The Canes are 0-2-1 after their first three games, but coach Paul Maurice said today he isn't planning any major changes.
The Canes, who face the Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins on Wednesday, had a team meeting and a limited practice today at the RBC Center. Most of the players did not go on the ice.
Maurice indicated there would be no lineup changes for the Bruins, but left the door slightly ajar. Jamie McBain, Derek Joslin and Ryan Murphy were the only defensemen who skated today and appear to again be set as healthy scratches for the Bruins, but Maurice said the coaches would "go through the video" and make a final decision tomorrow.
"When we look at our three games, there are big blocks that we really liked the things we're doing," Maurice said. "That's our challenge right now. It's not a matter of staying positive, it's staying together. We've got some things we can do better, but they were three, good, battling games and I think the battle was there."
The Canes had a poor third period Friday in their season opener, losing 5-1 to Tampa Bay. On Saturday, they had a strong sustained effort and forced overtime against the Washington Capitals with a goal by Jussi Jokinen late in regulation, but lost in overtime 4-3.
Maurice agreed the Canes did not play as well Monday afternoon at New Jersey as they did against the Caps. The Canes lost to the Devils 4-2 to complete the two-game road trip.
"We have a few players who can bring a little more," Maurice said. "We need everybody going. That's true of every team. But there are a lot more things good in our game right now than things we're worried about.
"It's a confidence thing more than anything else. We don't want to come off a lot of what we're doing, but it's important to have some positive results."
That is, wins. The Canes face the Bruins at the RBC Center, then go to Buffalo for a Friday game that will be the Sabres' home opener in North America. Then it's on to Boston, followed by road games against the St. Louis Blues and Winnipeg Jets.
"it's early but at the same time you want to win games," said Jeff Skinner, who did skate today. "I think there have been a lot of positives. I think if we stick to it and stay consistent I think good things will start happening to us and we'll get a bounce here or there and hopefully turn it around."
The Bruins are 1-2 after a 1-0 loss at home Monday to the Colorado Avalanche.
"They're searching for that good feeling, too," Maurice said.
Forward Pat Dwyer said the meeting today was "really upbeat" and that everyone remains confident things can quickly turn around.
"We're only three games in and we'd like to have more points than we do, but if you look at the three games, we were in them all going into the third period," Dwyer said. "It's tough. We're right there. We just have to find a way to come out and win those games rather than let them get away from us.
"We're right there. There's no need to panic. But we do need to get some stuff figured out. We said that three games ago but there's even more urgency now."