All Things Hockey In The Carolinas

Monday, March 31, 2008

Canes @ Caps - Ruh roh!

The last thing that the Carolina Hurricanes wanted heading into Tuesday night's game in DC was for it to mean anything other than a final tune-up before the playoffs. Thanks to a loss at the hands of last place Tampa Bay on Saturday and the fact that the Capitals have beaten the tar out of everyone they've played; they find themselves fighting for their very lives among the crapshoot that is the Eastern Conference.

All of a sudden, at 90 points, the Canes would be in 9th place if not for their automatic 3rd seed as division leaders. Washington refuses to lose behind the hard-charging puke-yellow skate laces Alexander Ovechkin and their ragtag group of youth and veterans carrying the load. Overshadowed by A.O. has been the resurgence of Cristobal Huet playing with a chip on his shoulder. He's out to prove to Montreal GM Bob Gainey that he is the real deal, franchise carrying goaltender after he was cast away from Les Habs at the trade deadline this year.

I do love the fact that the majority of hockey fans will be watching with a keen eye to this matchup tomorrow night. It bodes well for the current and future state of the Southeast division that a dramatic finish can draw such attention. Although plenty of outsiders will be pulling for the Caps, be on the lookout for Eric Staal to steal the show. The kid has done everything that is expected of him lately with 31 points in 20 games.

This is a fun time to be blogging about the Canes and just being a hockey fan in general.

Lets. Go. Canes.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Fayetteville Fireantz advance in SPHL Playoffs

The defending league champion FireAntz dispatched the Richmond Renegades in their best-of-three on Friday & Saturday with an overtime clinching goal by Rob Sich.

Antz goalie Chad Collins made 51 saves (51!) on Saturday. Combined with his previous night, he stopped combined 91 shots in two games against Richmond.

Fayetteville will play the winner of the Jacksonville / Twin Cities series with home-ice advantage if T.C. ends up winning.

File it under "D" for "Duh"

Tuomo Ruutu has the line from this week's "In other news, water is wet" department after Friday's 7-1 drubbing of Atlanta:

"All the time we were talking about shooting the puck," Ruutu said. "We did
tonight, and that's why we got those goals. If you don't shoot, you're not going
to get goals."

Friday, March 28, 2008

Coming clean about the Chuck Norris of Hockey

OK, so the fine folks at 850 the Buzz revealed to Chad LaRose that he is referred to as "The Chuck Norris of Hockey" in what has become a cult following among Caniacs. Though I did not coin the term, I feel the time is no better than to let my faithful readers know that I'm the Dave that calls in to the aftermath while leaving games to brag about Rosey (pre-broken leg, of course).

Is Chad the toughest dude in the NHL? No. Does it matter? Certainly not. He earned that moniker by his scrappy, never-say-die attitude that he carries on the ice. Fans of other teams will certainly disagree. But isn't it nice to have a character like Rosey in the locker room to bring much needed comic relief, all the while being the yip-dog that he is? He's not much of a fighter but you won't see him backing down from anyone. Gotta love the heart in the kid.

Keep in mind, he is a true Hurricane system guy. He was one of the all time leading scorers in Peter Karmanos' Plymouth Whaler squad. Yet he goes undrafted, comes up to Raleigh after a year in Lowell (split with FLA Everblades) and gels perfectly into the team's fourth line w/ the Adamses.

God bless you young man. Welcome back. "I'll show you 'out for the season'!!!"

LOL Thrashers

Thursday, March 27, 2008

$3 Beer night at the Charlotte Checkers game


Hint, Hint.. Canes Organ-eye-zation...

A boy can dream right?

Monday, March 24, 2008

The Bag Skate For Monday, March 24th

Keep your mouse pointed here. Will be anxiously watching to see if Ottawa slips into that 6th place spot. (Yahoo Playoff Matchups)

Luke DeCock has some reasons why Atlanta is so horrible this year. (News & Observer)

Fear the Merlin Hat & The Malik Effect. (Acid Queen)

A great look at the Hurricanes' up and comers. (Hockeys Future)

Speaking of which, follow the treads of Jamie McBain with Wisconsin, Kyle Lawson with Notre Dame and Nick Dodge with Clarkson U on their respective quests for the NCAA Frozen Four Championship and wish them luck.

Real deal jerseys for a little cheaper, get them a lot quicker. (Triple Threat Sports)

Watch out if these guys make it back in time for the playoffs. Who sits from this current lineup? Tough call to make. Williams, LaRose take part in practice (News & Observer)

The RBC Center's website is really up to date. "NHL hockey featuring the stars of the Carolina Hurricanes and other NHL favorites such as Jaromir Jagr, Mario Lemieux, and Eric Lindros"
Whoaa cool! (RBC Center Events)

The newest Fanhouse contributor is starting to like the Eastern Conference. (Fanhouse: Ovechkin Mancrush)

Every single Sports Illustrated article ever. Crazy cool stuff to find. (Sports Illustrated Vault h/t Fanhouse)

Random YouTube moment: Something just doesn't seem right watching Ron Francis throw punches...

