June 18, 2006
Canes lament being outshot, outplayed
By ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI -- Edmonton Sun
Canes coach Peter Laviolette said a few days ago that there's no such thing as momentum, that the results from one game have nothing to do with the next.
It's starting to look like he's right. It's starting to look like momentum has nothing to do with the 180-degree turn the Stanley Cup final is taking.
Maybe the Oilers haven't won two in a row and forced a Game 7 because they're riding a wave.
Maybe they're just better.
It's something for the Hurricanes to consider after they were run out of the rink in Game 6 last night at Rexall Place.
"They finally got some shots through and some breaks, but the bottom line is that we just didn't show up,'' said veteran defenceman Glen Wesley, after a 4-0 loss in which the overmatched visitors were being outshot 21-3 at one point. "The bottom line is that we were just awful.''
Why? How, with so much on the line?
"You tell me,'' he said. "I wish I could explain it to you but I can't.''
None of them could.
'WE WERE OUTPLAYED'
"We got beat pretty good tonight,'' said Mike Commodore. "We got outshot handily. We were outplayed. We didn't get any opportunities. We didn't get to the net. We didn't get any shots, obviously. It's disappointing to come out like this in a Game 6. We know we have to play a whole lot better if we're going to win this thing.''
This one wasn't even close. The Hurricanes said they weren't nervous, tired or beaten up, but looked all three in the lopsided defeat. They managed three shots in the first period (going nearly 15 minutes between their second and third) and four shots in the second period (going nearly 15 minutes before they registered their first).
The Canes look shot, while the Oilers have never looked stronger.
"They're playing well, but I really don't care,'' said Commodore. "It's about us, as far as I'm concerned. We have to be a little grittier.''
Now Carolina, which hasn't lost two in a row since the first two games of the playoff, look poised to lose their third-straight tomorrow. They're saying all the right things, how a one-shot deal on home ice still favours them, but they seemed so thoroughly out-matched in every department - slower, smaller, weaker and not nearly as hungry - that it seems far fetched to suggest a simple change of venue can reverse their sagging fortunes.
But they suggested it anyway.
"We have home-ice advantage, Game 7, Stanley Cup final,'' said Commodore, who lost Game 7 of a Stanley Cup final last season with the Flames. "We're going home. We're looking forward to (tomorrow).''
"We worked hard all year for home-ice advantage,'' added Wesley. "It comes down to one game, we have to put forth the best game of our lives.''
SOUNDS GOOD ON PAPER
All of it sounds good on paper, but they made similar vows before Game 6 and never even showed up. It's going to take more than talk, more than many observers think Carolina has left in the tank.
"We didn't do much of anything to deserve this one,'' said Ray Whitney, lamenting their lack of intensity.
"You wouldn't think in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup final that would be an issue, but it wasn't as strong or as gritty a performance as you would need at this time of year. But we'll certainly be better (tomorrow) There's no real option other than that.''
What reason does anyone have to believe, after what we saw last night, that things will be any different tomorrow?
"We're not going to hang our heads and sulk,'' said Eric Staal.
"We're a good team. We're confident. We're not going to quit. We won a lot of games this year for a reason. We know we can beat that team. We'll be ready.''