All Things Hockey In The Carolinas

Friday, February 29, 2008

Happy Birthday Cam Ward

Leap year baby Cam Ward turns the ripe old age of 24 today. Counting how many times his actual birthday has happened in his life time, he is officially 6 years old today. Oh, to be young again.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Ruutu Rocks - Another reason to love the newest Cane

Cason summed up Tuomo's arrival quite well yesterday. As if Caniac Nation needed another reason to be hyped about the guy...

U Rock!

Gotta dig the extra style points he gets. He's got the "dog dragging his ass across the driveway" look on his face (see old school Dana Carvey for reference).

Update: Apparently, he is an expert air-drummer as well. What doesn't this guy do?

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

LOL Canes - The New Additions Edition

All pics via Chris Seward News & Observer, a wonderful photographer

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Brought to you by The Letter "U"

Give them two weeks to practice and prepare or maybe just 12 minutes. One new guy in Patty Eaves finally gets to lace up for the organ-Eye-zashun after a much anticipated arrival.

Tuomo RrrrUUUtu showed up at 6:48 for a 7:00 puck drop after being acquried today, complete with the cavalry of Raleigh's finest escorting him in from busy RDU. The Letter U could be seen handing a bag of sticks off to the Canes training staff 30 seconds after the rest of the team had already taken the ice on the jumbotron.

Gotta say about tonight's game:

-I was all like, "Hey, they can lay the smacketh down on their Southeast breathren but what about the the big fish elsewhere?" after last week's games but anxious to see how this squad would respond tonight against what has arguably been hockey's best team as of late.

- Tim Gleason was hit in a gooner's move by Jersey's Mike Rupp. Dude, not cool. TIMMMAaah could barely hold his own head up as he left the ice. Colin C - phone call tomorrow?

- Tuomo Ruutu came out and leveled Colin White on the next shift invigorating the crowd and setting the tone for a physical game (and an energetic home crowd!)

- I wanna talk to Samson!(ov) brought his A game once again and had the only two Canes goals tonight, both being off rebound chances. Damn, this cat can handle the puck. Slick. How many teams passed on re-entry waivers for Sammy?

- Cam Ward did not / has not resembled any signs of the "Cam Weekes" easy flukie let in the occasional beach ball form that has plagued him in the past. Solid.

- This team is consistently making their games entertaining at home, finally. Wadey Brookbank is part of the reason why its fun to see this team play. He finally won a fight tonight. Awesome.

- Write this down. The Hurricanes D corps was strong tonight. The only goal scored was a freaky deaky deflection off of Hedican. Stout.

Keep on kicking it. U guys rock.

Blue Line Specials and Goalies dejour

Well, so far the big deals of the day include Brian Campbell to San Jose (I guess Buffalo is going to ditch any bit of talent they might have to pay for), Tampa Bay has let Brad Richards head out West to Dallas, and Florida decided they might need an enforcer and pick up Wade Belak to fill that void. The biggest shocker to me was Huet to Washington. I thought they were going to stand behind Oli the Goalie come hell or high water, but I guess not. If he's happy and in the zone, Cristobal Huet could challenge for the number one spot DC.
Hey, at least he won't have to change the color of his pads.....

Edited to add: This just in.....Andrew Ladd to Chicago for Tuomo Ruutu

WufPirate jumps in: Analysis to follow (maybe!) but wait 'til you hear Chuck Kaiton pronounce Tuomo's last name: talk about rolling the Rrrrrrrrrrr's.

What kind of nickname do you give a guy named Tuomo Ruutu? Has this team ever had a player with 3 or more U's in their name? (cbc)

It's Deadline Day!

Oh, happiness and joy! It's the day to spend sitting in front of the computer or streaming live webcasts from Canada, waiting to hear news of some blockbuster trade deal. I have a feeling there won't be too many surprises today, but we'll just have to stay updated and find out. Sundin is sticking to his NTC, for now, Hossa will go somewhere, probably North, and everything else is up for grabs (except for Peter Forsberg, Colorado took that bet). My guess is that Rutherford will make a few seemingly small trades today, but they'll pay off in the end. The Hurricanes are hurting too bad for guys to put on the roster for JR to do absolutely nothing today.

