It seems almost like every time the Hurricanes make some sort of charge, they immediately flush it all away. It was en vogue earlier in the season to blame it all on the myriad of injuries piling up. It is now late in December, with a nearly full roster, and they are still at the bottom of the Metropolitan Division.
Pointing the blame finger at GM Jim Rutherford is easy, and frankly, a whole lot of fun. While Ruthorford’s disconnection with reality continues to hold the team back, it’s not him out on the ice. It’s Eric Staal, Alexander Semin, Jeff Skinner, Tim Gleason and a whole lot more talent and money too numerous to list. There are any number of players suiting up for Carolina that could save the season, but none of them are trying, and the ones who are, aren’t doing so consistently.
Take the example of forward Nathan Gerbe. For a good period of time, it looked like Gerbe would be the one to jump start the Hurricanes. Suddenly, he disappeared from radar. There was no injury, no spat with management, he just up and quit playing like he knew how. While he showed back up Friday night against the Pittsburgh Penguins, it begs the question of why he was gone in the first place. For a long time, Gerbe played with fire in his skates and the reckless abandon of a condemned man, yet now he joins Cam Ward in the hot tub of inconsistent play.
It’s beginning to get tiresome and stale for so many fans and analysts to try and pinpoint, predict and confirm the ‘turning point in the season,’ simply because once it begins to happen, it’s just as soon gone.
As the Hurricanes head north to face the Toronto Maple Leafs on Sunday, it’s not even worth predicting what a win would or would not mean. If Carolina wants to turn the season around and make a playoff run, they’re the only ones who can do it.
Fans are tired of playing this game. It’s time the Hurricanes play their game.