Canes Blog: Canes Country
First off, let me just say that I hope the music reference isn't lost on as many people as I fear it may be.
Secondly, this game killed me a little bit inside.
Thirdly...I have nothing.
Recap after the jump.
Let's look at the big picture here: How well are the new guys really playing? You can't really expect three guys who are fresh on a team to really pick up where they left off with their other clubs, but you can hope for a strong game all around even if it doesn't register on the scoresheet.
Since acquired last week, James Neal and Matt Niskanen have yet to register a point, but we're only looking at the former Dallas duo in their second game. Which perhaps leads to the next question. How many games is enough to really gauge the chemistry?
Alex Kovalev's first game since yesterday's trade found him coming up empty as well, minus four minutes in the penalty box. But No, 72 - yeah, he pulled the reversal jersey number trick - also missed on three shots and turned it over twice. Again, the conversation comes back to chemistry. Hockey may be a systematic game at the core, but each team operates differently. Still, with the exception of defenseman Brian Strait, AK was the only one who failed to register a shot in tonight's game.
As for the Canes, look how well Erik Cole plays when Brooks Orpik isn't on the ice. Given the often regurgitated history of the two, I'm sure he was more than happy to take advantage of the latest injury to the Pens' best defensive d-man. Cam Ward claimed the third star of the night on his 33 save performance, while Derek Joslin - who had four points in 18 games coming into the game - picked up two assists. Good times.
Mark it four losses in a row, even if the Pens did manage two points in that span. Another thing worth noting: the Pens have not won in regulation since Feb. 4 when they beat the Sabres 3-2.
Brush the dirt off your shoulders, Pens. Maple Leafs on Saturday night.