On Sunday night, two teams headed in opposite directions met in what looked (on paper) like a cake walk for the Canes. The Canes had won six of their last seven games and the visiting Flyers had lost 11 of their last 12 games. Carolina was looking to finish the season on the right foot, gain some ground on Atlanta, and settle in for what will be a much easier schedule in the second half.
Games aren't played on paper.
Philly came in and ruined the New Year's bash, stomping the Canes 5-2. Although Robert Esche was standing on his head, that really wasn't the thing. Carolina was once again plagued by defensive lapses, leaving Cam Ward out to dry. Following a great power play night on Friday, they struggled on Sunday, converting only one of eight.
From a SOG standpoint, you would think that Carolina controlled the game. They didn't. What the stat lines don't indicate is that out of 42 shots by the Canes, probably 35 of them were right at Esche's chest.
Ray Whitney got things going, and was one of just a few Canes worth a crap. He had both Canes goals, and very nearly had a third on a couple of chances.
I apologize about the lack of a "real" post on that game, but it was pretty awful.
On a side note, I once said that one of my solipsistic goals for this blog was to one day be in conversation with a stranger and have them say "Hey, I know you... You're that red and black hockey guy!" Well,... it happened at that game during the first intermission. It wasn't quite like I imagined, because it was a guy. Of course, in my daydream, it's a woman, and we end up being wed. Maybe next time...
I'm swamped with work, but I really am working on those report cards I talked about. That, and memorizing the periodic elements and their inflected forms (for Scrabble). I know. I know. A sneak preview into the report cards: Eric Staal won't be getting an A.
Carolina will start the '07 part of the schedule on the road in Pittsburgh tonight. Jordan Staal already owes Eric two Gatorades, and the elder will hope to make it three tonight.
The second half of Carolina's schedule is going to be much easier. Many teams have only played 38 games so far, and Carolina has already hit the halfway point. Of their 15 back-to-back situations, Carolina has already played 11. Also, the remainder of the schedule will be heavy with home games; 23 of the remaining 41 games are at the RBC Center. Also, the Canes won't have to face the Sabres any more. At least not in the regular season.
Puck drop will be at 7:30. Hopefully, I'll get a game recap up by tomorrow morning, and the report card by the end of the week.
3 years ago