All Things Hockey In The Carolinas

Friday, April 25, 2008

Ovechkin Eliminated from Playoffs; Bettman Cancels Remainder of 2008 NHL Playoffs; Awards Cup to Ottawa Senators Instead

Dateline: Toronto

In a move unprecedented in professional sports, the NHL today cancelled the remainder of the Stanley Cup Playoffs; opting instead to simply award the Stanley Cup to the Ottawa Senators next Tuesday. “Going forward, we just felt that this move was the best course for both the league and its fans”, said NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. "Without Ovechkin to look forward to, there's nothing left that's worth seeing. And without that magnificent Russian scoring machine, what will the NHL beat writers possibly write about. Who in their right mind would want to read a hockey article that wasn't all about the wonderful Ovechkin? Certainly not me..."

As for awarding the cup to Ottawa, Bettman said it just felt like the right thing to do. "They've got such talented players and they've worked so hard. You just feel bad for them. Plus, they are a Canadian team, so the vast majority of our fanbase will be somewhat pleased. Just think what would've happened to me if I'd just given the cup back to those NASCAR loving hicks in Carolina", remarked Bettman. "You'd find my burned out carcass nailed to a tree outside of Moose Twat, British Columbia if I'd done that. And I'll be damned if I'm gonna give Lord Stanley's cereal bowl to those quiche eating surrender monkeys in Quebec either."

However, some NHL owners and General Managers were visibly outraged. “I think this really stinks”, said Cliff Fletcher, Interim General Manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs. “If any team deserves to just be handed the Stanley Cup, it is the Toronto Maple Leafs. It’s not like we have the talent to win it by ourselves. Jesus, our coach is Paul Maurice for god’s sake. But Ottawa? Their Captain is from Sweden and their Goaltender is friggin Swiss! I’d rather see my daughter in a whorehouse than see Daniel Alfredsson’s name on our cup.” Fletcher bristled at the suggestion that the Maple Leaf’s Captain was also Swedish. “That’s a lie! This is Mats Sundin you’re talking about! Sundin not Sedin! How dare you criticize Mats Sundin! Mats Sundin is as Canadian as baseball and apple pie. All he’s ever done is given his heart and soul to our beloved Maple Leafs, and you reward him by questioning his Canadian heritage? Damn you all! Damn you all to hell!!!” Future Maple Leafs GM Jim Rutherford had no comment on the cancellation, but did mutter something unintelligible about Peter Laviolette, a tire iron and a garbage dumpster.

Other General Managers were also perplexed by the move. “I don’t know how the league can just arbitrarily award the Stanley Cup to some team other than the Red Wings”, said Detroit General Manager Ken Holland. “If the cup belongs anywhere, it is in Detroit. It’s a natural fit: Detroit is known worldwide as ‘Hockey Town’. And this place is such a crime infested sh*thole, we could use any help we can get to take our residents’ mind off the high unemployment rate and the rest of their miserable existence. By the way, you aren’t going to print that last part are you?”

Montreal Canadiens coach Guy Carbonneau also weighed in strongly on the matter, saying: "Rezendez vous, parlez vous, voulez vous couche' avec moi, ce soi. Chateau Marcel Marceau escargot. Oui, oui mon cherie. Quiche vichyssoise! Inspector Clouseau. American pig dog! Ptooey!". He then smeared white makeup on his face, put on a black outfit with a striped shirt and funny hat, and tried to storm silently out of the room; but was thwarted when he encountered what appeared to be a very strong headwind. Unable to make headway, he became temporarily trapped in what might've been a glass box, before slowly pulling himself out of the room by means of an apparently invisible rope.

Oddly, Buffalo Sabres coach, Lindy Ruff’s response to the news was uncharacteristically calm: “This is B*llsh*T!!!” roared Ruff. “$#@%! *&%^, #*&#, *&%#ing bleep! We *&%#ing sucked way *&%#ing worse than those arrogant *&%#ing Ottawa Senators did! In fact, they were so *&%#ing arrogant they had *&%#ing champagne in their *&%#ing lockerroom before game four against the *&%#ing Penguins. They *&%#ing knew they were going to be awarded the *&%#ing cup. The league *&%#ing hates us. Everybody *&%#ing hates us. We get no *&%#ing respect. Their all out to get us. Well I'll just have somebody take out Spezza's knee or Heatley's achilles tendon and see how they *&%#ing like it. That's old time hockey right there. How Ottawa gets a cup without even putting a skate in the crease is beyond me. *&%# off and die!"

