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I had the extreme displeasure of watching tonights game after finding out the score. Unfortunately as I arrived to my own game tonight the last 20 seconds of the game was on the TV and I had really no way of avoiding it making my way to the locker room to change. So I knew we got shutout which put me in a very negative mood. By the time I got home I had the entire game already mapped out in my head. I was expecting a lazy effort from the guy. I was expecting some soft goals by Vally, I was expecting turnovers all over the ice, chances against, no quality chances, mistake after mistake…etc.

I guess coming into this game with such a negative expectation gave me something to look for. I was actively searching for something to get all pissed off about. Something to justify my bad mood. Instead, all I got was a really well played game by the Rangers, but an even better played game by the Hurricanes.

I was very happy with our offensive attack, our defensive awareness, our goaltending, our PK, our PP, our puck support, out effort level. Really I have only a few nitpicky things I was annoyed about (more on that in a bit). All I could think about while the game was winding down was…man, we played a solid game, what the hell am I going to write about?!

The fact of the matter is, there is really only one thing you can write about. Sometimes, ya just get beat. I know everyone loves to blame someone, anyone for a loss. People bust out the pitchforks for Lundqvist when he gives up a softie, or they fall in line behind me to crucify Renney for a trillion different line combinations (which Torts was guilty of a bit tonight). But the fact of the matter is, even if you play your absolute best, your peak tip top game, for 82 games..you won’t go 82-0. Why? Because there is another team out there. And every once in a while they out play you. Sure, there are games where an individual on the other team displays a herculean effort, or a goalie absolutely stands on his head, but neither were the case tonight. Tonight, the Canes just played a superb game from start to finish. Their goaltending was astounding, their defense was superb, their attack game was flawless, this PK was better than ours. Really, they just played a great game. So I tip my hat to them, and move on.

I did have issue with a few smallish things tonight. One was the penalty parade we had. It wasn’t extreme, like 12 penalties or anything, but they did seem to come at exactly the wrong time. It seemed like anytime we started to snowball with momentum, we took a penalty (and they were legit calls, no harping on the refs tonight). Those kinds of plays can lead to what happened tonight, where the Rangers seemed to sputter at times because of having to regroup after killing a penalty. I also had an issue with the Rangers goal being overturned. While it was absolutely 100% the right call, it seemed like they were influenced by the Canes being irate than because that is how they saw it. Also I’d love for someone to clarify the hand pass rule, because if I’m not mistaken, when the puck touched Cam Ward on it’s way through to Zherdev, shouldn’t they hand pass have been waived off then? The puck did touch Ward during the scramble after Dubinsky hand passed it, so doesn’t that make it a good goal? Finally, I was a little annoyed at the line juggling that Torts did. No, I’m not getting on the coach, because I have nothing but the utmost respect for his feel and grasp for the game, but it did seem like he decided to swap things up for no good reason. I felt the lines that he had established the past few games have been picture perfect. Why screw with that?

Regardless, tomorrow is another day. Forget about this one, because there is really nothing we could have done. Great job Canes, now let’s move on.

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