All Things Hockey In The Carolinas

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Change it is a'comin

Some exciting news on the horizon here as we close 2008. Stay tuned my friends.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Ho Ho Ho

Happy Holidays to you and yours from COI.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Professional Chotchke Makers Union Must Be On Strike

I'm sure that most of our readers already know that I've got a thing about promo chotchkes. Specifically, I hate them; mainly because they are almost always cheesy. But when it comes to figurines and such, the Canes really take the cake. The above figurine is supposed to be Eric Staal. However, like the Brind'amour figurine from last year, this looks nothing like the actual player, but instead bears an uncanny resemblance to Erik Estrada or Ralph Macchio [with thanks to Cason Blog for picking up on the Macchio resemblance...]. WTF? Is it that hard to make a figurine that resembles Eric Staal? Jeez, if you can make one that looks like Ralph Macchio, how hard could it be to make one that looks like Eric Staal? Hell, for that matter, why can't they just make one that doesn't look like Ralph-frigging-Macchio, for god's sake!

Worse, the designers of this monstrocity apparently chose what appears to be Staal's signature pose after scoring a goal. I say "appears to be" because I haven't seen it enough this year to confirm that this is indeed that pose. In fact, I find it ironic that this is the pose they chose for this year. Didn't we just pay him $7 million a year not to score much anymore? It sure seems that way. Maybe they should've gone with the "I've got my money, so piss off" pose:

Maybe that is a bit unfair. After all, everything I hear in the media is about how Staal may not be scoring, but he is doing all these other little things (that we mere peons can't see or appreciate) so well that it somehow makes up for us not scoring goals and therefore losing hockey games. But that's another story altogether.*

So back to the chotchke. When I first saw this, I got that nagging feeling that you get when you see something reminds you of something else, but you just can't place what it is. Maybe it is someone you know or some incident from your past. As I had that thought, it hit me like a ton of bricks! I knew where I'd seen that face before:

Yep. It looks just like the face of those cheap blow-up sex dolls that hang on the wall behind the counter of every sleazy 'adult novelty' and peepshow store you've ever been in. Or at least it looks just like the ones hanging on the wall behind the counter of every 'adult novelty' and peepshow store that I've ever been in. The resemblance is uncanny.

Now, I know what you're thinking. "How many sleazy porn huts have you been in, East?" Well, the truth is, I've been to one or two in my time. It's not that I'm a bad person, mind you. It's just that College, Alcohol and an optimistic (though misdirected) spirit of adventure often conspired to lead me into places and situations that still amaze and astound me to this very day. But truth be told, the image of the blow-up doll face was burned into my brain on my very first foray into the seedy underworld of low rent porn shacks. I won't tell the entire story here, because it does not relate to hockey in any way, shape, form or fashion. But suffice it to say that the image of that doll face is burned into my brain because it was the first thing I saw upon entering my first sleazy porn shack, and it was the last thing I saw before the great big guy behind the counter grabbed me by the collar of my shirt and the waist of my bluejeans and threw me face first out the door and into a rock parking lot. Total time from entry to ejection: 18 seconds. It might've been a record; I don't know. But I digress...

I guess I just find it funny that it seems like every chotchke that this team comes up with (the Macchio-Brindy figurine, the defective car flags and now this) seems to be problematic or otherwise humorous in some fashion. Or maybe I'm just too critical. But just once, I'd like to see a figurine or bobblehead from this team that actually resembled a player and didn't look like Chachi from "Happy Days". But apparently that'll never happen, unless JR trades Scott Walker for Scott Baio.

Come to think of it, considering JR's decision to re-hire Mo, a Scott Baio trade might not be so far fetched after all...

[*Historically, whenever I've bitched about Staal slumping, he has usually broken out shortly thereafter. So, I'm piling on him right now. Unfair? Maybe. Necessary? Definitely...]

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Flyers @ Canes Gameday: They may still suck, but the tailgates don't

God bless Saturdays.

College football (go Pirates!). Sunshine. Cornhole. Brats. Beers. Good friends.

and some (hopefully) some fine hocka-ja-wee-ah.

Go Canes.

Friday, December 5, 2008

We're boned. Seriously...

I took a couple of days to cool off and think things over before I posted about the Hurricanes' recent tragic turn of events. Only I didn't cool off. And after some thought, I am not afraid to say it:

We're totally and deeply boned!!!

Now before any potential JR kool-aid drinkers get their panties in a wad, let me give the disclaimer: I loved Peter Laviolette as a coach. And I hated to see him fired. But I also think that something had to change, and maybe it was the right time for him to move to Tampa [Ironically, Rick Tocchet is giving 3 to 1 odds that this is where Lavi will end up]. And to be perfectly clear, I don't fault Paul Maurice for this. It's nothing personal. I think he is a nice guy and I can't blame him for accepting a coaching job rather than sitting around taking VCR repair courses at Regina Technical Institute and Beauty College. BUT...