This unexpected cancellation comes on the immediate heels of the Philadelphia Flyer’s overtime, game-seven defeat of the Washington Capitals and the corresponding elimination of the NHL’s new poster boy Alexander Ovechkin. But despite increasingly strong outcries from the players and team executives to continue the playoffs as scheduled, the league remained firm in it’s position. “I mean, without Alexander Ovechkin in the mix, what’s the point”, said NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. “Sure, Sidney Crosby was still in the hunt, but he’s like so ‘last year’. That’s not to knock Sid or anything. He’s still got those juicy lips and a wicked wrist shot, but let’s face it; he’s no Alex Ovechkin. With that nut-hair beard and Russian accent, Ovi’s so dreamy I could just scream. And besides, given the NHL’s abysmal Nielson ratings, and the fact that Versus is only available in 16 U.S. households, it’s not like anybody will notice the difference anyway. ”

The Commissioner’s attempts to justify the action did little to allay the ire of angry team officials. “So this whole thing was because Gary went and got himself all butthurt that his Russian boy toy got eliminated?” stormed Leafs GM Fletcher. Well, we’ve got a Russian too, but I didn’t see that rat faced little bastard cancelling the season back in January when the Leafs were out of contention! Hell, you want Russian? How about Alexei Ponikarovsky? You can’t get anymore Russian than ‘Alexei Ponikarovsky’. Sh*t fire, I'll bet every one of you a shiny new quarter with a beaver on the back that you can't even pronounce Ponikarovsky! Hell, ‘Alexander’ could be damn near anything, except maybe Chinese or Korean. But Alexei? ... THAT’s pure Russian.” When asked his thoughts on Fletcher's Russian theory, Rutherford simply smiled and said, "Samsonov".

Meanwhile, the sporadic cable network Versus scrambled to fill its now vacant evening lineup. “Well, I wouldn’t exactly call it ‘scrambling’”, remarked Jamie Davis, President of Versus Network. “We’ve got plenty of PBR Bullriding footage that’s just begging to be aired. And we’ve got years of old Tour de France highlights that we can, uh... recycle, pardon the pun. While we here at Versus are deeply disappointed that we will not have any more exciting NHL action to broadcast this spring; we are excited about the huge increase in ratings that PBR Bullriding and pre-recorded European Bicycling are sure to garner in these time slots.”

Watch some Staal Brothers go at it - playoff style

In what should be a fantastic series, the NY Rangers & Pittsburgh Penguins being their best of 4 stint tonight at Mellon Arena. Whereas Jordan had a stellar rookie season last year in Pitt, brother Marc has had quite the first season as a Blueshirt.

Blogging for the Pens: Penguins That Fly

Blogging for the Ranjahs: Scotty Hockey

Stop by their respective sites for the goodness during this series.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Photo journal of the SC Stingrays playoff game

Be sure to check out Tapeleg's awesome photo recap of the SC Stingray's visit to the Gwinnett (GA) Gladiators for the ECHL playoffs.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Karma comes back to bite Bryan Murray

Ottawa Senators GM/Coach Bryan Murray sent off Joe Corvo with a few choice insults during his trade to Carolina earlier this year. It was well documented throughout the MSM and blogosphere that he was being a bit of a bush-leaguer with his trash talking of former players. Now granted, Joe Corvo's performance in Ottawa was deserving of some criticism - but the way Mr. Murray skewed things in the press afterwards was just plain wrong.

“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.")

With his team coming off last year's appearance in the Stanley Cup Finals, the Sens steamrolled to start the year going 15-2 with a team record opening win streak. As they began to slowly decline with inconsistent goal tending and on-again/off-again performances from their heavy hitters, Murray had to fire his coach John Paddock and "assume the position" back behind the bench. It did little to no good, as his supposedly brilliant (at the time) acquisitions of Mike Commodore and Cory Stillman only continued their downward spiral in Ottawa.

