Gravley: Canes serve up a Mother’s Day downer

May 13, 2019

Mother’s Day is about the fresh smell of flowers and the sweet taste of chocolate. According to captain Justin Williams, the Carolina Hurricanes served up a Mother’s Day poop sandwich in the 6-2, game 2 loss in Boston.

“We’ve got to rediscover who we are,” Williams said minutes after the loss. “You spend all of this time off leading up, and everyone writing articles about how great we are, and you come out and sometimes you’ve to eat a poop sandwich. It doesn’t taste good. You have to chew on it for a little bit, and we’ll have to do if for a couple of days and get the taste out of our mouths next game.”

In the two games in Beantown, the Hurricanes have been outscored 11-4. They are giving the best power play team in the playoffs, plenty of power play opportunities. Boston is making them pay with a 33% conversion rate with a man up.

Something has to change.

Is it goalie Petr Mrazek? Rod Brind’Amour wouldn’t commit to Mrazek in game three but did say they considered pulling him in game two. They decided to leave him in.

“He doesn’t want to come out, he is a battler,” Brind’Amour said. “A lot of other guys on the bench deserve to come out if that’s how we are doing it, so it’s not how we do it.”

In other words, there are several who aren’t playing up to par.

The first-year coach will do what he has all year long. Goalie coach Mike Bales will analyze the situation and bring his suggestion to Brind’Amour who will make the final decision. In the postseason, Curtis McElhinney has allowed 1.56 goals in three games.

The Canes did score a power play goal in the first game but were back to being putrid going 0-4 in game 2 with just 5 shots on the 4 power plays. They have had a teenage percentage on power play all year, 17.8% in the regular season and now dropping below puberty at 11.1% in the postseason.

This team faced an 0-2 deficit in the opening series against Washington. They came back and won the series in 7. But they were playing better in the early part of the series with the Caps. It’s not that way right now. They are a team desperately trying to find themselves.

And trying avoid another serving of poop sandwich.