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Wallin: Canes must be tougher, smarter

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The Canes may have a number of defensive changes planned for Game 3 against the Penguins, but defenseman Niclas Wallin said one thing definitely has to change.

"We have to be smart," he said. "We have to have at least one guy in front of the net, because they're getting some good chances and getting a couple of whacks at it, and that can't happen."

The solution? Wallin said the Canes must be more bruising in front of their net.

"This is playoff hockey," he said. "That doesn't mean you go out there and kill anybody. But you've got to take your guy away, and we haven't done that this series."

Wallin said the Canes have been caught too many times chasing after the puck and caught out of position, doing some things in the defensive zone they have not done in a couple of months.

"Things that are not in our game plan," he said. "We can not give up time and space to them."

Wallin noted the Canes did score four goals in Game 2, in Mellon Arena.

"When you do that, on their ice, that should be enough," he said.

It wasn't enough. Not with the Pens' Evgeni Malkin scoring a hat trick and Sidney Crosby adding a goal and Max Talbot and Chris Kunitz scoring. By game's end, it was a 7-4 loss.

"They have tons of skill," Wallin said. "But we can definitely stop them. Take their time and space away from them and we should be good."


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The Canes weren't ?? Is it because the Canes aren't " Tough Enough " ?? Or just lacking in defense as a whole from the d-squad as well say from the offensive side as well ?


Go Canes !!! Please !!! 

For sure, they could be smarter....

I don't know about toughness. But Carolina sure is dumb as a stump. I agree with the premise of this post. When will Mo see the light and pull Ward. I mean, 13 goals the past two games. Oh, hold on a sec, two of those were empty netters.

Okay, 11 goals the past two games (I'd say 11 doesn't sound as bad as 13, but, c'mon...11 goals against in two games?).

Mo needs to smarten up or he's done.

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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.