Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Chip Alexander of the News & Observer,
In looking at this season’s late collapse, (Peter) Karmanos said the Canes weren’t able to overcome injuries to goaltender Cam Ward and later defensemen Justin Faulk and Joni Pitkanen. Ward suffered a season-ending knee injury March 3 at Florida.
“We had a pretty good record and Cam goes out,” he said. “It was like we were suspended in air for a short time after that injury, for three or four games, and did all right. Then we dropped.
“We lost Faulk. We lost Pitkanen. If a team loses arguably one of the best goalies in the league and then two of its best defensemen, I don’t know of any team that could sustain that and win.”
Despite the string of losses, Karmanos said he found no fault in the efforts of Canes coach Kirk Muller and his staff or the players.
“We still played really, really tough hockey,” he said. “Even when the other teams got breaks, we played hard and were competitive. Our defense was weakened with those three players out.
“Some pretty good teams didn’t make the playoffs. The line between winning and losing in our league is a thin line, the league is so well-balanced.”
from Luke DeCock of the News & Observer,
The Southeast Division sent a mere 21 teams to the postseason in 13 years under a format where more than half the teams in the league qualify for the playoffs. (Only eight even managed to get out of the first round.) The other five divisions? 43, 40, 39, 34 and 31.
As a group, the Southeast Division has a 19-19 playoff series record since 1999. To put that in some perspective, the Detroit Red Wings alone have won 18 playoff series over the same span, the Devils 17.
It’s the only division that has never sent more than two teams to the playoffs. The Atlantic Division, which will join the Hurricanes’ new division in its entirety, has never sent fewer than three.
The hit by Jared Cowen on Jeff Skinner is illegal hit on two fronts. First Cowen left his feet to make the hit and should result in a charging penalty.
Secondly, through this "elevation" by the 6'5" Cowen, the head o fJeff Skinner, generously listed at 5'11," became the principle point of contact. Given the size differential, combined with the upward launch when Cowen's skates left the ice, it would be next to impossible for Skinner's head not to become the principle point of contact. Jeff Skinner became another concussion statistic for a bad hitting style that must be eliminated.
It is no longer acceptable for any of us to justify hits of this type as being 'good hockey hits' when the head becomes the principle point of contact. The NFL will most likely agree!
-Kerry Fraser of TSN, where you can read more on the hit.
If you need to see the hit again or missed it earlier, you can watch it here.
Joe Corvo may still be shaking his head.
Penalties listed below...
from Luke DeCock of the News & Observer,
Four points back in the division with three games in hand, the Hurricanes are far from out of it, mathematically speaking. With only one win in their past 10 games, they might as well be. A despondent Rutherford admitted as much Wednesday.
“Based on the position we’ve put ourselves in here over the past two or three weeks, I wasn’t going to trade younger players or high draft picks for somebody who may or may not make a difference in the last month,” Rutherford said. “There weren’t any deals that made sense for us.”
Once again the Hurricanes are trapped in the middle, the worst place to be. If you’re not going to make the playoffs, it’s better miss by a lot and grab a top player in the draft. Instead, the Hurricanes are trapped in a perpetual cycle of mediocrity, never quite good enough to compete, never quite bad enough to rebuild.
There’s almost nothing wrong with the Hurricanes now that couldn’t have been foreseen before the season. The concerns about scoring depth and defense were all there in January, and when first Cam Ward and then Justin Faulk went down, the foundation the Hurricanes’ early season success had been built upon crumbled, exposing all the flaws Ward and Faulk had helped paper over.
If you missed how he was injured, you can watch it here.
Updated at 11:22 PM: According to TSN's Darren Dreger, Pitkanen's out for the year and will miss 3 months due to his injury:
RALEIGH, NC – Jim Rutherford, President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has acquired defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron from the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for Adam Hall and a seventh-round pick in the 2013 Draft.
“Marc-Andre is a skilled, veteran defenseman who has made a good career out of helping teams on the power play,” said Rutherford.
This time a backhand from the low slot by Jamie McBain of the Carolina Hurricanes.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
Email Paul anytime at email@example.com