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Mike Maniscalco

Toughness wanted by Canes head coach

Posted January 23, 2013

— The home opener for the Hurricanes did not go as planned, as they fell 4-1 to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The first period looked eerily similar to Saturday’s season opener in Florida. Carolina watched the opponent take control early, jumping out to a commanding lead while the Canes tried to find their game. Carolina Hurricanes Logo Carolina Hurricanes schedule

With an amped home crowd the Hurricanes had the jump for the first three minutes, but there was not enough physical play for 60 minutes to make life difficult for the Lightning. In the first two games, Carolina has not made life difficult for the guys on the other bench. While pouring 36 shots on Tampa goalie Mathieu Garon, there was not enough net presence by the Canes to make those shots tough to handle.

Carolina is now 0-2 to start the season, which under normal circumstances wouldn't raise eyebrows. But this is not a normal year with a condensed schedule magnifying losses.

Jordan Staal Medlin: Canes say no need to panic

The Hurricanes haven’t had the chemistry between the lines early on, and as a result the offensive output has not been there. The Canes have scored two goals in two games while surrendering nine. The offensive output has to pick up, and there might be a sign that can happen. Jeff Skinner scored his first of the year, which happened to be the team’s first power play marker, and the man-advantage had several good chances against Tampa that with more games and timing will be buried.

Tampa put four goals past Cam Ward, but unlike the opener, Ward stuck around for the full game and grew stronger as the contest wore on. It’s hard to tell what effect the lockout has had on individual players, but goaltenders that didn’t get work have had a rough start.

The defensive struggles continued, as the Canes were caught out of position or failed to clear the zone several times, leading to chances that the Lightning didn’t miss.

Hurricanes head coach Kirk Muller remained positive, letting the media know that the team game improved from Saturday to Tuesday. But he knows that the results are all that matters in the NHL.

If there is an area where Muller is disappointed in his team it is in the toughness department. He pointed it out after the 4-1 loss by saying several times that his team needs to play a tougher game.

With the Buffalo Sabres next up for a back-to-back set, the Canes don't have a lot of time to get tougher. If the Hurricanes want to avoid an 0-3 start, they need to get to find a way to get to that point by the time the puck drops Thursday.

25 Comments

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  • common tater Jan 23, 10:31 p.m.

    I guess natsfan has it right about not pushing the panic button. After all we have the same record as the champs from last season.

  • natsfan1965 Jan 23, 8:18 p.m.

    It's too early to push the panic button. Semin scores goals in bunches. He is a tremendous talent. The defense has to improve. The lack of a pre-season causes defensive lapses. The Canes have time to right the ship. They and the Capitals will be fighting for the division title at seasons end

  • NJDEVILSFANINNCHELL Jan 23, 5:00 p.m.

    Actually this is very enjoyable!!!

  • 321oohaw Jan 23, 4:02 p.m.

    They will be fine, you can't win all 48.

    — Posted by Jimmytwotimes

    ...12-36

    — Posted by 321oohaw

    LOL! I hope not, I'm thinking they are gonna flirt with .500 the first half, than have a... View More

    — Posted by Jimmytwotimes

    ...I hear ya...

  • lec02572 Jan 23, 3:58 p.m.

    Being outscored 9 to 2 in your fist 2 games of 48 is not a good thing. Don't have to worry about the playoffs for years to come.

  • sburks1906 Jan 23, 3:58 p.m.

    The Canes need to get it together. I thought they'd compete for a playoff spot but they need to get the rust knocked off soon

  • caniacman Jan 23, 3:20 p.m.

    Folks 2 games in here. The team right now lacks some chemistry but with two big weapons up front that is going to happen. I would be more concerned if we were creating 0 scoring chances, but we could have scored several goals in both games. We do need to get to the dirty areas and cash in these rebounds. Too many times there are loose pucks in front that we are not getting to. Where Tampa scored 2 ugly goals. Sorry folks first 3 goals were not Cam's fault but the D. Sang was responsible for 2. Mueller said it himself this team has to get tougher. That I 100% agree with. Cam does appear off a bit but thought he played better last night. I am sure Ellis will see 1 of the next two. Have to get at least a split against Buffalo, 0-4 then it may be panic time.

  • wlcat609 Jan 23, 12:15 p.m.

    In case you hadn't noticed - the Canes are missing the likes of Bryan Allen, Sean Hill and Mike Commodore - those guys were physical and hit any moving object; not so many that occupy the 'D' spots on the Canes so far this season. Cam has a tough time making saves with not only the opponents in his way but his own 'D' men as well!

    Looks like history will repeat once again - Paul Maurice 'power play' hockey (ring around the outside), giving up valuable points early so they can possibly get into the post season at the last minute (and you know haw that has turned out lately)! It is going to take time to get things squared away as the juggling continues- possibly as long as three to four weeks - and it remains to be seen just how deep a hole the Canes have created and if they can recover. It sure doesn't look too good at this point especially with back to back games with Buffalo on the horizon.

  • robertleonard01 Jan 23, 12:03 p.m.

    Ward is slow. He needs to be playing in Charlotte.

    — Posted by da-doo-doo

    Can't happen (even if it did, it wouldn't). If you are on a one way contract, you would have to clear waivers before you can be sent down to Charlotte. No chance Canes would ever take that risk.

  • Jimmytwotimes Jan 23, 12:00 p.m.

    They will be fine, you can't win all 48.

    — Posted by Jimmytwotimes

    ...12-36

    — Posted by 321oohaw

    LOL! I hope not, I'm thinking they are gonna flirt with .500 the first half, than have a winning record the second half. I don't know man.

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