Straight Down The Middle : Carolina Hurricanes
Little to talk about at this point really. The Carolina Hurricanes have offered nothing but mediocre hockey so far this season. You can spin it anyway you want. You can blame it on their start in Finland, you can blame it on lack of off season moves, or you can blame it on the absence of veteran forward Ray Whitney. Personally, I think it's a combination of everything.
Despite a terrible start last year and a horrible first half, the 'Canes were one of the best teams down the stretch. It seemed once Eric Staal returned to the line up and was eventually named the team's new captain things started to head in the right direction. With the return of Chad Larose, Cam Ward and Erik Cole the team was hard to control. The shear excitement from these player's returns snowballed into 5 game winning streaks spread out over the 2nd half of 2009-2010.
The question is, why can't this team string together some wins? I mean, they have balance. Cam Ward is playing good hockey, Eric Staal is putting up points, their rookies are putting the effort in. Has their management played it too safe? Have they turned their team into nothing more than a .500 type team? They're almost straight down the middle in every category so far. Goals for (21) goals against (24). 4 wins, 4 loses. 1-1-0 at home 3-3-0 on the road. Is this what happens when you put together a group of streaky players? Chad Laroses, Eric Coles, Sergei Samsonovs????
I know it's early, and I know I'm giving these guys a hard time, but it's frustrating. If this is any indication as to what we're in store for this season, it's going to be another long one for 'Canes fans. If there is one thing that bothers me most in hockey, it's when teams float around in the middle. Especially when they're under achieving and positioned in 8th 9th or 10th throughout the entire season. C'mon we're not the bloody Rangers here. Either play awesome, or go home. That's the mentality you need to have to be a winning team.
I'm not pointing any fingers at this point. No blame being given to anyone in particular. This game is a group effort, and the work ethic needs to be improved in Carolina. It's like these guys are relying on their talent to do the work for them. Not going to get you far boys, not at all!