Pending an accident that one of my boys would need stitches for, I'll post updates as my bandwidth (and COI's owner/operator) allow.

Monday, February 25, 2008

UNC Wilmington falls one goal short of conference championship

Got an e-mail from the busy Team President / Goalie / BRHC Tourney coordinator / graduating Senior, Pete Schwarz of the Seahawks tonight as his squad lost to Old Dominion in the championship game on Sunday. From all respects, the Wilmington club hockey team has taken tremendous strides this year between hosting the conference tournament to having a 9-1-0-1 record in their final 11 games or tripling the amount of fans in the rink.

You want class? Class is having this on your website after losing a heart breaker to their rival:

The Seahawks congratulate ODU and wish the team best of luck at Nationals

Congratulations on a successful season and many more to come.

Seniors graduating: Blake Cute, Tim Haggerty, Ian Aldrich, Colin Rossi, Todd Nixon

Friday, February 22, 2008

Playoffs?!? You wanna talk about playoffs?!? Playoffs?!?

Let me preface this by saying that I had an elaborate, in-depth post about the college playoffs in draft mode that the blogger gnomes must have really liked, because it disappeared into thin air. Awesome. Not.

Fortunately, el Presidente Pete Schwarz of the UNC-Wilmington Hockey squad is on top his game as his Seahawks are hosting the Blue Ridge Hockey Conference tournament this weekend.
Congrats to him on being named the BRHC goalie of the year and to the team who is undefeated since their new coach arrived.
Head over there for full details.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Everybody Clap Your Hands!

Just pretend these are the game highlights:

Because our #1 beat writer is the man: Carolina 5, Atlanta 3

But be sure to check out this must read: Knee rehab can't slow down Brind'amour


Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Hey Bandwagoners! How'd THAT Work for You?

Don't you just love the bandwagoners? I know I do.

With roughly 3 minutes left on the clock, the Canes were down 2-0 against the Bruins. The next thing you know, there are loads of B-wagoners jumping up and running (some literally) to the exits. I'd like to think they were fleeing the arena as some sort of show of support in the team, but while I may be ignorant, I ain't THAT ignorant. Some people just don't have faith.

So anyway, there I sit, yelling "It AIN'T OVER PEOPLE!!!" to no avail. The wagoners continue to flee. I turned and said to the Swede, "I'm gonna laugh my ass off if the Canes tie it up" [or some other combination of words to that effect]. When the clock got down to around 2 minutes left, there were even more people heading for the exits. I thought to myself, "Self: I'm gonna wet your pants if the Canes manage to pull this out..." For some reason, I just had a feeling that something worth waiting for was going to happen. The potential was certainly there. Maybe the Canes would rip off a late miracle like they did against Jersey in '06. Or maybe Timmy Gleason was gonna pick up Ference (ala the glorious Horton slam) and smack that genetic mutant Zdeno Chara over the head with him. Or maybe somebody would pot a nice goal and Timmy Thomas [that's pronounced Tim-Wye Toe-Mahss in Kaitonese] would go ballistic, shatter the glass, and rampage through the crowd; smacking fans like Patrick Swayze in "Roadhouse" until he was finally subdued by a tranquilizer dart fired by a crack RBC sniper from the spotlight platform hanging from the catwalk above. Okay, maybe the first two were a bit of a stretch, but that last one was always a possibility. Anyway...

Flash forward. About 1:03 left, and the Wizard decided to magic a puck up in behind Timmy Thomas. The crowd roared its approval. Well, perhaps I should say: What was left of the crowd roared its approval. At this point, I could feel the tingle. However, Thomas didn't go Godzilla over Tokyo like I thought he would. The suspense was getting thick.

Flash forward. But not far. With about :42 seconds left, lightning struck. Erik Cole decides he can't stand the thought of Ray Whitney getting all the glory and pots the tying goal. The crowd went nuts. Much to my chagrin, Tim Thomas did not.

Of course, what ensued was an exciting overtime; followed by a disappointing shoot-out. However, I couldn't help but smile all the way back to my truck (which, due to the horrific state of RBC parking logistics, was parked in the outer reaches somewhere between Fuquay and Sanford). I wondered what those bandwagoners must've thought when they got to the minivan, jumped into the drivers seat while bitching about the loss, turned on 99.9 [the Fan], and caught Kaiton announcing the start of overtime. And later, a shoot-out.

