Sunday, October 09, 2011

Opening Weekend Recap

Hockey is finally here, which is great because it means the start of a brand new season, where fans all across the league can forget about the past and look forward to the future and a clean slate.

Or, if you're a Canes fan, you can be horribly reminded of exactly what kept you out of the playoffs last season. Namely the Tampa Bay Lightning beating the snot out of us in our own building.

Yep, it was the same old same old in Raleigh on Friday night, when the Canes lost 5-1 to the Lightning.

The good things:

- Tailgating is amazing, and Friday provided a great day for it. Warm temperatures, sunny skies, and absolutely delicious food on the grill. It was definitely nice to be back and tailgating before the game.

- Jeff Skinner is so awesome. He pretty much created the entire scoring play of the game by himself. He is the shining light among darkness when I think about this game and our chances for the season.

The bad things:

- Eric Staal played like crap. He didn't seem to really be pressing for the puck at all, ever.

- Jussi Jokinen took a stupid penalty that gave Tampa a goal. Unsportsmanlike conduct is always stupid, but shooting the puck at the ref is several kinds of stupid.

- The Canes appeared to give up after Tampa got their third goal. Actually, overall, this game did not have the effort I'd have liked to see from a team that was supposedly still fuming about being knocked out of the playoffs.

Luckily (I suppose), the Opening Night game was not the only one that the Canes played this weekend. They also played last night against the C[r]apitals, losing in overtime 4-3.

The Canes looked a lot better in this one, showing a lot of fire in parts. Eric Staal, for one, picked up his game significantly, scoring the first two goals for the Canes. I'm really glad the Canes were able to play so closely with Washington, as Washington is supposed to be one of the better teams in the East this year. That being said, stupid penalties did the Canes in again, the game winner coming off of a power play goal.

So what do I think of these new 2011-2012 Canes? They look a lot like last year's Canes. Which isn't ideal. During the Washington broadcast I caught Tripp Tracy saying something along the lines of "that's the Cardiac Canes again". And honestly, I don't think that's a good thing. Is a little bit of consistency too much to ask? Apparently so.

So, yeah, I guess Opening Night didn't really put me in an optimistic mood for the Canes this season. But that's to be expected, when the first hockey you see of a team is the same kind of hockey that was a let down last season.

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