Red and Black Hockey
Entries with the tag: Joni Pitkanen
On Wednesday, the Hurricanes finally got their first win of the season with a 3-2 regulation win over the defending Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins. The Hurricanes got goals from Joni Pitkänen, Anthony Stewart and Jiri Tlusty, while the visitors got markers from Brad Marchand and Tyler Seguin.
The Hurricanes converted one of four power play chances, while shutting down the Bruins power play. To be fair, Boston has struggled mightily in that department, but it was still a great night for the special teams.
Defenseman Jamie McBain made his season debut, while rookie Justin Faulk was one of three healthy scratches on the night.
Carolina is now 1-2-1 on the young season. They’ll start a four-game road trip on Friday in Buffalo.
On Sunday, Canes fans were told that a player signing was imminent. We hoped that it would be Jussi Jokinen or Erik Cole. Of the seven UFAs, those are the two who are generally regarded by Caniacs as the most important. Today, we’re being told that they aren’t even close with any of the UFAs. With the free agent market opening in two weeks, the Hurricanes have decided to shop the rights to those players instead of letting them walk away.
I can’t even begin to guess who the trading partner or the player coming in this direction might be, Paul Branecky of Hurricanes.com says that a trade is close to completion. One that would have “a power-play quarterback who can play among the top four defensemen – an immediate Pitkanen substitute - ” coming to Raleigh. The Canes are looking to deal one of their two second round draft picks or even a prospect to make a deal happen.
Jim Rutherford says ““We’re exchanging ideas, and something could happen any time.”
It’s been a while since I’ve checked in here, and you probably can’t blame me for failing to find anything to post about. I lost my job. The Hurricanes missed the playoffs on the final day of their season. Things haven’t exactly been sunshine and light over at RBH headquarters. While the Hurricanes are looking at their free agent contracts, the Charlotte Checkers are busy in the first round of the Calder Cup playoffs.
On Thursday, the series between the Checkers and the defending champion Hershey Bears (Washington Capitals) got underway in Hershey. Charlotte took that first game 5-4 on goals by Zac Dalpe, Chris Terry, defenseman Brett Bellemore, Zach Boychuk and Drayson Bowman. Dalpe also added two assists.
On Sunday, the Bears turned the tables on the Checkers. They evened the series at on apiece with a 4-2 win. Dalpe had both goals for the Checkers and now shares the league lead with three goals.
This particular series uses the 2-3-2 format, so Charlotte will get three straight home games: this Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. It will be the first ever Calder Cup playoff game in Charlotte. By splitting the games in Hershey, Charlotte now has home-ice advantage in the five remaining games.
On Friday night, the Hurricanes had to come from behind to beat the Islanders 3-2 in overtime. That gives them 76 standings points, and crucially, 29 “Regulation or Overtime Wins”. They are now tied with Buffalo in standings points and ROW, but the Sabres have two games in hand. Carolina is idle until Tuesday, when they will host the last place Senators. This weekend, the Sabres have home games against Atlanta and Nashville. The Canes players and fans are hoping that the Sabres lose both games in regulation. Carolina, by virtue of earning more points versus the Sabres (four) than the Sabres have earned against the Canes (three) would have the tiebreaker and would jump back into eighth place.
After the Senators game, the Canes have a back-to-back home-and-home with the Lightning, a road game in DC and a home game against the Habs. During that same stretch,the Sabres will play at Montréal, back-to-back home games against Florida and New Jersey and finally at Toronto. That stretch certainly plays in the Sabres favor, so the Canes will have to steal some points.
Once again, Cam Ward was great, and for the first time in a while, the Hurricanes showed some fight. When they were pushed against the ropes, down a goal late in the third, they answered back, forced overtime, and won it the way they needed to—during timed play.
On Wednesday, rumors spread that Carolina will be opening the 2010-11 season with two games in Finland. Maybe all that excitement about the Finnish trip had something to do with it, and maybe it was just some sort of synchronicity, but Carolina’s three native Finns played very well in Carolina’s 5-3 victory over the visiting Dallas Stars. At the end of it all, Tuomo Ruutu got his first career hat trick, even if Ray Whitney almost messed it up.
