If you’ve never heard the term, a “Pyrrhic victory” is when a group will earn a victory at tremendous cost to themselves, to the point that it basically negates the victory. Think, Sparta in “300.”
A Pyrrhic victory is exactly what the Carolina Hurricanes experienced early in October, as their State Fair Road Trip got off to a gangbusters start. Two massive wins against the Toronto Maple Leafs and New York Islanders set the team up for a huge month. Of course, everyone knows how that ended up — injury city.
It was the unyielding effort and heart of most of the team that earned those wins, however, it was the over-extension of these efforts that ended up bringing the pleasure cruise to a halt. Not to accuse the team of recklessness, however, these things end up happening. As hard as they worked to beat Toronto and New York, it was the depletion it caused that led to the disasters against the Colorado Avalanche nd Minnesota Wild.
Things are different in this November homestand. While it’s true Carolina started things off with big wins against the Philadelphia Flyers and Islanders, nothing says it has to end in the same fashion as October did, or the Battle of Thermopylae.
This time around, Carolina is smarter and sharper. They’re on their way back up, as opposed to sitting up high. Colorado is performing at inhuman levels in the intensely competitive Western Conference. However, they’re a hockey team, just like Carolina is; the same goes for Minnesota. As the old saying goes, “every team has a chance to win in this league, every single night.”
To secure a victory that doesn’t doom the team, one simple thing will make all the difference. Come at them hard, soon and with complete abandon. Simply give Minnesota and Colorado the Blitzkrieg. Put a ton of shots on goal, unleash the physical guys like Brett Bellemore and Nathan Gerbe, give Alexander Semin the green light to fire at will, keep the defense poke-checking, and all the big time stuff that nobody expects.
Carolina is not lacking in any area, other than goaltending. On the other hand, Justin Peters is coming right off of his third career shutout, so there’s that.
There’s no math to be done on this one, no calculators or spreadsheets to be used. No statistical analysis, bell curves, or whiteboards cluttered with X’s and O’s. Carolina needs to charge directly into the fire on this one. They have the talent, they have the ability, they have the coaching, and most of all they have the experience from October to know when to throttle back.
There is nothing standing in Carolina’s way but themselves.