Perhaps the type of fan that runs for the exits with 3 minutes to play doesn't care about the outcome of the game. Or perhaps these type fans just get their jollies thinking their the big winners in the race out of the parking lot. Either way, I can't help but hope that they felt some measure of disappointment and/or regret upon learning that owing to their lack of faith, they missed an opportunity to witness a very rare and exciting sports comeback moment.

This is one of the reasons why I never leave early. I support the guys to the end; win or lose. That last 1:03 in regulation night was one of those moments in Canes history that will be remembered and retold by the hardcore for years to come. And I am proud to say that my retelling of that story will begin: "I was right there in section 1** watching when Cole..." rather than: "I was just turning out of the parking lot when I heard Chuck say..."

The moral of this story is simple: Stick around bandwagoners. Sometimes, good things come to those that wait.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

One photo to sum up the game last night

Because like my Eastern NC style BBQ sandwich, the game was outstanding.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Gameday Panthers @ Canes on a day made for tailgating!

Hey Joe Corvo & Patrick Eaves...

How was the weather in Ottawa when you left? Oh wait, I know! I'll use the Google and see for myself!

Hmmm, the high today is 12 degrees with a low of 1 degree Fahrenheit.

How pleasant!

Today in beautiful Raleigh, NC? Why it's a sunny, near 60 degree day and it has been fairly pleasant for weeks as the flowers have already begun blooming on the tree in our front yard!
There will be a crowded yet rowdy tailgate party full of Wolfpackers & Caniacs. The NCSU basketball game is at 3:00 and the puck drop tonight is 7:00. We're going to witness some shoddy ice out there, but such is life with two major sports clubs sharing a venue. The Fist of Fury and I will enjoy the day, the grills, the adult beverages, good company and hopefully, a great hockey game.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Change in Atmosphere: Volume not Valium

I know what you're thinking. What does a man cuddling with a sheep have to do with hockey? Why, nothing of course. So what gives?

I'll tell ya: It ain't about the lovely cover art, it's about the auditory ambrosia within. That's right. It's about the music. And that, my friends is the bridge to hockey. Allow me to explain.

I am friggin sick of the pansy crap blaring out of the jumbotron during games. Seriously. If I never hear Gary Glitter "Rock and Roll part 2" again, it'll be too soon. Sure, it was a great sports "anthem" circa 1981. And god knows, I love the 80's (and yes, I do know that awful song is from the early 70's). But let's face reality: Ole Gary is a convicted pedophile. So couple that fact with the prepubescent kids now featured on the Canes season ticket stubs and ask yourself what message are they really sending? And while we're at it, let's shelve "We Will Rock You" for the time being. At least until they've reached the consistency level where there's a better than 50% chance on any given night that the Canes will, in fact, rock somebody. I swear one night, the Canes were down 3 goals with 2 minutes to play, and those RBC idiots started playing "We Will Rock You". We lost by 4. Talk about writing checks your bodies can't cash...

And why the hell to we have to hear the [edited by Billy Graham]-ing "Chicken Dance" every game? Isn't that a yankee wedding song? Note to RBC staff: IT"S A [ edited by the Vatican]- ING HOCKEY GAME!!! NOT A [personally edited by the pope himself] - ING YANKEE WEDDING OR MILWAUKEE BAR MITZVAH!!!

And I won't even begin to describe everything that is wrong with playing "Cotton-Eye Joe". It makes me nauseous just thinking about it. Suffice it to say, and I mean this in the strictest biblical sense: THAT SONG SUCKS [edited by the Moral Majority; minus Falwell]!!!

So what do I propose? Simple. Replace the god awful sappy/kiddy/antique/NAMBLA approved music with something original. Something edgy. Something fast. Something violent.

In two words: Something punk.

Punk makes everything better. More energetic. More passionate. More lively. More alive! Can you imagine the jolt of confusion and fear opposing teams would get as they came out of the tunnel to the sound of Rancid's "Killing Zone" and the awe-inducing sight of 18,000 manic Caniacs in a full blown panoramic pogo? I can. It'd be both a beautiful and terrible sight to behold. I can personally attest to the fact that a man can derive ambient energy from groups like D.R.I., NOFX, X, Black Flag, or most anything early with Henry Rollins...

