Little bit of a reality check tonight for Caniac Nation, myself included.
The Carolina Hurricanes hockey club came roaring into Central Ohio riding a 4-game win streak … that was summarily snapped by the Blue Jackets 4-1 Tuesday night. Not the best effort we’ve seen from the #Redvolution so far this year. Here’s what happened:
Cliff Notes: After a quick, back-and-forth start and Cam Ward surviving some early looks from CBJ, I got really pumped after Seabass swept home this perfect pass from Teuvo to put the Canes up 1-0 in the first!
Three goals in 46 seconds make for a challenging live tweeting debut for an amateur like me. Things didn’t turn around from there.
Two more goals — a second from Dubinsky and another from Lukas Sedlak — spelled the end for Canes’ netminder Cam Ward in his 20th consecutive start. He wasn’t sharp and looked fatigued. Rookie Alex Nedeljkovic made his NHL debut in relief and played well, keeping Columbus off the board for the remainder of the game.
Unfortunately, the Hurricanes offense couldn’t make anything happen. Our power play continues to be p̶u̶t̶r̶i̶d̶ anemic. FS Carolinas flashed a graphic that said we’re something like 1 for the last 32 power plays?! We couldn’t really muster anything on two Columbus penalties, including one in the third that could have maybe sparked a rally. The third period was sort of a mess all around.
Storm Category: Tropical storm. Despite getting outshot early, we hung in there up through the Aho goal. Then things sort of just fell apart. Ward just wasn’t sharp and we couldn’t find our offense.
‘Cane of the Game: Alex Nedeljkovic. Not easy to get thrown into the fire against one of the best teams in the league on the road in your first NHL game. But Neds made some nice stops and ended up with 17 saves on the night. Impressive.
What’s Next: The loss starts what is a pretty brutal four-game stretch for Carolina. Pittsburgh rolls into town Friday before we head back to Columbus on Saturday. Then we’re off to DC on Monday.
So where are we in the Wild Card race now? Ottawa beat St. Louis Tuesday, which catapulted them over us and the Flyers into the final playoff spot for the moment. They’re sitting on 50 points. So is Philly, who doesn’t play again until Saturday. We’re still at 49 points, one ahead of Florida and two ahead of Jersey.
I’m glad we get a home game in between the Columbus trips. We’re obviously a much different team at PNC Arena.
Follow Raleigh City Sports for all the latest. Puck drops at 7 p.m. Friday.
Cam Ward Photo Credit: Gregg Forwerck, Carolina Hurricanes