After holding a 5-1 lead into the 3rd period, the Canes end up with a 6-5 shootout loss to Philadelphia. That's what I get for turning off the computer after 40 minutes.
Although it's a terribly tough loss to swallow, there were still some good signs here, right? Five goals scored; a big lead through two periods against a tough Eastern Conference opponent; solid play (finally) from Eric Staal. Still, a loss is a loss, and the team's confidence has to be even shakier after that ugly third period. This may be the biggest example where blame can be pointed squarely at the ginormous pile of injuries this team has suffered: four recent AHL call-ups on the blue line, and Leighton in net. The inexperience obviously showed late.
Next game: Saturday in New York vs. the Rangers. A couple of questions must be asked:
1. Will Seidenberg and even Gleason be back on defense? Let's hope so, as the team needs some veteran stability on the back line now more than ever.
2. Is this the time to give Peters his first start? If the Canes play poorly, would it be worse to have Leighton or Peters in net? Whose confidence would be shaken more?
Anyway, we're still in a tough stretch for the Canes. After the Rangers, it's games against Montreal, Florida, Boston, and Montreal again. All tough games, even now given the recent surge by the Panthers. Is going 2-3 in this next stretch too much to ask?