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.
Friday, February 29, 2008
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Cason summed up Tuomo's arrival quite well yesterday. As if Caniac Nation needed another reason to be hyped about the guy...
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
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
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.
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
You want class? Class is having this on your website after losing a heart breaker to their rival:
Friday, February 22, 2008
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.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
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
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
Saturday, February 16, 2008
Hey Joe Corvo & Patrick Eaves...
Friday, February 15, 2008
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
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!
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
“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.
"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
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
Additional information is available on the Carolina Eagles
website at www.carolinaeagles.org Questions
can be answered by emailing to firstname.lastname@example.org"
A big thank you to COI reader Tawnee for the heads up.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
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
Did we just sign a hockey player or the lead singer of Buckcherry?
Here's Mr. Patrick Eaves:
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!
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
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.
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
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
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.