|NJD||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||4|
|CAR||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||0|
Canes Have Devil of a Time Against Eastern Conference Rival
RALEIGH, N.C. (October 6, 2006) - The Carolina Hurricanes are headed on their longest road trip less than a week into the 2006-07 season. It just may be the bonding experience this group needs.
It's a chance to get away from the Stanley Cup hoopla that highlighted the club's first two home games - both disappointing losses.
"There is always less pressure to put on a show when you're on the road," said coach Peter Laviolette. "We need to get back to fundamentals and some basic hockey. Things have been a little too cute and not enough of getting the puck in their end and smashing it down their throats."
Less than 48 hours after dropping its season opener to Buffalo in a shootout, Carolina was surprisingly dominated by rival New Jersey, a team that normally brings out the best in the Hurricanes.
Not on this night though, as Carolina gave up a goal 26 seconds in to fall behind in the first period for the second straight game. But unlike on Wednesday there wasn't much jump from the Canes in this one as they fell behind 3-0 after one period and went to the locker room down four goals after 40 minutes and lost 4-0.
"We're not working hard, we're not digging in," said captain Rod Brind'Amour. "It's a little bit from everybody that's a little off. You look at the end result and it's not acceptable. The games come too fast and furious to dwell too much on it, but we know we have to be a lot better."
Some of the players in the locker room said the team is in "a fog."
"They stole it from me," said coach Peter Laviolette. "We were on the short side of skating and battles all night. We were that way in preseason. We need to change that.
"Our strength has to be our work ethic and our skating and our resiliency on the puck and right now those are our weaknesses."
A team that was third in scoring in the NHL last season has just two goals in two games as the power play is a combined 1-for-14 without main cogs Cory Stillman and Frank Kaberle, both of whom will be lost to the team for months after shoulder injuries.
The power play, or lack of one didn't lose this game, but it certainly didn't help matters.
"That was horrible," said Brind'Amour. "It's an extension of the way we're playing."
Laviolette tinkered with every line combination and defensive pairing except the Staal-Cole-Whitney trio, but nothing seemed to work as Carolina came out flat after another series of Cup ceremonies.
"I think I put just every combination that's possible out there - nothing seemed to give us a spark offensively," Laviolette said. "I'm still unsettled with the lines. I want to find something that has some pop to it offensively."
It was hard to blame Cam Ward for any of the four goals. The first three were deflections and the fourth came on a crossing pass to a streaking Zach Parise, who crashed the net to pick up his second of the night.
Not even a second period fight involving Kevyn Adams seemed to spark the guys, who are struggling to come up with some sort of early-season chemistry that was the trademark of last year's club. "I've talked before about when you're doing the right things you're going to give yourself chances," said Adams. "We weren't doing the right things. The flip side of that is you're rarely going to win. We need to simplify things a little bit and concentrate on working as hard as you can."
Four of Carolina's seven upcoming road games are within the Southeast Division, starting at Washington on Saturday night. Every game is worth two points, but division games take on added importance, especially since the defending Stanley Cup champions are off to a slow start.
"Road trips can sometimes be great for you," said Adams. "You go in there and everybody is against you, so you just play and pull together. That's what we need right now. We're having guys working hard in spurts, individually, but we're not working hard as five-man units. On the road you can just out there and fight. We need to get our team identity and we need to do it quickly."
Starting Saturday in the nation's capital.
David Droschak is the former sports editor for the North Carolina bureaus of the Associated Press, the largest news-gathering organization in the world. In 2003, Droschak was named the North Carolina Sportswriter of the Year. The only writer in the Triangle to have covered the Carolina Hurricanes every season since the organization moved to North Carolina, he currently is a principal in the Raleigh-based public relations firm Hughes-Droschak Communications.
|Zach Parise (1) ASST: Colin White (1), Brian Gionta (1)|
1 - 0 NJD
|Jamie Langenbrunner (1) ASST: Brian Rafalski (1), Brad Lukowich (1)|
2 - 0 NJD
|PPG - Patrik Elias (1) ASST: Scott Gomez (1), Brian Gionta (2)|
3 - 0 NJD
|Zach Parise (2) ASST: Scott Gomez (2), Brian Gionta (3)|
4 - 0 NJD
|Mike Commodore Holding against Jay Pandolfo|
|John Madden Holding the stick against Anton Babchuk|
|Glen Wesley Hooking against Patrik Elias|
|Travis Zajac Tripping against Kevyn Adams|
|Mike Commodore Tripping against Patrik Elias|
|Niclas Wallin Interference - Goalkeeper against Martin Brodeur|
|Dan Lacouture Fighting against Kevyn Adams|
|Kevyn Adams Fighting against Dan Lacouture|
|Scott Gomez Hi-sticking against Eric Belanger|
|Andrew Ladd Interference - Goalkeeper against Martin Brodeur|
|Patrik Elias Cross checking against Justin Williams|
|Cam Janssen Roughing against Tim Gleason|
|Patrik Elias Hooking against Rod Brind'Amour|
|Cam Janssen Elbowing against Craig Adams|
|SA: 29||TOI: 59:57|
|Saves: 29||EV: 22 - 22|
|PIM: 0||PP: 6 - 6|
|SV%: 1.000||SH: 1 - 1|
|SA: 30||TOI: 60:00|
|Saves: 26||EV: 22 - 25|
|PIM: 0||PP: 4 - 5|
|SV%: .867||SH: 0 - 0|