WTF? Paul Maurice? Seriously? Why would they do that to us? I mean, damn! It makes no sense! I could understand if they'd threatened this in the week or so before season ticket invoices were due:

"Dear STH, if you do not renew your package by [applicable date], we will fire Peter Laviolette and hire Paul Maurice so you won't be able to enjoy the games on television either..."

But dammit, they already got my money! And, if they just wanted to be sadistic, they've got my address on my season ticket holder file. They know where I live. They could've just sent some random employee to come to my house, ring my doorbell, and then kick me square in the balls when I opened the door. It would've felt the same to me, but they would have at least gotten the satisfaction of seeing the shocked and pained expression on my face when they did it. But this? This is just senseless abuse.

And then, to add insult to injury, they don't even come out and say what they really mean. The least they could do is be honest with us and release a statement that says:

Dear loyal season ticket holder,

Thanks for your hard earned money. Instead of using it to improve the team, Mr. Karmanos has decided to buy that private island in the Bahamas he's always wanted. And a Porsche. We hope you enjoy the return of the boringest hockey ever played. If you're a good boy and don't boo, we'll paint Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart's numbers on the Zambonis and have the arena staff drive them in a counter-clockwise pattern during the intermission so you'll feel more at home. If you don't like it, go f**k yourself.

Sincerely yours,

The Management.

Nope. We aren't so lucky. To add insult to injury, they (the team, the NHL, the media) are spinning this like crazy; as if we are too stupid to see that this is nothing more than another cheapskate maneuver designed to pocket a greater percentage of our cash. They still believe that we are just a bunch of ignorant, inbred NASCAR fans who won't notice the difference. Don't believe me? Look around. Nearly every article contains this line (or one nearly identical):

"Maurice, 41, is the winningest coach in franchise history with 268 wins in 674 regular-season games."

Obviously, they believe that we are unable to do simple arithmetic. Unfortunately for them, I lernt my cipherin' in skool back in da holler, and I can subtract 268 from 674. And I can even subtract the 99 frigging ties and see that there's 307 losses to go along with those 268 wins. Yes, technically, he is the winningest coach in franchise history. But he's also undeniably the LOSINGEST COACH IN FRANCHISE HISTORY!!!

If "Mo" had more wins than losses, then I wouldn't bitch about the semantics of this. But when the guy has lost more games than he's won, it's pretty damn cheeky to pick the adjective 'winningest' over 'losingest', when both are legitimately on the table.

And they are also trying to whitewash the whole thing by saying that they are going to continue to play an aggressive and exciting style of hockey. Here's the quote:

"We are not going to try to change the identity of the team in terms of how it plays, because it's built a certain way," Maurice said. "It's built with speed and it's built to be aggressive. Because of that we're going to try to continue that. " (Emphasis added).

Really? That's good to know. So, 2 days into this glorious goat f**k, let's see what that statement really translates into:

"Before practice Friday, Maurice’s second with the team, the Hurricanes discussed their defensive positioning in the neutral zone, taking an approach Eric Staal called “not so aggressive, . . .”

Can you say "trap" and "dump and chase" boys and girls? I thought you could.

I could say a lot more, but I've already said enough. I can only hope that by some cosmic miracle, this works out for the Canes. But I'm not optimistic. Playing lockdown hockey with a bunch of "offensive defensemen" doesn't inspire my confidence. And if Thursday's game was any indicator of what is to come, it shouldn't inspire yours either.

Thats what happens when you STILL suck

To borrow the line from our friend Tim Gleason - the Hurricanes are still rather crap-tastic one game into the 2nd Paul Maurice era.

At the Pens game last night - the Canes came out firing but had little success getting quality shots on Danny Sabourin. Sabu is about as solid of a backup that one could ask for. Leighton was looking good to start the year but his last few games have exhibited why he has been traded 47 times over his career. Out of position, not controlling rebounds, etc.. are all quick ways to let the other team pounce - as Pittsburgh did successfully nearly every time the puck was around the Canes' net. Sigh, Cam Ward can't get healthy soon enough.

How bad does this Carolina team look right now? As bad as they've been since the pre-lockout '03-'04 season. Sure they've had some clunkers of games over the past 3 seasons but on a consistent basis they've been real bad for quite some time now.

