Something Not Right
Well I guess we all kind of knew it wasn't going to be easy. We've talked before about playing on the road in the playoffs. You know the home team is going to come out hard, you know the fans will be loud and you want to make sure you get through the first part of the game in a manner that gives you a chance to win. Obviously giving up a goal early is not what the Canes wanted to do, but at the end of the first period, they were only down by that 1 goal. To me, it just seemed like something wasn't right for the Canes from the start. Maybe it was the long flight, maybe the nerves that come with being this close, or maybe the hostile environment. For whatever reason, they didn't seem to be skating like they can and although the ice wasn't totally tilted in one direction, the Oilers could have been up by a larger # at the end of the 2nd if not for the play of Cam Ward. The Canes seemed to start to play better the last 5 minutes of the 2nd and when they came out in the 3rd period and started to play more and more like themselves, I felt it was only a matter of time before they found a way to win the game. I, like you I'm sure, felt that when Roddy scored it was now a game for the Canes to take. On the road, scored tied 1-1 and around 10 minutes to play with the momentum on your side is a good place for the road team to be. Unfortunately, this time it didn't turn out the way the Canes had hoped it would. Ryan Smyth scored a typical Ryan Smyth goal to win it for the Oilers in a period that I thought the Canes played their best. The Canes did a good job of keeping the Oilers to the outside for the majority of the period and skated more like themselves in the 3rd, only to have the game taken away from them late. In some ways, this game resembled game 1 with the 3rd period rally we have all come to expect and enjoy, falling a little short. The good news is that the Canes are still up in the series and still have a chance to put the Oilers in a deep hole with a win on Mon. night. On Mon., I would expect to see more of the way the Canes played the last 25 minutes of this game and less of how they played in the first 35. If that is the case, we will all be anticipating a visit from Stanley to Raleigh next week.