Though they at least made the playoffs, most people saw what was coming to them. They were stomped by a talented Pittsburgh squad this week in a 4-0 sweep. It could have been a lot worse from game to game if Martin Gerber hadn't of been standing on his head most nights. I did feel sorry for old friend Gerbs this week as he got little to no support from his teammates. I'm also extending the shoulder to cry on to our Sens friends Senators Lost Cojones & Sherry up at Scarlett Ice. I'll miss seeing their game recaps of doom this season.

At any rate I don't foresee Murray getting canned this summer by Ottawa ownership, but if the Sens come out flat next season, expect him to be on a very short leash.

Here'a a little something extra to cheer Murray up.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Hurricanes extend Samsonov, don't believe in defense

Not only was your boy Sergei Samsonov re-signed today at an affordable 3 year contract, two prospects were signed in Stefan Chaput & Nick Dodge. All three are wingers. That would make a house full of forwards in the Carolina organization now.

Gee it's a good thing the team is chocked full of starting and back up defenseman... not.

With little Brandon Sutter more than likely coming up next year with the big boys, the beer belly gas tank for a sex machine gut tells me that a trade will be happening to ship out some wingers this summer in exchange for a d-line that's not held together by dental floss and duct tape.

In any case, let's all just hope Sergei doesn't start tanking again like he did everywhere else after he signs a contract.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Charlotte Checkers fall to Gwinnett in playoffs

Despite an ass-kickin' new logo and the fact that this was their 3rd consecutive ECHL playoff appearance, the Checkers fell to the Gwinnett Gladiators in a series sweep last weekend, thus ending their 15th anniversary season. Hey, at least they made it to the playoffs...

Sunday, April 13, 2008

How my buddy almost won the Hurricanes House Giveaway

Before the epic fail happened, we were all tailgating with excitement before the game not only for the chance at winning the Southeast, but also because our good friend and grill-master Bob was among the 100+ finalists to win the Hurricanes Home Giveaway. We felt good about his chances. I don't know what it was, we just somehow knew that luck would be on his side.

Prior to the puck drop that night, the team hosted a party for the finalists and gave them all tickets in the 3rd level for the game. During that party, they drew 10 names that would be bumped up to club level and would have a chance at winning the house during the 2nd intermission. We just knew it was his. His wife had even predicted that his name would be drawn 7th during the pre-game party.

Bob has a nice house as it is, so we just mentioned throwing a huge bash after he won then he'd sell it. We'd even invite the players and their families -- it would have been the party to end all parties.

But as the 10 final finalists walked up to their boxes on the ice, there were all white Canes jerseys in them with the winner having a red one in theirs. Sure enough, the woman standing right next to Bob ended up being the winner. What a bummer. I'm quite sure that Bob enjoyed seeing me and my friend ramp up the entire section 102 with chants of "BOB! BOB! BOB!" just before they all opened their boxes though. Valiant effort there, Bobby Boy.

(photo: Gregg Forwerck,

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Fayetteville Fireantz won't be repeating as SPHL Champions

The Antz were defeated on Monday night in a rematch of last year's Finals by the J-Actionville Barracudas, 6-3 and therefore losing the series 2-1. Details here. There will be additional games added to the SPHL team's schedules next season. And I wish I could tell you more about this team. The end.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

On both sides for Coach Lavi's job status

Well then, at least the GM of the Hurricanes isn't trying to blow smoke up your butts in this time of Caniac depression.

Today, management held a press conference and nobody had asked my boy Jimmy about Coach Laviolette. Nobody had asked that is, until your boy Joe Ovies at 850 the Buzz chirped in with your money quotes:

for Rutherford, “everyone in our business is under review.”

-- Damn right! Everyone within the organ-eye-zation in one way or another is responsible for what happened.

"and into other interesting side issues such as David Tanabe’s status."

-- Does anyone else find it astounding that he was gone most of the year with a concussion from a hit that no one ever saw happen? As much ambiguity as the team showed with Matt Cullen's concussion(s), why was a team veteran's status - liked by the fan base or not - not communicated with the Caniac fan base?