Melichar and Dwyer went back to Albany today. Melichar because he blows (see post below), Dwyer because Williams is back to being healthy. Good on Pat Dwyer for his time here. He got his 1st NHL goal and was playing his part well on the PK. In comes Tim Conboy and Casey Borer.

I was real impressed with Borer last season and lauded his play earlier this year. Glad to see him get his chance again with the big boys. He looked pretty good in pre-season this year and was one of the final cuts. So far on the season with a struggling Albany squad: 1 goal, 3 assists in 21 games. Keep in mind that he's coming back from a horrible knee injury and surgery.

You have to like Tim Conboy as a Hurricanes fan - the energy, the fights, hell - even his offensive contributions. You have to despise him as a fan of any other team. With the departure of Keith Aucoin to free agency (btw, Tater Aucoin will probably be in the line-up for the Caps on Sunday) - Conboy is the new captain of the River Rats. His first shift with the Hurricanes was last year's home game with the Colorado Avalanche. He drops the gloves with Scott Parker - who appeared to be 5 feet taller than him. He got his ass handed to him - but props for showing no fear and standing up to the other team's goon.
But Conboy may very well be certifiably crazy. Like belongs in Dorthea Dix Mental Hospital crazy. During his days of college hockey, he pulled what's being described as a "Todd Bertuzzi like play". He got suspended for his role in this brawl at the end of AHL season for the Rats in April. He bit Steve Downie on the hand earlier this year. He apparently took a run at some Caps players last year and Japer's Rink now refers to him as "Clownboy".

Either way, his infusion into the Hurricanes line-up can do nothing but help this struggling team right now. If they're gonna suck - they at least need to go down biting fighting. We'll see what happens against Philly & DC sat/sun.

Josef Melichar: The shutdown defenseman?

Seriously, why didn't Rutherford just sign this guy:

to a 1 year contract? His astonishing ugliness would do a better job of scaring away opposing forwards than Melichar's "shut-down" skills. Adios, Josef. Get down to Albany and please, stay down. Even better, I hear that the new KHL in Russia is really awesome and they are looking for defensemen your type!

In fact, if they're shuffling the roster around - why not sign these two?
They at least look prepared to provide some emotion and humor to lighten up the locker room!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

It's Pens vs. Canes, Pensblog vs. COI

Pittsburgh still flying high into Raleigh tonight even as they lost to the Rain-jahs in a shootout last night. Everyone is curious to see how the team will react to one-eyed Paul being back behind the bench.

Oh yeah, and it's back-to-back nights of Staal Wars for Jordan as he played brother Marc in NY last night.

Interestingly enough, I'm squaring off against Pensblog Charlie this week in the Barry Melrose Rocks fantasy league. I'm off to a decent start through last night's games:

uh, "Do it." ?

Go Canes.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

In other news , John Grahame kicked out of KHL?

Listen, anytime you bring up the topic of John Grahame - people seem to jump at it from all angles to either pile on or praise him. In what unofficially became the post for his secret fan club, this one had folks coming back near every time the former Canes goalie won a game in the KHL this year to comment and inform.

So here's your update Grahame lovers/haters:

Things aren't looking so good for Crackers and his future playing career after this blurb shows up today in my inbox:

"More trouble for Avangard Omsk"

"Yesterday near the club “Atlantid” Grahame was noticed in an intoxicated state, after which a police squad arrived and took him to a detoxification center. Club president Konstantin Potapov and Avangard general manger Anatoli Bardin came shortly after to collect him from there. Later from a source in the club came information that the management of the Hawks is going to terminate the contract with the hockey player. Another option that is not ruled out is the possibility of trading the player. The press service of the club has not yet officially commented on the situation."- Russian site, Sports Planet

So let me get this right.. a man can't even get drunk in a bar anymore without losing his job? What's this world coming to?

Strange news as the Russian translation is so vague on the description of events. Was Grahame just seen drunk and buzzed? Was he found passed out face down on the sidewalk outside the club? Did he almost Jimi Hendrix/Jim Morrison himself?

I'm not sure what exactly went down, but I do know that he hasn't been playing well - and the team finding out that he's piss-drunk and being arrested to detox would get just about anyone dismissed from any pro hockey team. This one here hopes he can get his act together to at least make a decent back-up goaltender in the NHL one day. Perhaps he could consult current River Rat Dan LaCouture - who gave up alcohol for the betterment of his personal life and hockey career.

After all, if you can't handle your liquor - you shouldn't be drinking in the first place.

h/t Beyond the Blueshirts

Can Kristen Laviolette stay if Peter has to go?

Peter Laviolette gets canned this morning. Shock and awe prevails. I'll miss Coach Lavi and wish him the best. I'll also certainly miss his lovely wife Kristen.

