The Carolina Hurricanes didn’t get a chance to do their famed post-win celebration Friday night.
In fact, they didn’t even come close.
And first-year coach Rod Brind’Amour wasn’t happy about his team’s effort after a 4-1 loss to the Ottawa Senators.
“We were so bad it was like I almost dressed and got out there,” he told reporters. “I might have been good as what we were throwing out there because we just didn’t want to play the way we were supposed to. I didn’t know what I was watching.”
Brind’Amour hasn’t suited up since 2010, but the Hurricanes haven’t made the playoffs since 2009, which is why the team made a coaching change during the offseason.
The Hurricanes had won seven of eight starting Dec. 31, but after blowout losses to the Rangers (6-2) and the Senators, they’re nine points out of a playoff spot.
“We needed this game, we knew it and for whatever reason, we didn’t do it,” Brind’Amour said.
He said the team tried to force too many plays and was hurt by poor performance in the faceoff circle, where the Hurricanes lost 64 percent of draws with injured Jordan Staal still out of the lineup.
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“Everyone was trying,” Brind’Amour said, “trying too much and (the Senators) were sitting back and saying, ‘Thanks.’ “
Nino Niederreiter made his debut with the Hurricanes on Friday after he was acquired from the Minnesota Wild in a trade for Victor Rask. Brind’Amour thought he played well enough.
However, Brind’Amour said, “I apologized to him for that (team) effort. That’s not our team, and that’s his first game. I’m sure he thinks we are … I don’t know what he thinks we are. But we’ll correct that.”
The Hurricanes head out on the road for three games before the All-Star break as they try to turn things around and avoid extending their playoff drought to 10 seasons.