Carolina Hurricanes at Washington Capitals
7 p.m., Verizon Center
TV: FS-Carolinas, CSN-Washington
Ask any Caorlina fan what the low point of the Hurricanes season was and they will likely point to their 3-0 loss to the Washington Captials two weeks ago. The Hurricanes roster experienced a barrage of injuries at the time and put together easily their worst performance of the season. They were outchanced 23-12 at even strength alone and were just dominated in all phases of the game. Things could have easily been much uglier on the scoreboard if it wasn't for the play of Cam Ward. To make things even worse, the Canes had also won only one out of five games at this point and zero games within their own division, which led to a lot of questions of this team's effort.
The team's performance on that night was not up to standard, but in the heat of the moment it is easy to forget that the Canes were not playing with their permanent roster. Their defense corps consisted of two AHL-ers and one junior hockey player along with AHL depth composing most of their bottom-six. Add in some disjointed lines and that's usually a recipe for disaster. The Hurricanes have slowly gotten more healthy since that night and have won four of their last five games, so I would expect different things in tonight's re-match with the Caps.
I know that everyone wanted that game against the Caps to be special with all of the media fanfare surrounding Alexander Semin's return to Washington, but that was just one bad game and the Hurricanes can put that behind behind them with a win tonight. The Hurricanes can do themselves a huge favor this week by gaining points in their three divisional games this week, while the Caps are hanging on for dear life to their playoff chances so this game is relatively important for both teams. The Caps are probably the more desperate team, but the Canes seriously need to start picking up some more divisional wins if they want to lock up the Southeast.
Having a reasonably healthy roster will help the Canes tonight but they are still going to need to play much better than they did on their last trip to Verizon Center if they want to escape with two points.no comments