Replaced by Paul Maurice? Really? Is that the best choice?

Reaction thoughts will be posted tonight.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Hurricanes make it a sucky November (again)

Had to get back on here if for no other reason than to have something other than a horse's choad staring directly back at me!

It's been an eventful past week and 1/2 or so for the Wuffy family. We're all moved in our new abode and life is good as a Cary-ite so far. Thanks to East of Here for spewing some brilliance in my absence here.

I didn't have cable TV set up for most of last week, thus I didn't catch much hockey action. From the looks of it, I didn't miss much Hurricanes wise as they continue their lose 3, win one, lose 3 trend.

Every Caniac out there seems ready to offer their reasons why this team isn't clicking. It's the casual co-worker who stops by your office with the "Damn man, what's wrong with the Canes?" spiel. Then there's the "esteban1949" type who apparently hit refresh on Lord Stanley's Blog once every 30 seconds waiting to comment with his optimistic approaches. Old COI friend Pokecheck is more of your pessimist here within the Canes' recent slide, eating rats and ready to give away her tickets after a loss.

Myself? I'm still undecided at this point about the team. The talent is present (enough) on the Canes to challenge near any team in the NHL. A lot of people here lately are ready to throw Jimmy Rutherford under the bus. With all he's done and the respect he can garner among the league - not to mention his longstanding relationship with Peter K - Jim is here to stay. Fuhgeddaboutit if you think there's a chance he'd get canned.

If there is one thing he's been able to do over his tenure, it's ice a quality team that glides under the league average. Note Bubba's great post @ Canes Country the other day regarding this specific topic of personnel expectations.

Justin Williams - ye of the injurious fate - returns to the fold this week hoping to stay healthy for a change. It doesn't get much more unlucky for the kid as he tore his ACL last winter, returned to hurt his back immediately months later and in pre-training camp his Achilles tendon snaps in a freak ordeal. He hasn't been playing any hockey, so at least he's been able to spend time with his wifey and their new baby. So he's got that going for him if doesn't have his health.

Justin's working on the powerplay unit today, so maybe he can score a PPG for the Hurricanes on Thursday seeming as they haven't had one since they were the Hartford Whalers. Guess who else was working on the ice to fix the struggling man-advantage? Ronnie Francis.

As they say, "he's in the best shape of his life".

Tell me THAT wouldn't be an awesome thing. I know he won't un-retire, but just thinking about the possibility gives me the heebie-jeebies.

Really, I don't know how to fix the Canes. Maybe a trade. Maybe a new coach. Maybe a house-full of esteban1949's every night at the RBC. The big kicker for me is that the big guns aren't towing their load in Raleigh this season.(not sure who's PS job this belongs to, maybe East's)

I'd rather pay to see a team iced with 4 lines of Brandon Sutters and Ryan Baydas who are ready to play balls-out night in and night out - than to shell out the cash to pay a hefty salary of a non-producing player. So maybe that's it - Staal wakes up, the team will follow.

Yeah! That'll fix them!

Go Canes!

Saturday, November 22, 2008


I have. He works in parking...

I know I bitched about the whole parking fiasco last year. And I know that maybe the whole RBC parking setup is an easy target. But I can't help but go back to that particular well after last weekend. Maybe you've had the same experience...

I love hockey. I love the Canes. I love going to Canes games. And as you may or may not know, I love to tailgate weekend games. And usually, it is a really good time. But last weekend, one of their parking guys really pissed me off.

As anyone who regularly attends Canes games knows, on the weekends, the parking lots open 3 hours before game time. Last weekend, the game was at 3:00 pm, so the parking lots were due to open at noon. Simple. So I head out to the big ATM to get a good spot and set up for the tailgate. The wife and I ended up leaving the house late, and ended up arriving at the lot at around 12:20 pm. We were 20 minutes late, but there was still nobody there at the entrance taking money. No problemo. I've seen this before. So we head on in to get a good spot and start setting up. The almighty C-Leaguer had gotten there right before us, so we set up next to him and the party began in earnest.

Flash forward about 30 minutes. The sausages are grilling and we are killing time waiting for the parking guys to come around (like they always do) so that we can buy our little parking stubs (since they were not taking money out front when we arrived). The parking lot supervisory staff (the guys in the John Deere Gator) came by, so I went out to give them the cash for the little parking stub. But they didn't have any, so they called for some other parking guys to come over and get our money. A few minutes later, the parking stub guys showed up.

