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Ryan Craig

Canes can take positives from game five loss

Posted April 24, 2009

Athletes will always tell you there are no such things as moral victories, but I don't think the Canes should be angry about their play Thursday night, especially on the offensive end of the rink.

On an evening when Cam Ward was phenomenal and Carolina dictated play for long stretches, sending more than 40 shots towards Martin Brodeur, including a number of  extremely high-quality chances, the Canes walked away from the Prudential Center with a 1-0 loss, but much to gain from their high level of play.

“I thought we played real well,” said Eric Staal. “We were in on the pucks, we cycled the puck well, we had some point blank chances, and they didn’t fall – sometimes that’s the way it goes.”

Sure, Paul Maurice’s team wasn’t perfect in game five - it went scoreless yet again on the power play on five chances and allowed more than 40 shots against Cam Ward - but on most evenings, and against most goaltenders, the Canes’ effort Thursday night would have been rewarded with a win.

Brodeur, though, is not most goalies. In fact, when he’s on like was in game five, when he tied Patrick Roy’s all-time playoff shutout record at 23, he’s in a class all his own.

“Any elite players, any elite goaltenders try and be at their best when it matters, and he was good tonight,” Staal said. “I thought we really pushed hard…we were all over them, we just didn’t score. We just have to stay positive, stay with it and get a big win in our building.”

“If you came in here and said that we’re gonna get that many good scoring chances and only hold them to one, you’d be pretty happy with it,” Rod Brind’Amour said after the loss. “We had some great shots and some great looks, it just didn’t go for us – we didn’t get the bounces.”

Even though the Canes collectively felt good about how the team played, that didn’t make flying out of the Garden State with a loss any easier to take.

“It’s frustrating,” Staal admitted, “but you can’t do anything about it right now.”

One would think that a similar effort Sunday night in game six, in front of a home crowd, would end with a different result.

Brodeur simply can't be that good two games in a row.

At least, that's what the Canes are hoping.

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  • GunnyGoesArrrgh Apr 24, 10:25 a.m.

    Yes, the Canes (and their fans) should be proud of their play in last night's game. The troubling thing is that we HAVE to win the remaining two games in order to advance, and that is a daunting task. The teams are so evenly matched, with each team exchanging wins, neither team winning two in a row. I hope we can beat the odds and win both games. Let's Go Canes!!

  • dwofford Apr 24, 9:39 a.m.

    While I agree with pretty much everything said, sadly, last night was also not like most other nights. During the regular season, you could walk away from this game feeling good about your performance. But last night, it brought our team to the brink of elimination. Winning the next two will truly test the metal of our Canes. Chuck Kaiton's comments a week ago keep haunting me. A listener asked him who he thought would be the last team standing in the Eastern Conference - and he said New Jersey or Boston. I wish he hadn't said that. Sunday is another day - and EVERYONE who doesn't have a ticket should buy one. It's time to get to the RBC Center and support the team. GO CANES.

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