|OTT||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||4|
|CAR||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||1|
Hurricanes Drop One to Senators
Flavor of the Game 700K
RALEIGH, N.C. (Nov. 28, 2006) - Can a hockey club get too much rest?
The Carolina Hurricanes have had a rough early schedule with a seven sets of back-to-back games, so a few days off to rest the bones should be a bonus. Right?
The Canes couldn't produce Tuesday night against Ottawa after four days off, falling 4-1 at the RBC Center.
Carolina is now 1-5 this season with three or more days off.
Peter Laviolette was dumbfounded by the poor performance, one that wasn't quite as bad as the recent road loss to the New York Islanders, but still didn't sit very well with the coach nonetheless.
"It was frustrating. No excuses," said Laviolette. "We're in a rut, we're in a lull and we need to snap out of it. Time is ticking as far as the standings go. We can't have efforts like this."
The Hurricanes couldn't solve their former goalie, Martin Gerber, who was at the top of his game after getting off to a 3-8-1 start with his new team, stopping 29 of 30 shots. Carolina caught Atlanta for first place in the Southeast after a slow start last week, but has now lost three of four with two more home games left this week.
"We talked about it this morning that we were three points out of first in our division and we're also three points out of a playoff spot, so it's tight," Laviolette said. "There is no room for an off night, especially when you have the rest, you're home in your building. Ottawa has played well, winning five of six, but we expect to win this hockey game. There is no excuse for this."
Carolina was golden at the RBC Center during their Stanley Cup season, losing just eight home games, but have now lost four here before December.
"That (home) identity takes a tremendous amount of work," Laviolette said. "The first part of it is always skating, and then there are the battles once you get into it. We were only halfway there tonight."
"We had an identity last year that no one was going to beat us at home. We've gotten a little lackadaisical at home," said Justin Williams. "Teams aren't going to come in here and roll over."
Carolina had a poor second period and went into the third down 3-1. The Canes were 0-for-3 on the power play in the second and two bad breaks on defense led to the Ottawa scores.
Anton Babchuk screened John Grahame on an attempted block as defenseman Christoph Schubert beat the Carolina goalie high on the glove side. Then midway through the period, Bret Hedican got caught making a check at the blue line and the Senators converted on a quick-striking 2-on-1 play.
"I just tried to eat the puck along the boards and coughed it up," said Hedican. "I take responsibility. I know better. I should have just wrapped the puck back into our own end. It's a thing where you're so used to trying to make a play out there, trying to create offense. I should have done the smart thing and kept it simple."
The Canes then allowed a power play goal with 11:08 left in the third that sealed their fate.
Laviolette stayed with the hot hand in goal and was rewarded with an outstanding opening 20 minutes from Grahame, who stopped 16 of 17 Ottawa shots in his first home start.
Carolina took a 1-0 lead 2 1/2 minutes in as Andrew Ladd pounced on a rebound and beat Gerber low. The 20-year-old Ladd also scored the other day in a 5-1 win at Boston, notching goals in consecutive games for the third time in his young NHL career.
But there was little offensive production the rest of the way as the Canes attempt to regroup before Montreal comes in Thursday night.
"It certainly looks like we've relaxed since we caught Atlanta," said Williams. "We got ourselves out of a hole and for us this is a big homestand where we can try to distance ourselves from them. We've got to make it hard for teams to come in here and take two points from us. Ottawa took it to us tonight."
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.
|Andrew Ladd (3) ASST: Craig Adams (3), Anton Babchuk (6)|
1 - 0 CAR
|Patrick Eaves (4) ASST: Mike Fisher (13), Tom Preissing (8)|
1 - 1 Tie
|Christoph Schubert (2) ASST: Jason Spezza (18), Denis Hamel (3)|
2 - 1 OTT
|Mike Fisher (5) ASST: Daniel Alfredsson (14), Peter Schaefer (10)|
3 - 1 OTT
|PPG - Chris Neil (8) ASST: Dany Heatley (16)|
4 - 1 OTT
|Chris Phillips Interference against Erik Cole|
|Eric Staal Tripping against Dean McAmmond|
|Justin Williams Unsportsmanlike conduct|
|Antoine Vermette Hooking against Chad LaRose|
|Wade Redden Hi-sticking against Trevor Letowski|
|Niclas Wallin Holding against Denis Hamel|
|Antoine Vermette Slashing against Scott Walker|
|Bret Hedican Holding the stick against Daniel Alfredsson|
|Eric Staal Hooking against Denis Hamel|
|Rod Brind'Amour Interference against Christoph Schubert|
|Andrej Meszaros Cross checking against Scott Walker|