I saw these guys walking over, so I got my money out and met them at the front of our vehicles to give them the cash. The first guy takes the money and gives me my parking stub. The second guy suddenly gets all pissy with me. He barks "How did you get in here!". Though it should have been obvious, I pointed at the only entrance to that parking lot and said "I drove right in." Whereupon, he tells me "No you didn't!" (Strike 1). I told him again that we just drove right in. He then barks "How did you get by without paying!?!" (Strike 2) I politely told him that there was nobody taking money when we pulled in. So he asks (in a nasty tone) when we got there. I politely told him that we got there at 12:20, and that the guys working that lot must have been a little late getting there. At this point, Mr. Parking Asshole points his finger at me and in a very shitty tone of voice says, "We weren't late! Y'all came in too early!" (Strike 3).

Now here's the rub. I've been buying a ticket package (lower bowl) since before the lockout. I've sat through the abysmal seasons. And every year, I've ponied up the cash for the tickets. I've been there for the losing seasons. I've been there for the cup run. I've been there for the last 2 seasons where we've tanked and missed the playoffs. I'm back again this year, even though they raised ticket prices (yet again). I'm back even though they worked a deal with the fairgrounds to close the "free" parking to create a parking monopoly. I'm back even though (after sealing off the free parking) they upped the parking fees by 25%. I'm back even though the economy is in the tank. I even left my playoff ticket money (which I had to pay in advance, whether or not we made the playoffs - which we didn't) in their hands for several months and rolled it over into my package this year. I've got a kid on the way and should be saving my entertainment dollars for the soon-to-come child care expenses. But I didn't. I chose to continue to support the team.

And yet, despite getting gouged for price increases for both the tickets and the parking, I'm now expected to take abuse from some random parking lot attendant because they can't get their shit together well enough to be in place in time for the parking lots to open on time? And even more galling, despite my attempts at being polite, the sons of bitches have the nerve to stand there and call me a liar?

I've been treated like crap from a few of the event staff before. But I've given them a pass. I chalked it up to somebody just having a bad day the first couple of times it happened. But it's gotten to the point where it seems to be a pattern. And I've officially had it. No, I am not going to give up on the Canes. Nor am I going to stop attending games altogether. But I'm seriously rethinking my desire to keep a ticket package next year. If I do decide to renew my package, I'll probably downgrade to the cheapest seats I can get. And I may even downgrade to a 10 game package. I sure as hell am not buying anymore crap at the Eye, and I won't be buying food or drinks in the arena anymore either. (I've also found a new free parking spot within relatively easy walking distance, that they haven't managed to shut down yet, so we'll be utilizing that as much as possible from now on as well...).

They can still treat their customers like shit if they want. But this customer is gonna be paying them a lot less money to do it with.

So endeth the rant...

Friday, November 21, 2008

Even the crickets are getting bored with COI

Apologize for the lack of new material here lately. The Wuffy family is in the process of a lengthy move-in, while East is preparing for his offspring to be born... We'll be back up and running in due time.

Go Canes.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

NCSU UNC Shootout @ Caps game

A quick note - there will be a shootout during intermission tonight featuring a select few players from NCSU & UNC. Woot! Highlights from a previous one:

Also - Happy Birthday to Big Mike from the Storm Squad - you poor man you!

Go Canes.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Hurricanes steal one back from the KHL

When the Hurricanes signed forward Matt Murley to a contract during the pre-season, he was expected to be one of the top wingers for the River Rats. An early call-up was expected knowing the injury rates of the Canes, as he was destined to make the trip to Raleigh at some point barring a completely FUBAR'd season.

He had a good pre-season, scoring a goal on a beautiful feed from Joni Pitkanen in Philadelphia. He was one of the last to be cut from the opening day roster. Then, shortly after his assignment to Albany, he bolted his way to Russia to play in the KHL. See ya, bastard.

Michael Ryan is a winger who played in Buffalo's minor-league system the past few years and appeared in a forty-odd games with the Sabres last season. He signed a contract with HC Dynamo of the KHL over this past summer, thinking he would be heading for the lovely land of Belarus.

Ironically enough, as news broke that Alexander Radulov would not be returning to Nashville to finish out the last year of his contract because of his lucrative deal with the Kontinental Hockey League, Ryan then showed up at the Pred's training camp on a try-out basis. He was released after having a team worst -3 in the pre-season.

Flash forward to last Friday (Halloween). He's signed by my boy Jimmy to be assigned to Albany and bring a veteran scoring presence to the River Rats. He scored the gamewinner for the Rats on Sunday in a comeback over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. He's also got two assists in Albany.

So the KHL gets a Murley and the Hurricanes steal one back in the signing of Michael Ryan. Touché, KHL.,

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Would you like some catch-up with your maple syrup?

OK then, back at it.