Here's the argument on even keel for whether or not to can Coach Laviolette, better than I could ever explain myself:

Dr. Frank Lives:
Peter Laviolette did not trade away Jack Johnson.
Peter Laviolette did not sign Geoff Hamilton.
Peter Laviolette did not injure Justin Williams, Rod Brind’Amour, Chad LaRose, David Tanabe, Matt Cullen and Frank Kaberle.
Peter Laviolette DID coach us to a Stanley Cup two years ago.
Ridiculous to even consider firing the guy.

& on the other side:


I too wondered why coach L. changed the chemistry of the team when it was playing it’s best hockey of the season. That said, was he to sit Whitney and Williams, two of our best players? If things had worked out, nobody would have any problems with that decision.

The fact that Petey will start the 3rd year of his 5 year deal next season might be a factor here, but I'm pretty sure he'll be riding the Stanley Cup winning coach grace period for at least a few months into next season. But either way, I do believe I'm on Dr. Frank's side here.

What Caniacs saw in the Sunday morning sky

After the Caps clinched the division, this is what I woke up to on Sunday morning, as the Canes were officially out of the playoffs.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Canes miss playoffs & all we get is a dorky hat

I've held off on posting my feelings about the Canes and their epic fail of missing the playoffs after being in command of their division all season. I was hoping that some of my rage and disappointment would wither away within a couple of days.. well it hasn't.

There are a number of different reasons to point to as to why things went down the way they did. Injuries, goal tending, defense (lack there of), etc... but what it comes down to for me is the inconsistency. This team was either smoking hot or cold as ice. There was no in between this year. Running out of the gate, this was the only team that could slow down the Senators amidst their record, opening season win streak. Heck, the squad was playing so well that even Jeff "Green Eggs &" Hamilton was on track for an All-Star season. After ripping the months of October & November new ones, either complacency or the injured stars started to wilt away at the Canes' momentum as they won 6 of 17 games between the end of December through the beginning of February. Sure, even the President's trophy winning Satan's minions Red Wings had a few stints of futility, but they kept it to a minimum. Hockey is a streaky sport. The Canes just had one too many slides of mediocrity.

But who could have predicted that Washington would end up going on such a tear? Carolina has been so used to having the Caps as a non-threat, cellar dweller that maybe they didn't take them seriously when they should have.

Then again, who could have predicted that the Canes would have played so well after the loss of Captain Brindy?

Either way, it boiled down to not being able to consistently bring it night after night.

I suppose I am proud of the way that Timmay Gleason developed (as hoped/predicted last year) and that Eric Staal became the "Strong Like Bull" player that he was drafted to be. I'm still proud to be a Caniac and I will still be there rooting them on even if the Charlotte Checkers could beat them.

And who am I pulling for in the playoffs? Well, the Crapitals of course. Come on Ovie; you and your puke yellow skate laces go on and bring home another Coupe de Stanley for the Southeast.

Regardless of how things ended, it's been a fun ride and thank you to all COI readers who have come to either praise, question and even bash the Canes. Good times.

Go River Rats, Fayetteville FireAntz, Charlotte Checkers, SC Stingrays in your respective playoff marches.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

UTTER INCOMPETENCE:And I don't mean ON the Ice...

You've just got to love total incompetence. What better way to start off a day than to have to deal with a stupidity of such a magnitude that it transcends the normal bounds of mere frustration and anger and morphs into something so horrible, that it actually becomes laughable.

Such stupidities are generally quite rare. Sure, there are many utterly stupid things we all encounter on a daily basis. The jackass running 9 miles per hour below the speed limit in the left lane during rush hour while yapping away on his/her cellphone; oblivious to the mile long traffic jam they have created. The lazy mouthbreather who can't walk the extra 20 feet to put their shopping cart in the return slot; who instead shoves the cart into an empty parking space where it can block a spot AND potentially ruin someone's paint job if it decides to roll away. The turd brain who buys $600 worth of groceries and decides that it would be best for everyone if they avoided the regular checkout line and instead plugged up the self-checkout for the next 45 minutes. The parents who buy their kids "Wheelies", then turn them loose unsupervised in grocery stores/malls/home improvement warehouses. Buffalo fans. The list is endless.

