Mid-season as in December through January of last season where they couldn't score a goal or put up a consistent nightly effort? Well, no.
But the pre-season opener last night against the Caps certainly reminded me of that horrible stretch. Can't hold the puck, can't play D.. can shoot the puck on net all night but never generate any solid chances...
Thank goodness that one didn't count. A few notes:
-Pitkanen (if he can stay healthy) is going to have a tremendous year for Carolina. He was a beast pretty much all night.
-Corvo paired with Pitkanen working the points on the power play is rather lethal if they're in the offensive zone. However, having two offensive-minded defenseman during a potential short-handed breakaway (especially Corvo) may not be the best idea. Carolina allowed way too many shorties last year.
-Petruzalek had a great 1st period. If he buries all of his chances, we're talking about a whole different outcome.
-on Bowman & Sutter - meh. Poor B-Sutt couldn't win a face-off to save his life but otherwise showed decent awareness around the puck. Bowman is fast and he will be a sniper, he just looked flat like the rest of the team last night.
-Nic Wallin. Dude. Did you get hammered before the game or something? Get a clue.
-Ward. Mmm, yeah he was already in mid-season form. Allowing 2 goals on the first 3 shots. The first you couldn't really fault him for. The 2nd was mostly Joe Corvo's fault - but he's gonna have to learn to handle those breakaway chances playing this Hurricane style of hockey where that door is occasionally left open.
-Justin Peters - Hey guy, you're supposed to have your butt facing the net - not vice-versa as you were when you gave up your first goal.
-Jeff O'Neill & LaCouture - not real impressive. O'Neill was playing just OK, I barely even noticed LaCouture.
It was outstanding to be at the RBC Center. It was outstanding to tailgate. It was outstanding to finally meet some of my blogger co-horts, David Lee of RBH fame & Beth from the Sliding Pokiecheck. Not such an outstanding game to watch as a Canes fan, but that's what the pre-season is all about. Get out the kinks and move on.
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