No Music Yet
Where do we start. I expected the Canes to come out with more urgency then in game 1 and despite the score early, I thought they did that. However they did make some mistakes and had some bad breaks go against them early. A breakaway goal, a power play goal, and a deflected goal, spelled a 3-0 lead and the end to Martin Gerber's night. The 2nd period started with new line combinations and produced what I thought was the best period of hockey the Canes had played in a long time. 2 goals allowed them back in the game, and then in the 3rd they took the lead, gave it back, tied it up, and eventually lost in OT. I do think there were a lot more positives in this game then the first, but that doesn't make it feel any better. The bottom line is we are down 2 games to none with games 3 and 4 in their building. That being said, we did win there twice already this season, and the Canes showed tonight, they can play like they did before E Coles injury without him in the line up. The special teams were much better tonight in both areas. The PP scored 3 times and at critical times to help get the Canes back in the game and take the lead. The PK gave a goal up early but then did a stellar job of shutting down the Canadiens PP and at important times. The kill late in the 3rd allowed them to tie the game late and the 3 kills in OT gave them a chance to win. However, the defensive game was their problem yet again. With a 3rd period lead they got caught on a bad line change that led to a goal, gave the Canadiens 3 chances to score on Kovalev's goal, and sloppy work led to both the 5th and deciding 6th goal. The good news was Souray didn't play after being hurt in the 1st period which will affect their D, the bad was Whitney didn't play much late and that could mean he aggravated his lower body injury, and he sure helped the PP be more effective tonight. I know you are all going to hammer me on the next statement but I don't think Coach has an easy decision on who to start next game. Although Ward played extremely well tonight, it will be a lot harder for him to come in as a starter in a very hostile environment then it was tonight, and although Gerber hasn't played his best in this series, he is the guy who is responsible for getting the Canes in this position. I'm glad I don't have to make that call. I know the mountain seems a lot harder to climb right now, especially when you realize that it will take winning 4 of the next 5 games, but it can be done. The canes did beat them 4 straight times this year and it has happened in the NHL before, 14 times. The focus has to be on the next game and the next game only. Find a way to win that game and don't worry about anything else. Start with a good first shift and then a good second and so on, and you must realize that every time you step on the ice could be the difference in the series. It is true, there is little room for error now, but the fat lady isn't singing yet. Game 3 is a must!!!!