Tracking the Storm

Two-Thirds of a Great Game

Friday, 12.12.2008 / 10:19 AM ET / Tracking the Storm
By Paul Branecky
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Two-Thirds of a Great Game
I don’t think I need to harp on what a tough loss that was for the Canes last night.  A third period like that one is made all the more frustrating after witnessing the two periods that preceded it, which were, for me, by far the Canes’ best of the season.
Paul Branecky
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Why the collapse?  I think it goes back to the issue of confidence.  They were extremely confident in the first two periods.  Guys like Eric Staal were barreling into the offensive zone and putting defensemen on their heels.  Players were making smart plays in the neutral zone and winning battles to start rushes.  Michael Leighton was making tough saves to keep it close before the Canes initially pushed ahead.  The team was shooting the puck on the power play, and shooting it well.

Once the Flyers scored in the beginning of the third period, however, doubt seemed to take over. The “Oh no, what if?” mentality that Paul Maurice identified on his first day here and has been trying to get rid of ever since popped up again, replacing the determination of earlier in the game.  All the good things they had done were gone, as it seemed like they were playing scared instead of playing their game.

What the Canes can take from last night’s contest is that, when they are playing their game, it’s something to behold.  They need to build on that rather than dwell on the collapse and lose the confidence they started out with.  Getting that belief back is a process that has been ongoing for several weeks, and the team needs to continue to take steps forward in that regard.

As you might have guessed after seeing the postgame quotes video on the site this morning, CanesVision is on the road for this trip and will have some footage from practice later in the day to go along with the Maurice audio that Kyle Hanlin is sending from the road.

From that, we’ll see what the mentality of the team is heading into a winnable game against the New York Rangers, who have won only two of their last five games, including two shutouts for the opposition.  We’ll also be able to see how injuries are coming along.  Tim Gleason, Dennis Seidenberg and Cam Ward could all return tomorrow.  The two defensemen in particular could help take some workload away from Joe Corvo and Joni Pitkanen, both of whom played over 30 minutes last night.

Speaking of CanesVision, they’ve posted some sights and sounds from Philadelphia that will make you hungry here, and they’ll also be doing a series of “Day in the Life” videos tomorrow, with color commentator Tripp Tracy as the subject.

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 252 192 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 221 189 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 262 211 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 242 203 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 252 230 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 235 221 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 238 215 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 221 210 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 213 211 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 206 223 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 236 250 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 215 234 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 181 216 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 188 226 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 211 262 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 161 274 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 77 23 31 -13 54
J. Faulk 82 15 34 -19 49
E. Lindholm 81 17 22 -23 39
V. Rask 80 11 22 -14 33
J. Skinner 77 18 13 -24 31
N. Gerbe 78 10 18 -14 28
R. Nash 68 8 17 -10 25
J. Staal 46 6 18 -6 24
J. Liles 57 2 20 -9 22
J. McClement 82 7 14 -7 21
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 22 24 5 .910 2.40
A. Khudobin 8 17 6 .900 2.72