It was back to the drawing board for the Carolina Hurricanes, who did not practice today but instead held a team meeting.
The Hurricanes are hoping a repeat of history after dropping Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals to the Boston Bruins last night. Carolina also lost Game 1 to New Jersey (also 4-1) in the first round and went on to win the series in seven games, including a Game 2 win.
In order to earn a road split tomorrow night in the second game of the series, Hurricanes head coach Paul Maurice thinks his team needs to cut short it identity crisis and get back to playing the way it did against the Devils and in the season’s final two months.
“The vast majority of mistakes that we’ve made over the last 2 ½ months come from wanting to do something more. And both those teams, Jersey and Boston, just hope that you try to do that,” said Maurice today. “And (we have) to get comfortable in your own skin and realize that they are going to control certain parts of the ice and you can only put a puck there if you’re at 100 percent confident level. We just to get comfortable with that game again and less is more through the neutral zone and coming out of our own end.”
Winger Erik Cole is still looking for his first point of the postseason. He said the New Jersey series probably taught his team how to make the necessary adjustments over the course of a series.
“I think we feel like they play a similar style to Jersey, with just a few minor changes,” said Cole. “Same thing as the New Jersey series, we had to adapt to some things that they were doing in order to open up the ice for ourselves. And it’s no different with this series. We’re going to have to make some adjustments through the course of the series to be successful.”
It would help the Hurricanes to earn more than one power play in the games ahead. Center Eric Staal, who is still looking for his first point against Boston in five games this season, led the Hurricanes with 14 man-advantage goals in the regular season. He said it’s going to take more effort to get the Bruins to commit some infractions.
“We need to create some havoc down in their end of the ice, get our feet moving and move some pucks,” explained Staal. “Eventually, they’re going to have to hold us or hook and we’ll get some power plays. But I don’t think we had enough sustained pressure to generate those opportunities and we just have to do a better job of that in Game 2.”
The Hurricanes will have to do a better job in numerous areas in Game 2. But it just might start with puck possession and generating an offensive attack.