Anyone who has ever walked into a final exam after a three-hour cram session the night before that ended in “if I’m not going to learn it now, I never will” can tell you, that’s not the way to do it.
With recent games ending in near-misses and “happy to come away with a point,” the dangerous assumption of being “due” could set in. Frankly, Carolina isn’t due for anything but getting their uniforms washed. Assuming that just because they made a mockery of their last two games equals prepared is how playoff spots are missed. Getting the house in order is imperative for the Hurricanes if they are to start putting ticks in the win column.
While Jeff Skinner has gone completely Rambo on every team Carolina has faced; one kid from Ontario a team does not make. Yes, goalie Justin Peters is giving his career performance, but that doesn’t score goals. Currently, Skinner and Peters are most of what Carolina has going on right now. Jiri Tlusty is desperately jumping up and down to join that conversation while the rest of the team broke for the holiday early.
Pittsburgh is a scary team and there’s no way the Hurricanes can just coast through Friday night. Skinner, Tlusty and Peters are integral to that, however, Eric Staal, Alexander Semin and defensemen like Justin Faulk and Ryan Murphy simply must join the party. Once the Hurricanes are banging away on all cylinders — like all of us are fully aware they’re capable of — things can get back to normal.
The holiday break is over and it’s just over a month and a half to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia — the time is now. Relying on being “due” is like multiplying zeroes.