The Canes are extremely fortunate to have a 7-3-2 record through 12 games considering they way they've been playing. We've yet to see a "complete" game. It's kick the crap out of them a period at a time, then just "hang out" and watch the other team come back to life. Or vice versa. How good could this team be if they could string three periods a game together?

Toronto is better than anyone expected. Grabs is on point as well as Niklas Hagman. Toskala is a legit #1 and Ian White has quite the porn-stache underway. Good on Ron Wilson for (so far) over-achieving with this Maple Leaf team. They're still gonna need quite a few therapy sessions this season however:
My prediction that Samsonov would score 89 goals this season? Doh. He'll get it kicked back up soon enough. My guess is that once Brind'amour gets back to playing at a + rate, Sergei will be right behind him.

Nic Wallin is a pimp. It's no secret.

Scotty Walker is back but needs to be paired with Ryan Bayda to get their cycle-game on. Any chance he can just use Pronger-style elbows if needed since he can't punch anybody?

The fact that we haven't heard any updates on Brandon Sutter is unnerving. WTF is going on with him? Can he walk? Drive? Skate? See straight?

Seeing Dwight Helminen skate so fast in a #63 jersey just doesn't look right. Quite used to seeing a big slow Czech wearing that number for the red & white.

Big game Thursday night at the Verizon Center. Its the most important game of the season so far. Here's a juicy reason why:

"I would expect the Capitals to begin to pull away from the crowd soon and leave their divisional opponents in the dust. Their collection of talent eclipses that of any other teams in this division." - Ted Montgomery @ USA Today

Not so fast, Ted. The Caps do have the collection of talent, but who has led this division for the majority of the previous three seasons? The game will be a great early test for both squads. Ovechkin is primed for a breakout game. He's got 29 points in 24 games vs. Carolina. Washington is 9-0-1 in their last 10 at home. Something's gotta give. It is beyond obvious that the Hurricane squad that can kick ass for an entire game will need to show.

Bring the noise, son.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Picture: Coach Lavi searches far and wide for the power play

h/t to Barstool Sports on the pic find

The First of the Staal Wars this season

A long time ago, on a sod farm far, far away...

It is a period of unrest. Rebel fighters from Raleigh, striking from hotels and jumbo jets, have won their first victories from the evil Galactic Empire of Gary Bettman.

During the battles, rebel spies managed to steal secret plans to the Empire's ultimate weapon, the Death Crosby, an armored space station with enough weapons to destroy an entire planet.

Pursued by the Empire's sinister agents, Prince Eric has raced home aboard his starship, custodian of the stolen plans that can save his people and restore freedom to the galaxy...

Go Canes.
Hit up Cool Bars at the Carolina Ale House in Cary tonight if you've got your drinking legs on.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Annual State Fair road trip so far

Ah yes, it's that time of the year again. The leaves are changing, the air is cooler - and the NC State Fair has come once again to triumph over Raleigh. The Hurricanes have to travel for a season-long road trip every October as the world's biggest state fair is in town. From the outside of NC, this may seem silly.

'Well, they probably won't schedule their hockey games to interfere with the NASCAR race, so why not let the farmers and carnies run them out too?'

Those of us living within the vicinity of the RBC Center can understand why they don't schedule games during this 2 week Fair time. Your drives home are thwarted on the beltways and interstates by out-of-towners not sure which exit to take for the fairgrounds. Co-workers constantly ask you, "So, you make it to the fair yet?".

Well actually, no I haven't. Don't plan to make it. When the State Fair was more about farmers, food and the NC goodness - and less about too many people in one place - I was all about it. Maybe I just can't deal with scattering grounds of these:
Thus endeth the anti-carnie rant. But if there were any Hurricanes games going on during the fair time? Without a premiere parking pass - you may not have a tailgating spot. The NCSU students had to tailgate down the street at the University Club and catch buses to Carter-Finley for the Thursday night FSU game. No thanks.

So in two games out west - the Canes get caught in OT by a suddenly up-and-coming Kings team but slack their way past a sinking Duck squad 3-1. Here's what we know:

Hi-yo! - Leighton is 2-0 with a 1.92 GAA.

Cam Ward ain't been too shabby neither, with solid showings in both the Kings and Red Wings games.

Brandon Sutter is an excellent two-way player who will become even more valuable when he can win a faceoff.

Brindy is all that is man.

Matt Cullen, Eric Staal & Ray Whitney are progressing through this season nicely.

Tuomo Ruutu needs to stay healthy. :(

Coach Lavi doesn't need to be fired. No how no way.

Nic Wallin got tired of people thinking "you'd be on a different team without your no-trade clause" and is suddenly tied for 5th place in defenseman scoring in the entire NHL. He's been an extremely pleasant surprise through 5 games.