True story: Once upon a time, back when ole East was but a young lad, I instigated a full blown riot in a previously subdued establishment, merely by bribing a sympathetic DJ into substituting one of my Dead Kennedy's LP's (In God We Trust, Inc. - on vinyl...) for the pre-existing dreck the bar had been feeding the assorted patronage. The last thing I clearly remember before coming to about 6 hours later (in a strange bed with a very cute green and pink haired girl who introduced herself as "Lash") was seeing the entire joint in a violent counter-clockwise mosh with both bartenders in the middle of the vortex; slinging elbows and grinning like they'd won the 'effing' lottery. Best I can reconstruct, I caught either an elbow or knee to the face (dunno which, I never saw it coming. Or going for that matter...) shortly thereafter, and was dragged off to lie in state on the end of the bar, until closing time, when my mortal remains were mercifully claimed by "Lash" and carried to her pad for suitable disposition. THIS is what punk brings to the table.
Punk can do anything. Punk can even turn bad 80's pop into something good (that's a Utah Saints [sub: Kate Bush] reference, to any fellow sophisticates). Don't believe me? Check it:

See what I mean? Much better...

And that's the rub. If you want a loud, active crowd, you've got to give them motivation. And upgrading the auditory atmosphere in the RBC from the same old tired and predictable garbage would go a long way towards that. Let's face it, hockey is a fast, reckless, extreme, and even a little violent sport. So let's get with the program, and frame this incredible sport with some fast, reckless, extreme, and even a little violent music. A hockey game is not a Bar Mitzvah. Logically, it therefore shouldn't sound like one. They need to can the milquetoast music, and set the place afire. They just need a spark.

I'll start the petition.

Who's with me?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Canes handle Pens as power play explodes

Yeah. That's right. The Albany Hurri-rats, RiverCanes, whatever you wanna call them - joined forces with the remainder of healthy regulars and dominated the surging Pittsburgh Penguins tonight atta the RBC. Check out a newb's recap with CaniacD as I'm too zonked to let it flow.

But the win comes at a cost. Brindy leaves the game with a knee injury. Hope for the best. This is the last thing this team needs right now.
Update**** Dear God. Brind'amour tears ACL. Likely out for season. Seller mode time? Stay tuned, but more than likely - this team is screwed.

Thick skin or not, your opportunity is there as a Carolina Hurricane

As Cane newbie Joe Corvo came in this week from the Senators, much was made about his departure and the defenseman not being able to "take the pressure" in a Canadian NHL market.

Senators GM Bryan Murray:

“I don’t know whether it was the pressure or never having a life away from the building, but he felt that Joe would enjoy going to an American team,” Murray told the Ottawa Sun. “He wanted to play where there was less scrutiny. He just couldn’t handle the pressure here."

So be it. An unwanted player left a team for a patch of greener grass in Raleigh, not to mention from the sub-zero tundra to the 60 degree February days of NC. Who knows how Joe "Uh Oh" Corvo may end up playing with the Canes. Although he may not be the savior to Carolina's defensive woes, chances are he will flourish in Coach Lavi's system.

The soul searching and confidence boost that comes with joining a new team may be all an athlete needs to jump start his game.

Exhibit A. Look at Mark Recchi (sans his manboobs), who left his long time home in Pittsburgh this year to the (at the time) lowly Atlanta Thrashers. Be it spite or having the drive - guys like him can benefit from being out of the limelight in major hockey towns.

Exhibit B. - Mr. Sergei Samsonov. People can remember when he was "the next big thing" as a Boston Bruin. A former rookie of the year, he struggled mightily in Montreal, had a stint in Edmonton and signed a lucrative deal with Chicago. He had constantly been turning the puck over this season with the Hawks and had a whopping 4 points until he was claimed off waivers by Jimmy Boy and the Canes. Now? He's been consistently one of Carolina's best players using his nifty puck handling skills to chip in offensively at almost a point a night average.

So I say let them talk all the trash they want to about Big Joe Corvo and whether or not he could "handle" things up there. While they chase their players away, just remember there will always be a place down South for them to flourish, thick skinned or not.

