Choose a blog

Devils 3, Canes 2

Bookmark and Share

NEWARK -- Tuomo Ruutu said the Carolina Hurricanes didn't play with enough emotion Wednesday night in a 3-2 loss to the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center.

Didn't bang enough. Didn't fight hard enough.

But the question, simply, was why? Last week, the Canes lost a 2-1 lead late in regulation against the Devils, then lost 3-2 in overtime. Everyone in a Carolina sweater was aware the Devils are the hottest team in the league, without a regulation loss since the All-Star break and now 13-1-2 in their last 16 games.

The Canes went into the game in eighth place in the East, but with the Atlanta Thrashers and Buffalo Sabres close behind. Why come out so cautiously, with little physical play or edge?

"I don't know what it was," Ruutu said. "I don't know if it's preparation or being ready. I don't know. You're not going to win playing like that."

It was the Canes' fifth straight road game. Could fatigue and travel been a factor?

"No, no," Ruutu said. "We had two days without a game and we should have competed (better).

"We won a lot of games in January and we played every other day."

Ruutu, on his 28th birthday, scored his 14th goal of the season. But it came with 4.1 seconds left, with the Canes trailing 3-1 and with Cam Ward out of net for an extra attacker.

The Devils led 1-0 after two periods, on Ilya Kovalchuk's goal early in the second, but scored twice in the first 1:59 of the third. Brian Rolston had a 4-on-4 goal, off the rebound of a Patrik Elias shot, to make it 2-0 just 34 seconds into the period and then Elias scored.

"We go down and didn't get it to the net and they come down and get it to the net," Canes coach Paul Maurice said of Rolston's goal. "I think their game plan was like ours and they did a better job on the four-on-four.

"There wasn't a lot. It was just a high blocker shot we couldn't control. We didn't do it the other way.

"Our game is to put as many pucks as we can to the net and we didn't get to that to the third."

The Canes managed just 11 shots in the first two periods, then 14 in the third as the Devils hunkered down defensively after taking the 3-0 lead.

"We turned a lot of pucks over that we haven't," Maurice said. "The thing lacking on our side was the quickness wasn't there. For whatever reason our legs just weren't where they needed to be.

"It was a very quiet game for two periods of hockey. There didn't seem to be a lot of jump going either way for either team to generate much."

Devils goalie Johan Hedberg wasn't pressed very hard until the third, until Sergei Samsonov scored at 8:17.

"A lot of it is the way New Jersey plays," Samsonov said. "They can put you to sleep. They don't give you a whole lot.

"They play somewhat boring hockey, I guess. They're a little bit more structured than when we first played them. ...  But we don't have any excuses. We know where we are in the standings."

The five-game road swing finished with regulation losses to the Flyers and Devils, overtime losses to the Devils and Tampa Bay Lightning and a 3-2 win Sunday in Atlanta over the Thrashers.

The Canes now have a rare back-to-back at home. They face the Philadelphia Flyers, the best team in the East and arguably the best team in the league, on Friday. Then it's New Jersey, again, on Saturday.

"We'll come back," Ruutu said.



Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Rare Occurrence....

Cam got outplayed by Hedberg. Wardo needs to be close to 100% on most nights for the Canes to win--sometimes 110%.  He was 85% tonight.

OutGunned in a Goalie Duel

   Cam Ward is the essential piece of almost any Hurricanes victory.  Since the ASG, Cam Ward has had some amazing saves that few NHL goalies could make; however, there have more some goals he let in that were not characteristic of him.  He is playing quite well; but last night was an example where Cam Ward playing quite well was not able to match the other team's goalie playing lights out.  In the goalie duel against Hedberg, Hedberg was better. 

    For the Hurricanes to be a successful team, Cam Ward has to play like he did against Atlanta.  He is one of the NHL's best goalies when he is on his "A" game.  The pressure is on him to be that guy night after night.  For this homestand against the Flyers and the Devils, the Hurricanes need two victories.  The question will be whether Cam Ward is up to the challenge of taking the Hurricanes on his broad back and carrying them into the playoffs. He has the skill as he has shown in the past.




Funny how the Canes can go

Funny how the Canes can go on a winning streak and there's hardly any posts to this forum. But let them lose a few -- after all, it's fundamentally a .500 talent pool that JR has assembled this year -- and everyone wants Mo's scalp.

And this post is from someone who doesn't like Mo's style that much. Last night's result didn't come from errors in coaching; it came from low motivation. These are professionals, and with a few Lombardi-like exceptions, pro coaches aren't there to motivate; the players are supposed to provide that themselves.

last night's game

Hey Canes players, the game is 60 minutes, lets start playing 60 minutes of hockey instead of showing up the last 5 minutes of the game when you are down 3-0. I' m getting tired of seeing the same style of play every game. Let's sit back and shoot the puck at net with no screen in front of goalie and get down several goals before we finally wake up and start playing.

I would've made everyone practice today and made them do sprints for 15 min. and drilled in their heads we are fighting for a playoff spot. Need everyone on board!

What JR should do is sit those who are not playing and brings kids up from Charlotte who want to play.

Fish or cut bait

It's time to decide if we're aiming for the playoffs or next season.  We're hovering right on the line, and I certainly respect the decision not to mortgage the team's future for a run this season.  But, if we're not going to do that, then we should start looking to trade away the folks that are UFA's after this season anyway.   That can bring in new talent to replace the Checkers that will be with the Canes next season, and start getting those players some solid NHL experience (not 4th line experience) this season.

Now we're talking!

And while the Checkers that will be Canes next year, let's throw Jeff Daniels up to coach them too!

Groundhog Day Again

I keep hearing "I got you, babe" on the radio before every Canes game now.

Got to play offense more than just the last minute of a game, Mo.


Is that Bill Murray I see?  We need a new coach.

New Coach...

As many others have said, "Why did we bring him back?"  OK, I love my Canes but it is a business and sometimes the "Good old boy" or "He's my friend" does not get you the results required to keep a business going!  GET A NEW COACH!

Secondly, we are too small up front!  Mo is a 'depend on your defense' style coach and unfortuantely, we need better defense!  Pitkanen needs to go!  He makes bad passes, is not aggressive, and is very lazy!  Yes he leads us in +/- but that's because he plays every PP and whoever plays defense with him has to cover for him.  That's why the same person does not play with him every shift.  He wears them out by making them watch him and the other team.

Thirdly...It's time to get serious if we are shooting for the playoffs.  Make your trades, Karmonos needs to get off the funds and stop worrying about how much he can make.  I understand it's a busness for him but he has the millions already so let the francise be something great!

This is my opinion and with $1.25, you can get a terrible cup of coffee!


Cars View All
Find a Car
Jobs View All
Find a Job
Homes View All
Find a Home

Want to post a comment?

In order to join the conversation, you must be a member of Click here to register or to log in.

About the blogger

A Raleigh native, Chip has worked at the N&O since 1979 and is the Canes beat writer. He can be reached at You can follow him on Twitter at @ice_chip.