Fialko: How the Canes can recover from a Capitals’ crushing
What went wrong in Washington:
- An energized crowd craving eye-for-an-eye retribution in a series where the home team’s yet to lose.
- The Capitals netting the first goal, which for the fifth time decided who’s victorious.
- A visiting team that didn’t do the little things that worked so well all season.
A perfect ice storm that engulfed the Hurricanes.
“It wasn’t our best effort which was the hardest part to swallow,” says Hurricanes forward Jordan Staal.
“I just didn’t think our intensity was there, especially at a time when it’s do-or-die,” says Hurricanes forward Warren Foegele. “We need to get back on track to what’s made us be successful and that’s all of us working hard and playing fast and aggressive.”
The obvious cause-of-death for Carolina’s Game 5 chances came on special teams. After killing 13 of Washington’s last 14 power plays, the wheels didn’t just come off, they exploded in a fiery, rubbery mess. Caps converted all three of their final chances on the man-advantage while the Canes went 0-5.
“We just kind of got out of sync,” says Staal. “We weren’t really executing very well, in general all game. So, that was another part that crept into our special teams.”
“Obviously, they were good in their special teams, but we weren’t good enough,” says Hurricanes center Sebastian Aho. “We didn’t battle hard enough there and they’d just win the puck battles.”
“Our power play wasn’t very good,” admits Hurricanes forward Teuvo Teravainen. “We have to be a lot better. You can get good looks and good chances if you outwork the defensemen, but that wasn’t very good.”
Elimination now knocking at the PNC Arena doors, the Canes need to hold home ice serve tomorrow to set up the greatest two words in all of sports, “Game Seven.” The puck is set to drop in Raleigh around 7 p.m. on Monday.