Maurice

Maurice

You can accuse Carolina head coach Paul Maurice of being a little bit snippy with his postgame comments, but you can’t accuse him of missing the obvious.

“We’re getting enough offense in our game. We’re just not defending well enough,” Maurice said in the News & Observer.

Gee, you think. Sometimes I wonder if Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby have a force field around them the way the ‘Canes are letting the two Pittsburgh stars skate around and do what they want in the Eastern Conference finals series that the Penguins lead, 3-0, heading into Tuesday night’s Game 4 in Raleigh.

Maurice puts a bulk of the onus on his forwards, who aren’t backchecking nearly as effectively as they were against New Jersey and Boston. But maybe they’re just demoralized watching Joni Pitkanen, Tim Gleason and the rest of the blueliners revert to the form that made them look vulnerable before the postseason started. At this point, the ‘Canes just might be out of emotion after two thrilling seven-game victories and Eric Staal’s scoring touch might’ve hit the beach for the summer.

Carolina might stave off elimination for one night, but barring a catastrophic injury, the Penguins are going to end this surprisingly easy series early and then they might get a shot at former teammate Marian Hossa and the Detroit Red Wings in the Stanley Cup final. Heck, that’s the matchup everyone wants to see anyway — that’s obvious.