Ryan Craig

Slow start dooms Carolina in Game 6

Posted May 13, 2009

How important was it for the Carolina Hurricanes to light the lamp first in Tuesday night’s Game 6?

Heading into the contest, Paul Maurice’s team was a perfect 5-0 in the playoffs when it scored before its opponent, and just 2-5 after falling behind 1-0.

With that in mind, and a deafening home crowd in its ear, there might have been cause for concern about the Canes coming out with an overabundance of aggression, but certainly not a lack of it.

Unfortunately for the fans, players and coaches alike, it was the latter that plagued the home team for the game’s first five minutes.

“I think it was flatness,” Tim Gleason responded when asked about the reason for the slow start. “I think we were a bit nervous. I think, compared to the last home game we had here, it was a total difference.”

Winger Tuomo Ruutu was in agreement with the Canes’ most rugged defenseman.

“I don’t think we were right in the beginning – I don’t think we had enough will.”

While the Canes were flat, the Bruins were rolling.

Before many fans sat down in their seats after the national anthem, former Hurricane Mark Recchi had his Bruins team up 1-0.

Just minutes later, the Canes’ deficit was two, compliments of a Steve Montador slap shot off of a spectacular between-the-legs drop pass from David Krejci.

“Every team’s going to tell you that they want to score the first goal,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said after his team’s 4-2 win Tuesday night. “You feel a lot more comfortable. That first goal made us feel confident and then we got that second one which, again, it just seemed like we had lots of confidence.”

While Boston was flying, the Canes were left searching for their game – for the simple plays that were so successful for them in building a one-time 3-1 series lead.

“Where we get ourselves in trouble ... is that we open our game up before we have to,” Maurice said after his team’s Game 6 loss. “We just do some things that are higher risk ... instead of driving at the net, [we try] to pass through a seam, through a crowd of people – it just doesn’t work for us.”

Carolina has worked itself out of several precarious situations already this postseason, but even a team that scored twice in the last 80 seconds of a Game 7, on the road, to keep its season alive, knows that giving up the early lead is anything but ideal.

“It creates a hole,” Eric Staal said candidly. “It’s not where we wanted to be and we’ve got to make sure that we don’t let that happen in Game 7 … because it’s a tough hill to climb after that.”

Thursday night the Hurricanes will take their third and final shot at eliminating the Bruins.

They say the third time is the charm, and the Canes will go a long way towards ensuring exactly that if they can get on the scoreboard first.

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  • Bassgtrzan May 13, 3:04 p.m.

    Sabresfan4Bruins wrote:
    "I live in Raleigh and am a Sabres fan, actually pulling for the Bruins. The Canes fans know nothing about hockey, and the only reason the cheer so loudly is because they cannot sit there and understand the game and nuances like "neutral zone trap", etc. This is still a college town, and there are die-hard Canes fans. But when they make a run in the playoffs, suddenly everybody puts down their pulled pork and starts rooting for the Canes. The loudest cheers at the Canes game actually come before the puck is dropped, while the players skate around in a circle. I have heard some say, "which car is Jeff Gordons"."

    Being from western Ny myself I can say that this guy is suffering from many years of pulling for losers. Although I'm still a big BILLS Fan. The "fans" that were her for the eastern conference final in 06 were extreamly obnoxious. Just like the Chowderheads that have been posting here.

  • hoof_hearted May 13, 3:03 p.m.

    The Hurricanes will prevail in seven.

  • tjohn777 May 13, 2:57 p.m.

    Nice Rant... Go B's !!!

  • devilishhockeygirl May 13, 2:22 p.m.

    I had no desire to respond to the pathetic posts on the last WRAL 'Canes article.
    Even as a transplant/NNYer/Devils fan, I will NEVER stoop as low as distasteful Bawstin "fans".
    Hey, it's all good to support another team, but when have Red Sox/Bruins fans EVER delivered actual intelligent comebacks in the face of competition?!
    Uh, um, well, hmmm, that's right- NEVER!!!

    Yes, last night was ugly for the Hurricanes. I cringed as I watched the last period slip from them even with 2 power plays. Uggh
    However, I KNOW that tomorrow's night game will be an attention-grabber despite whatever goals/final score! Any true hockey fan will tell you that the 'Canes will review last night's tape, cringe/agonize with most of the NHL world (and no, not the "I'm-from-Bawstin-and-that's-my-personal-
    problem" idiots)!
    AND with the review, the Hurricanes will know even moreso what they need to do if game 4's win is to be theirs!

    This is game 7 tomorrow. It's anyone's series now. Bawstin certainly deserved last night's win. No doubt about it. The 'Canes and their passing was horrendous! They know it.

    So Bawstin fans, keep telling yourself that these 'Canes fans are "bandwagoners" even though they have posted FAR more intellectual hockey blogs than any of your "species".

    BTW- Grab your elementary alphabet workbooks. There are actually 26 letters (INCLUDING the letter 'R') in our English language! Hey, don't argue the indisputabe: MANY true hockey fans (yes, a.k.a 'Caniacs!), have been blogging/posting throughout this entire series. Funny how you Bawstin Bawlers just showed up NOW.

    Have a great game tomorrow night 'Canes and Caniacs! Even though I'm a big fan of "Dropkick Murphys", I don't feel the same about imbecilic Bruins "fans".

    Good luck to the Hurricanes! "Cheers" to the Bawstin wagoners (Hey, I think a Dunkin Donuts near you is still open!)

  • juniorsk May 13, 1:40 p.m.

    hey wags, a true canes fan, not the buffalo/bruins fan.

  • juniorsk May 13, 1:12 p.m.

    to cragsdale. look up moron and you see a photo of yourself!

  • Cragsdale May 13, 12:36 p.m.

    and the sorry edit feature keeps redirecting me to teh article instead of letting me edit the typo in before.

  • Cragsdale May 13, 12:34 p.m.

    juniorsk, learn reading comprehension befor you start talking smack you moron. Wags was QUOTING what someone named sabersfan4bruins wrote in the Boston Globe forums. Stupid people shouldn't be allowed access to computers.

  • Garnerwolf1 May 13, 12:09 p.m.

    Sabresfan4Bruins: another reason why everyone not born here should leave!

  • juniorsk May 13, 11:39 a.m.

    Hey Wags. Glad the sabres are home watching where they belong! Look up Sabres in the dictionary and you'll see it says "losers". Maybe you can move to Buffalo.

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