Last nights loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs should say something about this team.
It needs a change.
While I'm sure there will be plenty to jump to the Cane's side on this, suggesting they are only one or two pieces away from being a legitimate contender, and as much as I love to believe that, they're not.
It says something about the team when Sergei Samsonov is the best player on the ice for you. Goaltending, while being relatively consistant over the past few games, has been hung out to dry by poor defensive efforts.
The problem here is not goaltending. It is not forwards. It is the style of game the Hurricanes play. Laviolette's system demands a strong forecheck and near perfection every night. This is not the problem. The problem is the fact that the Hurricanes do not have the defensemen to make this type of game work. With Kaberle playing like a large pilon, there is no true puck moving defender on the team. As a result of this, getting the puck out of the defensive zone proves to be a struggle. Laviolette's system requires the defense to move the puck out of thier own end, but does not always involve the forwards helping out the defense to a significant degree. This is where Justin Williams is missed so much.
I know, I know. Everybody has the flu and can't play to their potential because of it right? Well guess what folks, when everybody gets healthy, you're still going to see these same defensive breakdowns that we saw earlier in the year.
The only reason Carolina is still in this is because of just how phenomenal Ward was to start the year. But that was then, and this is now, and while Ward has been good over the past few starts, the rest of the team has not and unless that changes quickly, we are going to be seeing another year without the playoffs, and another new coach in Raleigh.