The Canes wanted 4, but will take 3 points out of their weekend with a content flight home before heading to the Mellon on Thursday.

Finally, here is what we also know - that YouTube user "alnova1" is a marketing genius while hilariously ripping off the "Is This The Year?" NHL commercials.

Well done, Caniacs.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

ECU Hockey rolls over UVA, ODU

From the ECU Hockey homepage:

ECU Wins Back to Back Wins - Dominates 2 Virginia Teams


GREENVILLE, NC - Friday night as part of the “Think Pink” breast cancer awareness night, the ECU Ice Hockey Club defeated the University of Virginia Cavaliers, 9-1. The Pirate lines looked sharp with exceptional passing, puck control and were disciplined spending very little time in the penalty box.

The team in conjunction with Zeta Tau Alpha raised several hundred dollars for breast cancer research as a part of the teams continued commitment to community involvement.

Saturday afternoon, the Pirates played Old Dominion University. Still wearing pink ribbons as they will for the month of October, the Pirates started the first period slowly, spending an abnormal amount of time in the penalty box. The end of the first period had the Pirates down 1-2. However, during the second period, the Pirates minimized penalties, scored 6 unanswered goals and assumed the lead. ECU never looked back and controlled the game until the end with an 8-5 win."

The Pirate hockey team at least provided some good spirits to counter-balance the suddenly flailing ECU football team as they lost to UVA 35-20 on Saturday.

Monday, October 13, 2008

RIP Alexei Cherepanov

Former NY Rangers 1st round draft pick Alexei Cherepanov unexpectedly passed away today during a KHL game. He was 19 years old. Thoughts and prayers are with his family and teammates.

Red Wings at Hurricanes Preview: The Red Wings are bullies

Go Darkness.

Go Canes.

(Happy Thanksgiving to the Canadians.)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Saturday, October 11, 2008

The Comeback Kings are back: Canes with weekend sweep

Fan A: "Down by two goals again."

Fan B: "We got 'em right where we want 'em then"

The Hurricanes displayed some serious heart and effort in both the opening night 6-4 win over the Panthers and again Saturday night at Tampa with a 4-3 OT decision. What a wild, 24 hour ride for the Caniacs!

Friday night's game:

The opening entrance was pretty cool. I feel sorry for anyone who sat in the lower bowl (Lexus Club side) that had their view obstructed by the impromptu hanging TV screen during all that. The leftover fog seemed to linger around the ice for half of the first period.

Florida came out prepared and walked through an almost non-existent Carolina D to score a few beauties. The Cats made true on their power play chances and Stiller's tip-in goal had the good guys down 2-0 early on. (Methinks Cory Stillman will have a great season with Florida based off Friday's observations and the lack of talent surrounding him.)

After that however, the Canes put on their shit-kickers and started generating pressure by maintaining the offensive zone. Tim Gleason borrowed Wallin's nickname of "The Secret Weapon" and railed out three assists in the game. Pitkanen looked great and scored, as well as Brindy. LaCouture and B-Sutter were workhorses and their efforts paid off as Danny had the game-winner on a feed from Brandon.

Sutter will score at least 3-4 shorties this year - bank it.

In a quip borrowed from the fine folks at The Battle of California, here's your entrusted blogger enjoying the action last night:

Those aren't my usual section 102 seats, but they surely didn't suck. A big thanks and shout-out to reader Bill who provided Wuffy with an adult beverage during the 1st intermission.

On to Saturday's game.

I got home in time to start watching the Tampa game at the beginning of the 2nd period. As I saw the Canes slack around the ice, the Bolts appeared to be taking advantage of a weary Carolina squad. But lo and behold, they crept back into it by waking up and forcing Tampa goalie Mike Smith to do his drama queen act. aside:To Smith's credit, he is a great goaltender that can flat-out play with a suspect defense in front of him. But when he lets in a goal or disagrees with a call, he's more dramatic than the ladies from Desperate Housewives. Exhibit A being the shattering of his stick over the crossbar tonight.

The third period saw Carolina completely dominate play and Tampa in fact looked like the team with tired legs.

In fact, the Canes ate up the Tampa defense, spit them out, swallowed them again and then crapped them out. Outstanding play to come back from being down 3-0 and finish them off with a beautiful Whitney-to-Staal two on one OT marker.

To borrow a line from the boys of The Pensblog:

Friday, October 10, 2008

The FLA Panthers are ready for Opening Night as well

Heres your evidence:

Big glove-tap to the posters at the boards. Good stuff.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Bring it? Oh, it's already been broughten!

The day that would never come.

Opening Night is Friday October 10, 2008. As in tomorrow. Really.

