2 goals
On the season: 10 goals, 10 assists

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