Things are getting ugly for head coach Bill Peters and the Carolina Hurricanes. The team’s fans and analysts have been adamant for awhile now that the team is ready to take things to the next level, but for the 9th consecutive season it appears as if the Hurricanes will fall short of qualifying for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Last night’s 3-1 loss to the San Jose Sharks was particularly embarrassing in Peters’ eyes and he spared no one in his post-game comments.
Ouch. Change coming in Carolina? It’s clear that Peters isn’t too thrilled with the team that GM Ron Francis has put together, but to call him out in the press? That’s one angry coach.
“That wasn't a lot of fun, actually,” Peters said to Luke DeCock of the News & Observer. “Obviously this group has been together, this lineup's been together for a little while now. Maybe there's some complacency there. … We can't put that group out again after that. It's unacceptable. They let each other down, too, in the room. That's not right.”
But Peters didn’t stop there. He purposefully called out his squad for having “character issues”, as well. “Is it a character issue? I don't know if it's a character issue or what it is,” said Peters. “Whether we're in the eighth spot or the ninth spot or the first, that effort today is unacceptable, period. The effort, the intensity that we played at was similar to probably something you'd see in a neutral site in September.”
Ouch. DeCock took things even further, calling out individual players for their lack of compete during the team’s recent slide:
Jeff Skinner is a wreck, and whether that's his fault or Peters' fault, there's plenty of blame to share. All-Star Noah Hanifin is lost. Alleged co-captain Justin Faulk has been a non-factor for years. Francis' hand-picked No. 1 goalie is an abject disaster. If new owner Tom Dundon wants to win over fans, he ought to be handing out $5 bills at the end of every flaccid Victor Rask shift in apology – and there are only four more years to run on the long-term contract Francis gave Rask for no apparent reason.
So, can we expect changes? Peters certainly hopes so. “I hope there's going to be some different people in the lineup, and I hope they bring some energy and some passion and some pride, because that group today wasn't good enough,” the head coach said. “I don't know what to tell you. There were some guys who were very light on the puck. Very light.”