Kukla's Korner Hockey
via the AP at The Charlotte Observer,
“I didn’t tell them anything,” coach Peter Laviolette said Monday. “I couldn’t. I didn’t know what to say. I’ll figure that out as we move along. I had a hard time moving forward myself.”
So the Hurricanes (43-33-6) become the first NHL team to miss the playoffs in each of the two seasons after winning the Stanley Cup.
“It’s like your legs were chopped out from under you, and you feel totally helpless,” said forward Justin Williams, whose empty-netter sealed the ‘06 title.
from Luke DeCock of the News & Observer,
The Canes gave away a house, a car and the jerseys off their backs. They may have given away the division title as well with a 4-3 loss to the Panthers on Friday—Florida’s first win at the RBC Center since December 2002, in arguably the only game of the 16 since that really mattered.
“Everybody’s sick about it,” Hurricanes coach Peter Laviolette said. “There’s not a good feeling. I don’t know what to tell you. There’s not a good feeling about it, nothing positive to take from tonight.
“We needed to win a game to be in charge, win our division, have home ice in the playoffs, and we lost that. It’s gut-wrenching.”
via the Carolina Hurricanes,
Jim Rutherford, President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, announced today that the team has activated center Matt Cullen from injured reserve. Cullen, who has missed the team’s last seven games with a head injury, is eligible to play in tonight’s game against TampaBay.
from the Washington Post,
It was, without question, the most important game several of the Washington Capitals had ever played in. But it never looked that way.
In a contest that featured all of the intensity of a playoff game, the Capitals’ impressive core of youngsters and veteran goaltender Cristobal Huet buoyed their hope of earning a spot in the playoffs with a 4-1 thumping of the Carolina Hurricanes.
continued (reg. req.)
added 11:26pm, from Lord Stanley’s Blog at the News & Observer,
Playing on some of the worst ice in recent NHL history — riddled with cracks like a windshield after a wreck — the Caps scored twice early, then answered a Carolina goal with a power-play goal during a controversial second-period sequence.
Alex Ovechkin took exception to Eric Staal poking at Huet’s glove after a save on Scott Walker on a short-handed two-on-one and threw Staal into the boards.
But the Capitals remained on the power play because a coincidental minor was called on Niclas Wallin in the brawl that followed, and Alexander Semin scored to make it 3-1.
The Carolina Hurricanes have activated forwards Ray Whitney and Justin Williams from injured reserve and the pair are eligible to play in Tuesday’s game against the Washington Capitals.
Today, the NHL arranged a teleconference call for the media, speaking with the Staal brothers: Eric of the Carolina Hurricanes, Marc of the New York Rangers and Jordan of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Pittsburgh has already clinched a spot in the playoffs, and Carolina leads their division and the Rangers are sixth in the East. If all three clubs make the playoffs, the brothers would become the first set of three brothers to compete in the post-season since 1992 when and the Brotens (Aaron, Neil and Paul) and the Sutters (Brent, Rich and Ron) all competed in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Q. Marc and Jordan, I think you guys faced in each in the OHL Playoffs a few years back. I was wondering for each of you what your most vivid memory of that season was competing against each other, if there were any memorable one-on-one battles?
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
But hockey teams are surprisingly consistent in what nourishes them, what pushes them forward. Yes, good coaching, a sense of direction from management and good luck are all important. But all good teams need someone to lead them, to show them that adversity isn’t a wall, but a challenge.
In the Carolina Hurricanes’ dressing room Eric Staal has become that man.
“It’s unfair to say he’s the reason why we’re where we are,” Carolina coach Peter Laviolette told ESPN.com this week. “But if you have a hard-working team, there has to be somebody that you look to. This has been a chance to look into Eric Staal and see what he’s all about. I think everybody likes what they’ve seen.”
from 850 The Buzz,
Conventional wisdom says the Carolina Hurricanes playing home games during the height of hoops season is a recipe for sparse crowds at the RBC Center. So much for the conventional way, since the Canes sold out games opposite the Duke / UNC season finale and the ACC Tournament Final.
listen to the Rutherford interview…
thanks to a KK reader for the pointer!
The Carolina Hurricanes will be without Ray Whitney for the next few weeks. The team announced on Friday that Whitney will undergo surgery on Saturday to repair a damaged bursa in his leg.
Whitney is expected to miss two to three weeks of action.
from Luke DeCock of the News & Observer,
...Perhaps it was that Adams’ offense was committed against a player from a Canadian team.
A News & Observer analysis of NHL discipline since the 2005-06 season found that almost one-third of the suspensions handed down were assessed for offenses committed against Canadian teams, which represent only six of the league’s 30 franchises—but are the six most visible.
“We don’t try to look at a pattern here,” Campbell said. “Maybe we should. It’s not who’s in first and who’s in last. We try to look at it as an independent, individual situation: Is a player wronging another player? We don’t care what team it is. All we care about is, did he cross the line and is he a repeat offender?”
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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.
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