We've got ourselves a Dirty South Three Way

Get your minds out of the gutter. We're tied in the division standings, this hasn't become a porn site. (not yet anyways :) )

Washington is certainly the only team playing like they want the lead within the past few weeks. They've been consistent, something that Atlanta and Carolina can not seem to do.

Here-in lies the problem though. If you look ahead to the end of the season, the Caps and Canes both have 3 games in April. They play each other on the 1st in DC. After that, the Canes will play the TB Lightning the next day and Florida as the final game on the 4th. The Caps get to play the Bolts on April 3rd and the Panthers on the 5th, with both clubs having tired legs to defend against the lethal AO.

So the NHL scheduling crew is at it once again with their brilliance. Carolina controls their own fate however and all they can do is win-and-yr-in.

A great way to head into the stretch run would be tonight against a Pittsburgh team that played last night in a 3-1 loss to Boston. Although Geno Malkin is shredding nets without Ol Juicy Lips & co, the Canes have proved they can hold their own against this team, Sidney on ice or not. Overshadowed by the media love affair with Malkin is Eric's brother Jordan Staal who has also picked up his play of late. Should be fun!

Happy Valentines Day all you love birds out there! Smooches!"You wouldn't propose to me at a hockey game ... would you?"

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Dear Bryan Murray, we talk hockey

Quote from Ottawa GM Bryan Murray in regards to the Joe Corvo trade:

“I don’t know whether it was the pressure or never having a life away from the
building, but he felt that Joe would enjoy going to an American team,” Murray
told the Ottawa Sun. “He wanted to play where there was less scrutiny. He just
couldn’t handle the pressure here.
“People like to talk hockey here and they live hockey. They don’t talk (hockey) in Raleigh very much. He’ll probably thrive in that environment and I like guys who thrive under pressure.”
(This isn't the first time the Senators have played that somewhat-odd card. Ottawa coach John Paddock has repeatedly mentioned that Martin Gerber flourished in Carolina because "they only have one beat writer.")
(Lord Stanley's Blog, N&O)

I beg to differ, sir. Our cab drivers may not be able to tell you why our powerplay is slacking but we do talk hockey here. For example, on Monday (the day of trade), I headed to Borders to pick up some new tunes. While I was paying for my things, the woman running the register just happened to see my Canes pocket schedule in my wallet and she piped up, "Oh!! Did you hear who they traded today?!?" As I explained to her what went down, she expressed her sorrow for seeing "Stiller" gone but knew that Jimmy Boy had usually been the man to trust in these situations. As I walked out, the three people in line behind all asked the lady what had happened with the Hurricanes today.

Also, there's about 900 unique visitors in the past 30 days in NC/SC alone who came to this lil' 'ol blog to "talk hockey". Sure, plenty of locals are obsessed with ACC and college sports but they're not all freaks ready to pounce at the first sign of an athelete's vulnerability.

Yes, we do have one official "beat writer" in Luke DeCock. (Guess everyone is ignoring Rachel Carter, who has been chiming in nicely over the N&O.) However, do not discount the Durham, Fayetteville, etc.. writers that contribute to the Canes coverage. Not to mention the guys at 850 the Buzz, 99.9 The Fan, and the local news channels. These folks do their jobs and they do it well. They're not out to hound NHL players in their personal lives. Our GM doesn't take pot-shots at departing players, no matter the situation. As Cason stated today, it's just flat out bigotry the way the Canadian media (and GM Murray) have handled this whole trade.
Whatever sells their story, I guess.

Youth Hockey takes a step forward in NC

(TSS Photography)

"The East Coast Eagles are excited to announce the formation of a
partnership with Team Carolina to further the development of Tier I hockey
in the Carolinas.
In keeping with the true spirit of a partnership, Team
Carolina and the East Coast Eagles intend to maintain their respective
identities. With that said, the new offering will be named the Carolina Eagles.
The teams’ logos will be a blend of the Team Carolina and East Coast Eagles
With this newly formed partnership, we will encourage upper level
players to consider the Carolina Eagles, with the overall goal of developing
players for future collegiate or Junior playing opportunities. In addition,
the Carolina Eagles will introduce a choice of Tier I hockey offerings in
the marketplace.
In the 2008-09 season, the Carolina Eagles plan on fielding teams at the Peewee and Bantam levels. This partnership will give our Peewee team a berth to the Tier I USA Hockey National Championships, as Team Carolina is the host organization. Our Bantams will be National bound as well.
The East Coast Eagles have absolutely no plans to abandon our
position at the Tier II AA level. In fact, we firmly believe the Carolina
Eagles organization will strengthen our Tier II AA position in the market.
Look for our 2008-09 season announcement immediately after the current
season closes.
Additional information is available on the Carolina Eagles
website at Questions
can be answered by emailing to"

