Is it a safe thing to say the Carolina Hurricanes got out-played Tuesday night against their rival, the Buffalo Sabres? No, it’s not. To say that would mean you’re either under the influence or a Sabres fan.
While Buffalo may have had some flashes of brilliance, the game itself was handed to them by the Hurricanes. With the power play returning to ’embarrassing’ status and taking a loss while outshooting their opponent shows a backslide to rotten habits. Not to mention Cam Ward taking an .833 saves percentage on only 18 shots against proves why he needs to be placed firmly on the bench and told “stay.”
It seems this season that just when the Hurricanes look like they’ve really done themselves in and have to face a streaking Western Conference opponent, that is when the magic happens. The Stars, Kings, and Ducks are all coming off of wins at the moment, and it’s likely with the way Anaheim has been playing lately they will be on a streak when the Hurricanes come rolling down the 57 freeway. Again, this is a good sign.
It was when everything was looking to be in disarray that the Hurricanes shocked the Ducks last time. Dallas and L.A. are no different.
While the loss in Buffalo should be looked at as a late-game implosion, what is promising is the play of the top line. Eric Staal and Alexander Semin have finally started speaking the language of offense, which is indispensable for a playoff run. As long as that keeps up and Justin Faulk remembers what a defenseman is supposed to do, the Hurricanes’ top line and defensive pairing will be a lethal weapon.
While things are still shaky, a playoff spot is still possible. It’ll take some work, but it can happen.