|PHX||1||1||0||(0 - 0)||2|
|CAR||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||0|
Canes Can't Solve Joseph, Phoenix
Flavor of the Game 700K
RALEIGH, N.C. (JAN. 4, 2007) - Just when the schedule is easing a bit the Carolina offense has hit the skids.
The Hurricanes are now 0-for-2007 after a 2-0 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes on Thursday night. The loss comes on the heels of a 3-0 shutout defeat in Pittsburgh two days ago as the Canes have now gone 131 straight minutes without lighting the lamp in dropping three in a row as five regulars were out of the lineup against Phoenix.
"I don't have words right now to express the disappointment that myself, the players and the coaches feel," said Justin Williams. "It's inexcusable, being shut out in our own building and now the last two times we've played. We're a much better team than that and we haven't shown it.
"It has been frustrating, the ups and downs of the season so far," added Williams. "We win five, we lose five and now we've lost three. Championship teams don't do that. They're steady throughout and whole season. Streaky teams are sometimes on the outside looking in. We have to right this right now."
Carolina is a combined 0-for-11 on the power play in the two shutouts after going 0-for-5 against the Coyotes, a sub .500 team that came into the game 13th in the Western Conference standings.
"We were a step slow and we've been a step slow the last few games and there is no reason for it," said Williams. "No team should have a step on us because we have a puck chasing offensive minded team and no one should have a step up on us. We've had a lot of rest."
Things were so out of sync on this night that a chance to jump back into the game with a power play midway through the third period resulted in no shots and six Phoenix clears of the zone.
"It was a huge point in the game," said Williams. "That was just like the first 50 minutes. That power play kind of exemplified how the game went for us - a step slow, shots blocked, passes knocked down -- a total lack of execution on our part."
The Canes were shut out in back-to-back games for the first time since a 5-0 loss and 0-0 tie in November 2003 and have been outscored a combined 10-2 over the last three losses.
"This is not the attack we're used to seeing here, but there were chances and they are not finding the goal," said Head Coach Peter Laviolette.
The Canes could generate little offense all night and fell behind by two goals just 26 seconds into a second period in which they were outshot 16-7. Chad LaRose could have closed the gap to a goal but hit the crossbar on a breakaway. And 1:10 later Scott Walker's attempt at another breakaway rolled off his stick.
"There is no question everybody is frustrated," said Laviolette. "I still think we can work harder and make better decisions with the puck. There are times through the course of the game where it seems like we're doing our thing and there are times the opponent is doing too much of theirs. We need to find more consistency."
Carolina couldn't even mount an offensive in the final minute with Cam Ward pulled in net for an extra attacker because Williams was called for a cross-checking penalty.
Just like two nights ago in Pittsburgh, Ward kept the Hurricanes in the game. Ward stopped former Carolina center Mike Zigomanis on a 2-on-1, then stoned Shane Doan on a shorthanded breakaway with about two minutes left in the period.
Ryan Bayda, called up today from Albany of the American Hockey League to replace the injured Cory Stillman (upper body), played on a line with Eric Staal and Erik Cole and ended up playing close to 15 minutes.
Bret Hedican also missed the game before undergoing surgery on his left ring finger and is expected to miss 3-4 weeks.
"There is no question the injuries are a factor, but we're expected to win a hockey game and we had a good lineup on the ice tonight," said Laviolette.
So how does Carolina break out of its offensive slump?
"We're an offensive team that thrives on getting pucks to the net and action at the net and creating a lot of traffic and chaos from the top of the circles down," said Laviolette. "I don't think we've done a very good job of that. When we're playing well you can really see that. I think we need to find our identity."
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.
|Yanic Perreault Backhand shot - ASST: Oleg Saprykin , Owen Nolan|
1 - 0 PHX
|Ed Jovanovski Slapshot - ASST: NONE|
2 - 0 PHX
|Rod Brind'Amour Boarding against Fredrik Sjostrom|
|Ryan Bayda Hi-sticking against Michael Zigomanis|
|Yanic Perreault Tripping against Rod Brind'Amour|
|Chad LaRose Interference against Derek Morris|
|Ed Jovanovski Interference against Rod Brind'Amour|
|Dave Scatchard Tripping against Anton Babchuk|
|Jeremy Roenick Hooking against Trevor Letowski|
|Rod Brind'Amour Tripping against Fredrik Sjostrom|
|Owen Nolan Hooking against Eric Staal|
|Justin Williams Cross checking against Keith Ballard|
|SA: 29||TOI: 59:55|
|Saves: 29||EV: 24 - 24|
|PIM: 0||PP: 2 - 2|
|SV%: 1.000||SH: 3 - 3|
|SA: 28||TOI: 57:58|
|Saves: 26||EV: 24 - 26|
|PIM: 0||PP: 1 - 1|
|SV%: .929||SH: 1 - 1|