A big thank you to COI reader Tawnee for the heads up.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

A Canes blogger heads to the press box

Just in case any of ya'll missed it - check out Bubba's recap of his adventure to the Washington Capitals press box for the game last friday vs. the Canes. Be sure to congratulate him but also make sure he goes through the proper intitiation / hazing process of being a press box blogger.

Reading his story, I just pictured a wide-eyed dude who must'a had a poo-eating grin on his face the whole time! (or looking like a deer in headlights). Well done, Bob.

A look back at Commie & Stillman

These two guys are fortunate to be traded to a cup contender in Ottawa. While I hate to see them go, say we miss out on making the playoffs this year -- we'd lose those guys to free agency. Might as well get something for them while you can, right?

Cory Stillman was a near unheard-of (around here anyways) when he joined the bench in Raleigh the 05-06 season. He quickly made a name for himself with his slick passing skills and clutch goals. This blogger's favorite memories of him:

1. Earlier this season when he scored a goal against Tomas Vokoun and the Panthers from beyond the blue line.
2. Scoring the series-clinching goal against Huet and Montreal in the 1st round of the playoffs during the Cup year.
3. Netting a natural hattie earlier this season against a hapless (at the time) Washington Capitals team.

As for Commie? My only complaints about him were the amount of time he spent in the penalty box. I thought he usually played sound defensively and he was 100% necessary during our cup run year. Favorite memory of Mike:
Watching him chug Bud Lights and sign autographs during the SC Parade:
Good luck gentleman. Perhaps you'll be back.

Monday, February 11, 2008

A/V Delight: Having A Lookie See At Corvo & Eaves

Here's big Joe Corvo:(

Did we just sign a hockey player or the lead singer of Buckcherry?
Here's Mr. Patrick Eaves:

(BC Eagles)

Now is it just me or does the look on his face say: "I WANNA GO TO HAWAII YEA!" ? No? Perhaps there's something going on outside the view of this frame, maybe an Eagles cheerleader is tickling his undersides, Dunno.

Here's Corvo breaking the hearts of Buffalo last year in the playoffs (well, then, Welcome to Raleigh!)

And here's Pat Eaves showing off what he can bring

Bring it on gentleman! Tattoos, goofy-faces and all!

Hurricanes and Senators exchange a forward and a defenseman

Shocking news out of the Canes camp today, as Jimmy Boy has shipped out Cory Stillman and Mike Commodore to the Ottawa Senators in exchange for D-man Joe Corvo & forward Patrick Eaves. Funny how things work out sometimes. I was just reading Forslund's blog today about how JR likes to pull the trigger well before the trade deadline. This is most definitely the biggest pre-deadline deal that the NHL has seen, and with this happening we can expect many more dominoes to fall.

That "popular player" that he said would have to be traded earlier? Yep, it's Commie and Stillers. Both guys were at the end of their contracts this year with Carolina. Commodore would have been getting quite a raise after his time here and Stillman has been rumored as trade-bait for months now and has been on a cold streak as of late.

I'll have more on this later, but for now I'm pretty pleased with this trade. Jimmy Boy finally gets himself a "puck-moving defenseman". Hallelujah.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Why the Canes need Wade Brookbank

A few weeks ago during the rash of the flu and season ending injuries that grabbed a hold on the Hurricanes, one of the first Albany River Rats to be called up was Wade Brookbank. Not exactly known for his offensive prowess, his primary role on any hockey team he's with was to drop the gloves.

After the Dec. 26th NY Rangers game where Carolina was out gunned, out hustled and out hit, fans and media alike were clamoring for Jimmy Boy to bring in an enforcer. Enter Wadey Boy. We simply couldn't allow teams with the Sean Averys and Colton Orrs to come in and knock out the team's weapons (Cullen is STILL out with lingering effects from Orr's hit). He's seen one assist in 16 games with 32 penalty minutes. He always seems ready to go to blows even when he's fighting a guy 1/2 a foot taller than him. His attitude and grittiness have prompted some locals to start referring to him as "Wade Bloodbank".

