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.