Ken Medlin

Physical Canes have no reason to panic

Posted April 20, 2009

They may be down a game in their playoff series against the Devils, but if the Carolina Hurricanes continue playing with the kind of intensity they brought in game three they have no reason to panic whatsoever.

In three words, defenseman Tim Gleason summed up the Canes' perspective on Game Three.

"They got lucky," Gleason said of New Jersey's 3-2 overtime win.

I'm sure the Devils will disagree with that, but I think Gleason's on to something.

Carolina took the game to the Devils, winning the physical battle for the second game in a row. Except for a sleepy start in the second period, the Hurricanes were the team dishing out the punishment.

One stat I love to look at during the playoffs is the "hits" count. It tends to be a great indicator for which team is controlling the play. And for the second game in a row, the Canes outhit the Devils -- in this case by a 36-21 margin.

And yet, New Jersey won the game -- thanks in no small part to eleven Hurricane giveaways, none more obvious than Joe Corvo's turnover which set up a Brian Rolston goal in the first period.

The giveaways are troubling, yes. But give me the more agressive, style-controlling team any day -- even with the turnovers.

New Jersey may have the series lead at 2-1, but the Canes have grabbed the upper hand in the physical play department. And that could still turn the tides in the Hurricanes' favor.

2 Comments

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  • giantfan1956 Apr 21, 2009

    lets score early, take a little pressure off..

  • StunGunn Apr 20, 2009

    I was really impressed with the intensity and grit the Canes showed in the game last night; it makes the loss in OT all the more heartbreaking. I can only hope the Canes bring the same desire tomorrow night and that this time the bounce will go their way instead of the Devil's way. Tuesday's game is a must win.

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