Sunday, March 23, 2008

College Hockey: What will it take?

Not any time soon, but one these years college hockey in the Carolinas will come to the forefront. While various schools have recently founded teams, some have had them for decades.
Think of the possibilities. This is last year's winning goal in Minnesota's game vs. N. Dakota.

Could we see a big time tournament in a renovated Dorton Arena featuring NCSU, Duke, UNC, ECU, App, UNCW? Who thinks that wouldn't be outstanding entertainment?

Bubba interviewed David Glenn on the subject and suggests that we won't be seeing Division I hockey in our area in anytime soon. Heres your money quote:

With the exception of Boston College, I think hockey in the ACC has
along, long way to go before it’s close to being sponsored on the Division I
level. The current climate of college sports is that most schools are more likely
to drop a varsity sport than to add a new one, so I’ll be very surprised if you
see a hockey explosion in the ACC. It’s great that so many people are having fun
with ice hockey atthe club level, but I think that’s where it will stay for
the foreseeable future. There are just too many complications with budgets and
facilities right now. -
David Glenn of 850 the Buzz, as told to Canes Country

Who knows when/if the NCAA and sports fans in NC/SC will embrace the spirit and passion that these guys display. If nothing else, I hope that people are becoming educated about the game in general via the Hurricanes but also are noticing that their area colleges' club hockey teams are growing in popularity.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Blue Ridge Hockey Conference gets a massive makeover

Major announcement out of the Blue Ridge Hockey Conference as they merged with the Colonial Collegiate Hockey Conference today. Three different divisions are formed now based on how each team has developed over the last few seasons. Alignment is now such:

and they're looking for a few more apparently. Everything you'll need to know about these happenings: BRHC/CCHC Announce Expansion Plan.

In other news, sadly, the coach of the Georgia Tech hockey team passed away yesterday in Atlanta. Full details via their site.

Them there's fightin words!

Wade Bloodbank is still out for tonight's ATL game, but it doesn't appear that he'll be needed as the Thrashers players are fighting themselves.

Might Garnett Exelby get his temper out of hand tonight? No worries, their Captain Bobby Holik will jump in and rectify.

Wow. Burnside over at ESPN sums up everything one could try and say about ATL here. (h/t Bubba)

It's one thing to have scrapping teammates in the pre-season behind closed doors. But on national television? Ouch.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Canes tickets quickly selling out

If you have any intention of attending the Hurricanes' upcoming final 4 home games, may I suggest that you jump on that notion. Just checking in on the upcoming Capitals game on Tuesday, the entire lower level is sold out already.

And then.....

It's playoff time baby!

A friend of mine made an interesting comment the other day. If your team gets all the way through the playoffs, and you were to buy a ticket to every single home playoff game -- you end up spending more money on those games than you would for a whole 41 game regular season ticket. Nobody ever said hockey was a poor man's sport.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Stop the Hate: Anti-Cane Bias in the Media!

For a while, I've been noticing a serious lack of respect and just outright laziness when it comes to coverage of the Hurricanes. I know we aren't an original 6 team. I know we aren't located in New York. I know we aren't located in Canada. But jumping Jesus on a pogo stick, you'd think the media hacks could at least do a little research or avoid taking unnecessary potshots at us in random articles. Are there any journalistic standards anymore? You'd think (and you'd be wrong) that any hockey writer (and/or sports publication) would have heard of Eric Staal by now. He's been in the league for 5 years now. He played a big part in winning the Stanley Cup a couple of years ago. In fact, he won the All Star MVP this year. He's got 2 brothers excelling in the league, and another on the way. But somehow, Sports Illustrated can't spell "Staal" correctly?

Sure, Eric "Stall" isn't that important a player in the NHL, but you'll note that they made damn sure they got "Ovechkin" right. For Pete's sake, how long does it take to look up "Staal". Hell, if you type "Eric Stall" into Google, it will friggin tell you to see "Eric Staal". The kid wins All Star MVP, and S.I. (Sports Ignoramuses) is too busy blowing the Ovenchicken to take a second to spell "Staal" correctly. Jeeez. And you've got to love the heading: "Kennedy: NHL gets YoungStars game right" . Well, how about getting an NHL young star's name right? ...Jackasses...

