Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford said today that the team may face some tough decisions in the next few days but said he supports coach Paul Maurice.
"I stand firmly behind him," Rutherford said. "We all have contributed to what's happened. It's everybody, from me to the coaches to the players. We all share in the responsibility.
"But it's way too early, especially when you think of all the things that went right last year. All the things that went right last year are going wrong this year. We'll just try to sort through it."
The Canes (5-16-5) have lost their last four games, allowing five goals in the third period in collapses against Atlanta and Buffalo. Carolina faces the Washington Capitals on Monday at the RBC Center, then has four days before a Saturday game against Vancouver.
"We'll get through the game, then get everybody together Tuesday and Wednesday and get some more thoughts," Rutherford said. "But I do not see any quick solutions. With the cap system, it's hard to make quick changes.
"We'll get everybody together and see what everybody thinks, if we feel good enough about our ability to get back in it, or if we need to transition some players, or whatever needs to be done."
Rutherford noted the Canes were able to make deals for Jussi Jokinen and Erik Cole last season but called a "unique situation" and noted both trades were made in February and March.
"It's become more and more like the NFL, where teams are put together in the offseason and you can't make major changes," he said. "Maybe a few changes, but nothing major."
Forward Chad LaRose did not play Saturday against the Sabres because of injury and Rutherford said it was "hard to say" when LaRose might return. Defenseman Joni Pitkanen, who suffered an upper-body injury against Atlanta, has a chance of returning Monday for the Caps, Rutherford said.
Pitkanen missed the third period of the Thrashers game and the Buffalo game. Defenseman Bryan Rodney was recalled from Albany (AHL) for the Buffalo game but spent much of Saturday traveling from Norfolk, Va., to Buffalo.
"We've had a lot of things go wrong, but it was obvious with (Pitkanen) out in the two games that we did not have the depth in the third period to hold the other team off," Rutherford said.