7:00 PM EDT - PNC Arena
So here we are. Lose and you're out. Win and you live to fight another day. The skating MASH unit known as the Carolina Hurricanes, battle-scarred and bruised, will skate onto home ice one last time in this first round series to battle the determined and suddenly-awakened Washington Capitals. It has been ugly. It has been physical. Bad blood is abundant in what is sure to be the next hot Metro Division rivalry for some time.
Smarting from a humiliating 6-0 beat-down on Saturday night in the nation's capital, the Canes will put all their chips in the middle of the table to extend the series to a final game. If they are to accomplish this, they will need burn the tape from Saturday and get back to the basics that got them back into the series in the first place. Game 5 was ugly and putrid, and if there isn't fire from the coaches down to the hydration units on the team, they don't (and won't) deserve to extend this. Nobody else cares that the Canes are missing key players. Adversity is here and we'll see how they respond.
- "In every aspect of the game, we were outplayed," head coach Rod Brind'Amour said. "We weren't beating anybody tonight."
- "They wanted it more," Justin Williams said.
- "To a man, I think everyone in the room needed a little more fight and a little more edge to our game," Jordan Staal said. "We didn't have that tonight, and it showed."
The quotes above are not the ones we want to be reading Tuesday morning if the Canes' next action is locker clean-out instead of preparing for Game 7.
What they can do about it:
- Stop putting Washington on the power-play with regularity. This "learn the hard way" approach isn't a key to success.
- Execute on your own power-play. Capitals' talking-heads were laughing at Carolina's PP and commented more icings than SOGs. I had to laugh too, but it wasn't a happy laugh.
- Feed off the home ice energy and score first.
- Keep the pressure in the OZ like your life depends on it, because on Monday night, uh...it really does!
- Keep Petr in net. The calls for McE have been many, and for understandable reasons following Saturday night, but our losses are not solely on Petr. He is the reason this series has been competitive. Stay the course on this one.
- Chew that gum a little harder Coach Rod! Keep your boys' heads in the game and rip them a new one when (not if) they need it.
- Just win!
See you guys back here for Game 7.