And for good measure, let's see what TSN is up to. Oh yeah, they are taking shots as well:

Yes, I know what they meant. But half that equation is a direct swipe at John Grahame. And it's just unnecessary to the article. Hell, it isn't even that funny a quip, and I don't even LIKE John Grahame. I know, I know... TSN is Canadian and they have the Cup Envy real bad. And it's a mortal insult that TB and the Canes won (essentially) back-to-back Stanley Cups over (dare I say it?) *gasp* Canadian teams. But you'd think that if they truly had a love for the game of hockey, rather than just some nationalistic hard-on for a geographic location, they would not stoop to taking swipes at teams/players that are sporting SC bling just because their beloved 'local' teams can't get it done.

And finally, here is the worst of all. Our own local media is getting into the act. The other day, I am perusing the news on WRAL-dot-com (I'm not trying to be cute with the "dot-com" nonsense, I just ain't linking to those traitorous scumbags...) , and what should I see? Here... Look for yourself:

Nice banner ad don't you think? I must admit that I am disgusted that the local news entity that hosts John Forslund's blog is shilling for the Crapitals. THE CRAPITALS! For god's LaRose's sake, the Craps are located in a crime-ridden, crackhead-mayored, traffic-nightmare of a cesspool FOUR AND A HALF HOURS in the wrong direction on I-95. Yet, WRAL is advertising for them? Did they forget that the Canes are located less than 3 miles (as the crow flies) from their offices? Talk about bad form. Seriously. Maybe if somebody would get a crowbar and pry Tom Suitor's face out of Roy Williams' turd cutter, this crap wouldn't happen.

Seriously. They need to get over the hate. This crap has to stop.

I know! Let's all ride to Buffalo for the game tonight!

On second thought, maybe we'll just stay home in NC for it. Didn't anyone tell people up there that it's now March?

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Joe Corvo's Carolina-fication

Heeding the advice of CasonBlog, Joe Corvo has quicky relinquished the "gay viking raider" look in favor of a more conservative, less flashy do.

He's been nothing short of spectacular here in his dozen or so games with the Canes. Granted, the entire team has been firing on all cylinders but Joe has certainly lived up to the potential. It has been well documented that Stiller & Commie are not fulfilling their end of the trade with a floundering Ottawa club. There have been very few signs of the Joe "Uh-Oh" Corvo that our Sens friends warned us about. He's been defensively sound and responsible playing the point on a potent power play unit.

All reports on Joe say that he is shy and soft-spoken. He's been letting his play speak for him. That's good, as we wouldn't want him cracking under the pressure of a bush league coach or media, would we?

Monday, March 10, 2008

Ding! Ding!

Fighting still has it's place in the NHL, when it's between two guys who consent to the fight. This is the kind of stuff I love. Here's video clinic of how fighting is supposed to work in the NHL. And, for the record, Boston won this game. If boxing is supposed to be a graceful dance, I want to see some boxers get out there and do it on ice skates. And to think, this kid is only 19! Rock on, Milan!

I'd say Lucic won this decision.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Arriving in from Buffalo: things to do and places to see!

As it appears that busloads of Sabres fans are trecking down from the greater Buffalo area, it would only be proper Southern hospitality to offer those fine folks some pointers on entertainment outside of the hockey game this weekend! Well Buffalonians, look no further than your trusty dusty bloggers here at Carolina On Ice... We know all about Raleigh's hot spots and must-sees.

As you are coming down Us-1 South, be sure to speed through the small town of Kittrell, just around Henderson. Don't worry, there are never any cops there.

Once in Raleigh, I would certainly reccommend checking into any one our fine area hotels.

In between the RBC Center / NCSU area and downtown is a lovely place where we keep the North Carolina Welcoming Committee. Stop on by 1300 Western Blvd. and let them know you'd like the tour.

When you're ready for a meal, be sure to head over to the Ten-Ten Grand Buffett over off of Western as well for a dinner fit for a king.

Up for a flare of the nightlife? Get in touch with your wildside at Raleigh's hottest nightclub, The Foxy Lady. You won't regret it, trust me.

Why, you ask, should a bunch of Caniacs offer to help out fans of a rival team? We just did this to offer the olive branch. We'll welcome them down here. After all, a good chunk of them have already moved here. Can you blame them? The suggestions here are just a few of the many great things to do!

But hey, we looked out for them - so please, no more stealing meat from grills, destroying our cars, punching out ANYONE or cursing like a sailor for Saturday's game. Cool?