What I like about the guy is that every fight we've seen him in, he's usually getting his face handed to him. I've seen a couple of draws but for the most part he's taking a beating for his team on any given night. He fought during the 1st period of the NJ game the other night hoping to spark any kind of fire under his slacker team mates.

Now, we've got someone on the team already who can, will and DOES win fights when he needs to, but considering his offensive presence and energy combined with his injury history, Scottie Walker has been told to refrain from fighting.

Drawing a fight may not always end up providing the spark you hoped for but at the very least he's giving the fans something to see. Even on nights when the rest of the Canes don't bother showing up.

Canes at Devils: Thank goodness for alternative programming

I took the wife out last night for a nice dinner right around 7:00, scheduled to come back in and catch the game on the DVR. As it was apparently the night of every Raleigh high school's Winterfest/Sadie Hawkins and all the restaurants were overrun with dressed up teens, we didn't make it back home until 9:30ish.
As I watched the first trimester, it became obvious early that the Canes had returned to their lackluster form and displayed why the NHL's worst penalty killing team owns that tag. And this less than 24 hours after a confidence boosting and much-needed win over Washington that propelled them back up to the SE Division lead.
What's with Cam Ward being "Tortarella'd" last night? Obviously he was being hung out to dry, and stopping breakaways aren't his thing, but damn you'd think after three early ones it's time for a change no? Crackers saw his first action since being recalled from Albany and didn't allow any further.
Needless to say, let's be glad they didn't put on this kind of crap at a home game. As much as this team needs the revenue from butts in the seats at home, performances like this are simply killing the team this season. How many games now has it been where they get shelled like that? Just be glad they didn't make it 8 goals like the Buffaslugs did earlier this year. But for every one solid and sound game the Canes have had this year, there is another where the effort just isn't present.
Eric Staal has picked a hell of time in the season to be on a cold streak. Although he shined in ATL at the All-Star game as the MVP, he can't seem to create any goals without Malkin or Brian Campbell out on the ice with him.
So after the debauchery that was that 1st period, I could simply watch the game in ultra fast forward and wait to see the goals light up. Nothing did. Not a game worth wasting a Saturday night watching.
There were some other things worth watching last night however. The SNL repeat of Feist performing live came on. Leslie Feist, who IMHO has the sexiest voice in music, is Canada's finest and performed their iPod commercial super hit, "1,2,3,4" followed by "Feel It All". This band is extremely talented and performed at or above their potential. (Take the hint Canes).

Here they are performing "Feel It All" acoustically from the Jimmy Kimmel show:

Friday, February 8, 2008

Canes Country Bubba is the man, Canes @ Caps

A big hearty congrats to our man Bubba who is heading 4 hours due north to take in the Canes @ Caps game tonight from press row. Not sure how you pulled that one off, but if any of the Caniac Friends deserve it, it's certainly him. Have fun! Wear a Canes jersey just to annoy the regulars up there!

The Hurricanes need to score some goals, or something. One goal in the past two games. Spend less time looking for that "perfect pass" and throw the puck at the net! Be on the lookout for a big game from Keith Aucoin who will do his best to prove that he belongs here.

I'm predicting a big outing from Carolina tonight. When was the last time that the Caps were in 1st place in the SE Division?

Friday, February 1, 2008

Another KO in OT on TO

Downright entertaining game last night at the giant ATM with the Canes finishing off the Leafs in OT on a Brind'amour goal. 'Twas a fine way to close out the month of January winning 4 of their last 5 and two in a row.

Despite giving up the 1st goal (again) to internet dong-slinger Jiri Tlusty, the Hurricanes maintained pressure and had their way with the Leafers in the offensive zone.

How about Tim Gleason? The man played a sound defensive game but scored the 1st goal and had the primary helper on Scott Walker's tip-in in the 3rd. Who needs Jack Johnson? :)

The team will hit the road for what will be the longest remaining road trip of the season starting Saturday night in Pittsburgh. Great way to begin the trek with a head full of steam.