At the RBC Center? No more of "The Wiggles Live!":


and the old jumbo-tron begins it's final run at glory, as it is reportedly being replaced in the Summer of 2009.

as for the RBC surroundings tomorrow night? Expect quite the celebration.

Windows 95 low-bit MS Paint creation.

Let's do this thing:

Monday, October 6, 2008

Quick hitters

Scott Walker didn't want the trainers in the recovery room to get too lonely, so he hit the IR today after hand surgery. Out 6 weeks, but he can still inflict fear upon opposing teams from the press box if necessary.

With Walks out, Dan LaCouture got signed to the club today. Hey - is it just me - or are we seeing a Jon Favreau seperated at birth thing going on here with Danny boy?:

Dear Jimmy Rutherford: Plze 2 not sign Brendan Shanahan. With all due respect to his career, there is no shortage of damaged goods around here already.

From Puck Daddy via Japer's Rink.. proof that God has forsaken the Sabres fans:

ECU hosting UVA this weekend in Greenville and raising money in the name of Hockey Fights Cancer. The game is Friday night at Bladez On Ice followed by Saturday's football game with the Pirates vs. the Cavs.

4 days until Carolina vs. Florida opening night. Tailgating arrangements are already well underway.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Happy Birthday D-Lee!

Unlike David Lee from Red & Black Hockey, this photshoppin job never gets old:Happy Birthday, David. May you stay forever like my maturity level - 12 years old.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Flyers at Hurricanes live streaming video feed

Let's all hope its worth your time to watch:

Go Canes.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Flags at Half Mast...


Have you seen me? Missing are several hundred Canes car flags. They are about 18 inches tall, red, and have a Canes logo and the letters "STH" printed on the front. Last seen snapping off cars within a couple of miles of the RBC Center along Wade Avenue, I-40, and Edwards Mill Road. If seen, please contact the North Carolina Division of Transportation; roadside cleanup department.

Holy bad promotion Batman! Can you say "debacle"? It seems that the free 'season ticket holder' car flags are defective. So defective, in fact, that they were snapping off at alarming rates in traffic and carpeting the roadways surrounding the Big ATM after the game on Thursday. In fact, the problem is so bad, I got this e-mail today:

Dear East,

We regret to inform you that due to an unfortunate manufacturing error, the distribution of Season Ticket Holder car flags is being temporarily suspended. Our staff is currently in conversations with the manufacturer, and we will be in contact with you again soon to provide additional information regarding the distribution of corrected products.

We apologize for this inconvenience, and hope you will feel free to call 1-866-NHL-CANES (1-866-645-2263) with questions. Thank you for your support!
Go 'Canes!!

P.J. Avetta Manager of Sales & Client ServicesCarolina Hurricanes

And just whey you thought our promotions department couldn't f*ck things up any worse. Well, they went and bought cheap, defective flags from China or something and it looks like it's gonna bite them in the ass. Of course, this shouldn't really surprise anyone. You don't have to look any farther than Corvo, Eaves or Ruutu to see that this team's management has a history of making deals for damaged merchandise. Of course, it's actually kind of fitting that our flags are like our forwards, in that they are breaking before the season even begins.

Luckily, I still have my STH flag vouchers. I'm not even gonna redeem them now. I'm gonna just duct tape one of those little suckers to my car antenna and be done with it. At least I know that with the duct tape, it'll stay put longer than those piece of crap defective flags did.

And you've got to love this line in the above e-mail:

"...due to an unfortunate manufacturing error..."

Translation: "...due to our buying the cheapest product the Red Chi-nee would sell us..."

And then, there's this gem:

"Our staff is currently in conversations with the manufacturer..."

Translation: "Operator, get me the number for the Kunming Lead-Based Infant Toys and Cut Rate American Chotchke Company, and make it snappy!"

Boy oh boy. What a cluster...

Canes @ Flyers, Flyers @ Canes

First of a home & home today with the farewell game to the Philadelphia Spectrum. Not sure who the Flyers plan on icing for this game, but it probably won't match the number of minor-leaguers that the Canes are playing. You see stuff like this and wonder just how successful of a year Carolina can have when two games in, these are the injured:

Corvo, Wallin, Whitney, Brind’Amour, Williams, Samsonov, Babchuk, Gleason, and Ruutu

a big WTF there. Is it possible for them to fake injuries so that they don't have to play the vets in the pre-season?

Even though Brindy is hurt, I'm wondering if he was invited to participate in any the of Flyers festivities today. He played a butt-load of games at the old Spectrum and it would be a fitting tribute to at least show him on the jumbo-tron waving from the press box. Or maybe instead of a wave, he could do some push-ups.