It’s natural to want to find some good in the struggles on the Carolina Hurricanes‘ road trip out west.
While they were poised to commit unadulterated slaughter in the Pacific Division, Carolina limped home with a loss, two overtime losses and a win over the awful Phoenix Coyotes. There’s many things to point fingers at, such as the cacophony of awful decisions that was the overtime loss to the Edmonton Oilers. There’s also the ball-drop that was the other overtime loss, to the Calgary Flames.
One could point fingers at Cam Ward, who is getting paid far too much for way too many soft goals. In a move everyone saw coming, head coach Kirk Muller began playing backup Justin Peters more, as Ward faltered. There’s another whole finger to point at the rest of the team for their belief that Jeff Skinner is the entire team– which he obviously is not.
The return of Alexander Semin from injury was promising, yet it was his poor skating that allowed the overtime winner in Calgary. Tim Gleason spent the road trip skating on borrowed time, and produced nothing to convince anyone he should stay.
Coming back into town, there is a mountain of work for Muller to go over. There are defensive issues, special teams problems, lack of shooting and of course — why we don’t take a game misconduct in the middle of a third period comeback.
The team can take some good. There were no major, season-threatening injuries. For the most part, the team is coming back in one piece and even a few names heavy on the roster.
However, that’s it. The Hurricanes don’t deserve praise for not getting injured, as they’re not supposed to get injured. However, the five days off before the rival Washington Capitals come to town are a perfect chance to come up with a new game plan. The Metropolitan Division is shaping up to be one of the easiest tickets to the playoffs, and Carolina wants aboard that train.