A bad loss can cause a coach to react in certain ways and Kirk Muller was apparently very unhappy with his team's performance in Saturday's 4-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning, so he decided to shake things up a bit for tonight's game against the New York Rangers. The result? Another loss, but one where the team got a point and played well for various segments. There will probably be some people who are satisfied with this team getting a point and only losing because of a skills competition, but there were a lot of things to be concerned about tonight and it goes beyond just the fact that the team lost.
There have been a lot of people getting on the Hurricanes for "not playing a full 60 minutes" and this game will be one that a lot will point to as evidence of that. Carolina started off this game on a very strong note, outshooting the Rangers 14-8 and dominating them territorially in just about every facet. They were rewarded for their efforts with a 1-0 lead and could have easily gotten a regulation win if they kept up this level of play. This obviously did not happen, as the Rangers took over the game for the remaining 45 minutes. After getting outshot 14-6 in the first period, the Blueshirts outshot Carolina 30-13 for the rest of the game and had multiple opportunities to take the lead but could never capitalize. Part of the reason for this was due to the spectacular play of Dan Ellis and the Rangers inability to hit the net on several of their chances. Either way, Carolina was very, very lucky to come away with a point after this game.
Imagine the meltdown against Washington last week only without the Canes getting scored on in the final five minutes. That would be somewhat of an accurate description of how this game went. Muller definitely had this team ready to play in the first period but either they ran out of gas early or just fell asleep for the final two periods. With the struggles they have been going through lately, it's easy to forget that the Rangers are actually a very good and talented team who can make you pay if you take them lightly. The Canes were able to avoid getting burned tonight and regained their lead in the Southeast thanks to the charity point . Still a lot of work to do before this team is completely up to standards, though and they'll have to get back to work tomorrow against Florida.no comments