1) With a lost weekend the Carolina Hurricanes dropped further, and as of this post a mere one point from into the basement of the Eastern Conference. A place no one in the preseason thought we'd see the former Final 4 team at any time this season. However with Sunday's loss the Canes haven't won in nine games and are off to their worst start (2-8-3) in franchise history! Whats more troubling is the fact that, according to coach Maurice, "it's a different fire each day", meaning its not one thing or player that is to blame but a collective failure.
2) Has bottom been hit the past week when they have been outscored 16-4 in their last three games? Or can/will it get worse because an injury has possibly been added to the insult when star forward Eric Staal left last night's game with an 'upper body injury'. If he is lost for any length of time it would further hinder an already anemic attack. Its very unlikely we'll see Carolina's GM, Jim Rutherford pull the trigger on a coaching change, as Maurice has only (re)-returned to go behind the bench less than a year ago (replacing the fired Cup winning coach Peter Laviolette) and he also just signed a contract extension this past summer. Its also unlikely to expect the Canes will/can make a major line up shake up. No fellow GM is going to volunteer and help out Carolina in their time of need. As it is almost every team is close to or up against the salary cap anyway, so a deal of any proportions would be unlikely. Of course with the wheels off its difficult to put a finger on what exactly that 'need' might be?
3) On the flip side as bad as they have been (and they have been horrendous) the Canes are really only a nice win streak away from playoff contention (6 points). There are still 69 games left to be played, and on another positive note they do hold a modest 2-1 record within their division. The same teams they'll play most so it won't be difficult to see them turn things around and get back into the race. However they better not allow themselves too many lost weekends (or in their case, lost fortnights!) because its not easy to quickly move up in the standing with loser points and to try to catch multiple teams is a daunting task. If we had to bet we'd say they WILL be right there by season's end. Perhaps not challenging the Washington Capitals for the division as we thought was possible when we made our preseason predictions, but they should at least be in playoff contention. When all is said and done they do have enough talent to get there. Lets see if they can play to expectations or if this season gets swept away like a storm force wind.