They are still “mathematically alive,” (the worst of all sports statistical territory).
There wasn’t much life in the locker room of the Carolina Hurricanes last night, however. Gaining a point in the overtime loss kept them reasonably within reach of the Rangers, who hold a tenuous 3 point advantage over the Canes with 3 games left to go.
Frankly, listening to the team after the loss was like listening to a group of guys ready to give up on the season. They lost the duel in Raleigh, and are presumably now ready for burial. It’s sad: the team isn’t dead – yet – but over the next 3 games they likely will be. It’s going to be a slow, agonizing death for the Canes and their fan(s).
It sure is great to come out of that weekend and not be in 9th place, eh Sabres and Rangers fans? Yes. Yes, it is.
Here are the mournful remarks made by the Raleigh boys after the game/season ended:
“It’s a sour feeling.” – Tim Gleason, whose body provided a perfect deflection for the Sabres’ winning goal, on that goal and the game result.
“We’ve been feeling like this for the last two weeks, three weeks – that you had to win that game,” – Canes coach Paul Maurice offering words for his team to not rally by.
“It’s not going to be easy … but we have no choice but to win hockey games and regroup after this,” – Cam Ward, on the effort to refocus and try to win the last 3 games and scrape back into the top 8.
Not a confident bunch.
Not too long ago this team was riding high atop a 6-1 streak, and were outperforming nearly every team they faced. Heck, they outperformed the Sabres last night, out-shooting them 29-20 over the final two periods.
But, in a duel, it’s only one shot that matters. Carolina took the bullet, and for all intents and purposes, they are dead on the ground.
Carolina has been on a roll, since, well since they beat Buffalo back on March 15. Their 1-0 defeat of the Sabres in that game started a remarkable 6-1-0 run that has set up today’s ominous duel.
Well, if it was the Sabres that let these dogs loose, then it is poetic justice that they be given a chance to put them down. If Buffalo ends Carolina’s streak today, the Canes will have to try to come back from a widened deficit of 2-3 points – and their first task will be to defeat the Detroit Red Wings. The Sabres are staring at Tampa and Philly up next on their schedule.
Indeed, there will be a very slim chance for recovery for the team that takes the bullet today. The team that takes this heated contest will likely be skating in the post season, while the team that takes the bullet will be left for dead on the ground.
Well, at least Maurice and his team agree with my assessment on the importance of that game. Mathematically on life support, and ready to pull their own plug, the Canes are talking like they are very ready to exit the 2010-11 season.