banner
Adam Harris

Devils "Rock" Canes in Game One

Posted April 16, 2009

Ouch.  That was brutal. 

The build-up, the anticipation, the excitement, the hype...  All followed by the massive let-down.

The Carolina Hurricanes were chewed up and spit out on Wednesday night.  Dominated, owned, man-handled.  Call it what you will, the New Jersey Devils were a far superior team to the Canes in Game One.  We'll borrow the nickname of the Devils' home arena and say the Canes got "rocked" at The Rock.  Wednesday night at the Prudential Center was an embarrassing loss for a proud Hurricanes team.  I think - no, I know - the Canes are better than what we just witnessed in a 4-1 loss to the Devils.

Perhaps the Hurricanes are just "happy to be there."  Maybe the raised level of play that Caniacs enjoyed in the surge to reach the playoffs was the extent of the gusto this team possesses.  Is it possible that the Canes' ultimate goal for the 2008-09 season has already been achieved?  When you miss out on the post-season for two years (in particularly heart breaking fashion last year), maybe focusing on the big prize is shoved aside in favor of concentrating on the door prize.

It certainly didn't seem as if the Carolina Hurricanes came to Newark to contend for the Stanley Cup.  The Canes didn't appear to be a team full of heart, courage, fervor or determination.  Instead, the Hurricanes looked like a team that didn't belong in the playoffs at all.  They were outpaced in nearly every facet of the game. 

The Devils are clearly a more physical team than the Hurricanes.  Hard to find someone to argue that.  But, on Wednesday they were also the faster team, the smarter team, the grittier team, and the more disciplined team.  Each of those surprised me.  I wish that time of possession was still a statistic tracked by the NHL.  I bet the Devils would have had a 2:1 advantage in that category over the Canes in Game One. 

If you're looking for positives you can point to Cam Ward and Matt Cullen.  Ward made a handful of incredible saves while facing 39 shots; 30 shots in the first two periods.  Carolina could have lost this game 8-1, or worse.  There were plenty of good scoring chances for the Devils as the Hurricanes defense was soft and lethargic, while the back-check from the forwards left a lot to be desired. 

Meanwhile, Cullen finally got into a game after missing the last eight contests of the regular season with an injured foot.  He looked very much like the play-maker that centered the Canes' super-productive second line for much of the season.  After just two shifts in the first period, Cullen got on the ice six times in the second period, then had eight shifts in the third.  He told me after the game that Paul Maurice was easing him back into the line-up, but I tend to think Maurice was looking for that old Cullen/Whitney/LaRose magic as the game progressed and the deficit on the scoreboard increased.  After the familiar Canes' second line was back together from the second period on tonight, I suspect the 13/8/59 line is here to stay.

So, what now?  Cullen, Ray Whitney and Tim Gleason all told me after the game that this loss will be easy to put behind them.  I'm not so convinced.  The Devils made a pretty bold statement on Wednesday, "We're the better team."  New Jersey hopes that proclamation is ringing loudly in the Canes' ears. 

This series isn't over, far from it.  But the Canes better snap out of whatever haze they were in on Wednesday by 7:30 on Friday night.  Another performance like Game One, and 2009 is in the books.  Here's hoping Game One was the exception, and not the rule.

 

Adam Harris covers the Carolina Hurricanes for 99.9 FM The Fan & wralsportsfan.com.  He is in New Jersey for the Canes' opening round series of the Stanley Cup Playoffs vs. the Devils

Comments

This blogpost is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • NFL: Dallas at NY Giants

    Tonight at 8:30 on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
Final
CREI 65
NCCU 45
 
Final
NCSU 68
SFLA 65
3rd
MIA 53
CHA 44
 
3rd
MIA 53
CHA 44
 
Half
MEM 53
LAC 40
 
3rd
BOS 51
POR 46
 
1st
OKC 10
GSW 15
 
9:30pm Tonight
LAL
DEN
Final
GMAS 60
COC 61
Final
FSU 69
UMASS 75
Final
SHSU 53
WOFF 64
Final
UNCG 67
YOUNG 76
Final
CMICH 75
ARKPB 43
 
Final
ILLCH 60
SILL 67
Final
MORE 46
AMER 51
Final
CORN 59
DREX 61
Final
CCST 60
COOK 65
Final
ARKLR 94
CSNO 88
Final
LEH 44
CLMB 54
 
Final
USB 89
MERMAR 54
 
Final
NMU 51
TEXAM 64
Final
STLU 56
TAMCC 62
 
Final
FAIR 80
SD 72
Final
EMICH 79
LONG 48
 
Final
ND 74
PROV 75
Final
RAD 88
CATAWBA 52
 
Final
DEN 80
COPST 54
 
Final
UAB 58
JST 50
 
Final
WICHS 105
NWM 57
Final
OKLA 90
NWST 68
Final
KSU 59
YALE 66
Final
CREI 65
NCCU 45
 
Final
NCSU 68
SFLA 65
Final
UCR 102
STKAT 49
 
Final
PSU 63
USC 61
 
Final
HC 101
NICHOLSCOL 70
 
Final
BC 53
DAY 65
Final
MON 75
TOWS 79
 
Final
HOF 93
WAGN 71
 
Final
CIN 54
EILL 49
 
Final
UGA 74
FATL 61
 
Final
BRAD 58
NCAT 50
 
Final
LATU 76
PBY 48
 
Final
RUTG 76
Terriers 73
 
Final
SAMF 64
UMKC 55
 
2nd
NAVY 67
BING 65
 
2nd
SHU 46
GWEBB 38
 
2nd
UNT 32
IONA 38
 
2nd
KENT 53
MNTST 11
 
2nd
FORD 36
MLOWELL 37
 
2nd
UCF 59
USCU 56
 
1st
SCAR 24
AKR 31
 
1st
WVU 10
UCONN 5
 
1st
CALST 7
DEL 7
 
7:00pm Tonight
HOW
HOOD
 
1st
OSU 11
SHU 5
 
1st
VANDY 12
TENST 4
 
8:00pm Tonight
NE
MAN
8:00pm Tonight
COLST
MERC
8:00pm Tonight
MISS
NARZ
8:00pm Tonight
WASH
PAC
8:00pm Tonight
LMU
SDCHR
 
9:00pm Tonight
CHAR
MIAMI
9:00pm Tonight
ILLST
ODU
9:00pm Tonight
GAELS
UCI
10:00pm Tonight
UCLA
LBSU
10:30pm Tonight
SEAT
MONT
 
Final
WIN 2
STL 4
 
1st
NYR 0
MON 0
 
8:00pm Tonight
ANA
ARI
9:30pm Tonight
VAN
CHI
Final
HOU 13
CIN 22
Final
ATL 24
CLE 26
Final
NEP 34
DET 9
Final
MIN 21
GBP 24
Final
IND 23
JAC 3
Final
CHI 21
TAM 13
Final
PHI 43
TEN 24
Final
SEA 19
ARI 3
 
Final
SDC 27
STL 24
 
4th
DEN 39
MIA 28
 
4th
SFX 17
WAS 13
 
8:30pm Tonight
NYG
DAL