But regardless of the ensuing frustration and anger, those are still just your everyday, garden variety stupidities. I'm talking about the collossal stupidities. The ones that are so monumentally stupid, words escape you. I found one of these on Friday. I'd heard rumors of its existence, but I hadn't encountered it yet. On Friday, all that changed. It's taken me two whole days to get to a point where I can talk about it. It has to be the stupidest, most ignorant phenomena in all of Wake County. It is: The RBC parking/traffic plan.

I've taken the opportunity to create a graphic of this nightmare:

Yep. It took an hour and 7 minutes to get from the intersection of Wade Avenue and Edwards Mill Road to a parking spot. AN HOUR AND SEVEN [edited for decorum] MINUTES!!! IT IS LESS THAN A MILE AND IT TOOK AN HOUR AND SEVEN [edited for decorum] MINUTES!!! THERE WERE 20 [edited for decorum] COPS STANDING ALONG THE ROAD WITH THEIR THUMBS UP THEIR BETTER ENDS AND IT STILL TOOK AN HOUR AND SEVEN [edited for decorum but rhymes with "trucking"] MINUTES TO GO LESS THAN A MILE!!!

I swear to god, if you had a team of civil engineers, a group of NASA scientists, and a herd of mentally retarded Rhesus Monkeys all working together (or against one another; take your pick...) for a year on a plan to f*&ck up the arena traffic pattern, they couldn't have done a better job of it than those imbeciles at RPD did Friday night. Seriously. Whoever came up with that brilliant traffic plan should be fired for gross incompetence and wanton stupidity. Then, he/she should be held up for public ridicule as they are run out of town forever. That plan was about as smart as a football bat. I don't know who makes up the Raleigh event traffic planning group, but I've got a pretty good idea:

What is really amazing is that I've been a ticket holder since before the lockout. I've been to well over a hundred (if not hundreds of) games. I've gotten there late for sold out games. I've gotten there late for games where they are giving out some free chotchke and every Ebay reseller within 150 miles has showed up to stock their online store. I've been through 12 Stanley Cup playoff games and 4 finals games; yet I have never (I repeat) NEVER seen the traffic mishandled as bad as what I saw Friday night.

You'd think that the city of Raleigh would've learned something about how traffic works by now. You'd think that they would've learned something from the fiasco 2 years ago where we got 1/4 inch of snow and the same unprepared/oblivious batch of idiots froze up (pun fully intended) and did nothing while the entire city gridlocked for 14 hours. But obviously, they remain as willfully ignorant as ever.

I know it does no good to complain to RPD, as they don't care. They've got sticks, guns, pepper spray, and immunity from traffic violations, so why do they care if we get pissed? And the Hurricanes/RBC just tell you that it's the RPD in charge of that and they can't help. But it's time that somebody over at Gale Force Holdings/RBC Event Management grew a pair and told the RPD to get their sh*t together before their incompetence starts running off their paying customers. They can't just keep burying their head in the sand. Simply put, there's a lot of people who just don't have the patience/commitment level to pay $200 for tickets to an event/game; arrive just outside the arena an hour early; and then have to wait in traffic unnecessarily for an hour to go half a mile; and then have to pay $8 more to park half a mile away from the arena, and then end up arriving 20 minutes late and miss part of the game/event; etc., etc.

Seriously. They need to get back to the pattern they used 2 years ago that worked so well. Otherwise, they are going to start losing fans. I love hockey and I love the Hurricanes. I love being at the arena for a live game. I have no immediate intention of giving up my tickets. But if this is the way they are going to keep running traffic at the RBC, I'll be reconsidering my decision to remain a ticket holder. I'd much rather be at home watching the game on television than sitting in a traffic jam (wasting $3.30 a gallon gasoline) listening to Chuck Kaiton butchering Slavic surnames...

Friday, April 4, 2008


47 Shots on goal to 17 shots on goal. They lose, 4-3. WTF? Much more Caniac catastrophe to come, but damn, :

Panthers @ Canes - Stand and Deliver

I can't even fathom the words. Leave it all out on the ice tonight.

H/t on vid to the Insider.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Now I Can Die Happy

They may as well just go ahead and disband the NHL right now. There's nothing left to see here folks. The Chuck Norris of Hockey has scored a hatter. What else could possibly ever top that?

[With credit to Hyena: From whom I lifted the base image of The Chuck Norris of Hockey. Quality breeds quality, I always say...]