Voros on Staal: You Be The Judge

Well, you can probably guess which side of this hit the folks around here at COI are on, BUT some other views and opinions are always welcomed. At the end of this post is the YouTube of the hit and what happened in the aftermath. I think Voros' hit was nasty. If I wasn't entirely sure on seeing it the first time, the replays made it clear that he put in a nice extra shove at the end to make sure Staal went barreling into the boards. I'll leave the berating of the refs to anyone who wants to leave a comment.....I want some creative material here, folks.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Hurricanes win big over a flock of helpless birds

Was it just me or did it look like ATL didn't really give a damn tonight? It looked like the Canes were playing the Raleigh IceCaps for large chunks of the game. Sad to see, really - a hockey team in the South imploding.. Luke mentioned that it was one of the smallest crowds he'd ever seen since writing for the team while the Thrash beat writer at the AJC is witnessing a team get kicked off the practice rink by their coach.

You can't just give in, can you? Even if the Hurricanes were definitely out of the playoffs, they certainly wouldn't lay down for any division opponent in their own house, would they? Whatever the case, the Canes will certainly be happy with their effort tonight. They appeared to layoff the heavy hitting and spent more time with cycling puck control. Atlanta was not hitting, not hustling and not mentally there for this game.

Any possible energy saved tonight will help against the Minnesota trappers Wild back home at the giant ATM tomorrow night in front of a rowdy, raucous Caniac Nation. Your last chance to see a Western conference team in Raleigh this season.

Here's looking at you, Pete!

Luke of the LSB has a very interesting read on the rarely interviewed Hurricanes owner, Peter Karmanos up. One of the striking points made was that he religiously reads everything on the interwebs regarding his squad. Really? Me too!

So Pete, if you're reading... I just wanted to let you know that I was already praising your name months ago here at this blog and to echo one of the commenters from Luke's post - if you hadn't of brought this wonderful game to the Carolinas, what would I be doing instead? Actually, let's not answer that because if I spent 1/2 the time working hard at a career instead perusing the web for info on the Canes... you get the point. But thank you again, Pete. Should CompuWare tire you out soon and you wish to move here for retirement, let me know and I've got another beerfist with your name on it and instructions to our tailgate spot. It'll be fun.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Carolina On Ice's 1st Birthday Giveaway

To celebrate the one year anniversary of Carolina On Ice, we're having a contest!

Photo Contest: What we're looking for is hockey in and around your life. Include an explanation of what was happening in the pic. The more clever the better. The winner's shot will be displayed on COI and you and a friend will be headed to see the Canes play the Minnesota Wild on this upcoming Thursday night courtesy of COI.
Submit your images to

Thank you to all who have stopped by, commented or linked here in the past 12 months. See ya'll out at the games.
Update: Had some people ask, so if you are an out-of-towner and can't make it to Raleigh for Thursday's game, you're still welcome to submit for the contest and you'll get a TBD raincheck for tix.

We Already Knew Jack Johnson Was A Punk

...but now he's gone and proved it to Ryan Smyth.

"There should've been padding on that post"....blah blah......that goes along really well with "he should've had his head up". The point is, Johnson knew damn well that post was there and he should have let up. He also didn't have to go adding insult to injury by throwing up his elbow at the end of the check.

Yes, hockey is a violent sport and that's part of the draw but, do some of these punks like Johnson and Brooks Orpik have to add to danger?

On the flip side, the Hurricanes are once again shining in the light of a trade, as Tim Gleason has really matured this season. The Rangers game without him in the line-up really showed how big a void he left. When he returned against Tampa, they were shut down after one, and Gleason had a lot to do with that. I guess, despite Caniacs early mumblings during the Canes' mid-season slump, JR might actually be the trade genius we thought he was.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Weekend Caniac Observations

So the Canes properly welcomed the newest Tampa scapegoat goaltender in Mike Smith last night with a 5-1 tromping at the giant ATM. All our newbies showed up with points, while TB's new guys left behind a storming Dallas team to join a floundering Bolts club. All I can say to them is get used to it, -- You'll have your nights but Carolina does their best to get your backup goaltender some playing time.

During the game last night, FSN showed us the 7ish or so goaltenders that have been through Coach Tort's stable and have had little to no success. They've tried young and old, experienced or newb -- no minder has been able to follow up the consistency of Stanley Cup champ Nikolai Khabibulin. Hmm, ever stop to think that maybe it's not the goaltender but the team system?

One guy this blogger won't be missing is Johan Holmqvist. The guy was the 2nd coming of John Grahame against most teams, but seemed to become the reincarnation of Patrick Roy against the Hurricanes. Even at the beginning of this season when Carolina was rolling across the Eastern Conference, the Lightning always appeared to have their number. Toodles, dude.

The Canes have a rare stretch of days off from Sunday until Wednesday Night's ATL game at Phillips Arena. Next week, they again look at three whole consecutive days without a game. While the boys heal up some nagging injuries, they'll also enjoy letting Washington catch up to only one game in hand instead of two.

Now is the stretch drive and as long as they carry the momentum of their recent ways on through the month of March, their SouthEast surpremecy shall remain.

Lets. Go. Canes.