Nothing has been announced, and nothing will be announced for another couple of months, but there’s some very strong suggestion that Carolina will be one of the teams starting their season in Europe next season, and everything is pointing towards Finland. With Carolina’s three Finns, the games would be certain to draw huge crowds. According to what I’ve heard, although the teams lose home games, the league gives them financial benefits from the Europe games. Season ticket holders would lose one game, but they obviously wouldn’t have to pay for it. The Finns get to play at home. Everybody wins.
Martin Brodeur had a chance on Wednesday to set a new NHL record for career shutouts. For about 26 minutes of gametime, it looked like it might happen. In the end, though, he earned a 4-2 win and the Devils protected their lead atop the Atlantic division.
Cam Ward was playing for the first time in 32 days, and he looked pretty sharp. He gave up two goals in the first period that were not at all his fault, and one in the second. Late in the second, when the Canes were surging, Ward was really sharp. In the third, the puck was in the other end for most of the period, and he really didn’t have to work much. It was a good first game back for him, and it was a good game overall for the Canes, even if they came out on the wrong end of it.
Andy Greene was the star of the night with two goals including the game winner. On the Canes side of things, Joni Pitkä was quite good, picking up two assists.
The Hurricanes continued their annual late October extended road trip in desperate need of a win. The Islanders were a winless team, but have been playing good hockey. Unfortunately for the Canes, this was the night the Isles finally got into the win column. After falling behind 3-1, Carolina mounted a third period rally to tie the game, which was ultimately settled in the shootout. The home team converted all three of their shootout attempts, while the Hurricanes succeeded just once.
It was a night to celebrate Ray Whitney, who was playing in his 1000th NHL game and his 300th as a Cane. Unlike last Wednesday, when he lit the lamp twice, he failed to light the lamp this time. Eric Staal got off the schneid, but it wasn’t enough to lead the Canes to victory.
Eric Staal left practice early on Monday with some “tightness” and didn’t participate in Tuesday’s practice, according to official team reports. The nature of this tightness isn’t known, but the captain-in-waiting is not expected to miss Wednesday’s clash with the defending Stanley Cup champion Penguins.
Joni Pitkänen, who has played in all of one period of action this season, also sat out. He’s still being troubled by soreness in his knee after off-season surgery. Right now, there’s no time table for his return.
On Tuesday night, the Finnish connection got the job done in Carolina, handing them their first win of the season. It took a shootout to break a 1-1 tie with the Lightning, and the Hurricanes were successful.
This was one of those odd games that fell through the cracks, and wasn’t broadcast by either team’s network. This meant that, even with the Center Ice package, this game wasn’t on television. Thank goodness for internet radio and Chuckandtheletterk.
This was the first game of the season for defenseman Joni Pitkänen, who had knee surgery over the summer. Unfortunately, he didn’t last the whole game. However, he and the other Finns all pitched in for the win. It was also the first game of the season for tough guy utility player Tim Conboy. As I expected, he spent more time in the box than on the ice. I sincerely hope that this experiment will come to a rapid end and one of the skilled forwards from Albany is recalled.
On Monday night, the Hurricanes did something they hadn’t done in nearly two weeks: they won. After losing five in a row including a pair of 5-1 undressings, the Canes finally got off the schneid. Cam Ward was brilliant between the pipes and the Canes got goals from Joe (s)Corvo and Chad “Sharpie” LaRose to beat the Leafs 2-0. They will take their one game winning “streak” to Pittsburgh on Tuesday before taking an entire week off for the ASG.
Corvo’s power play goal was one of his patented laser beams from the top of the left circle late in the second. It was his fourth game-winning goal and his eighth marker overall. LaRose scored a back-breaking insurance goal with just four and a half seconds left in the second period. However, it was the Hurricanes penalty killing and the outstanding play of Cam Ward that took center stage.
On Sunday afternoon, we learned a few details about the injuries on Saturday.
Defenseman Joni Pitkänen suffered a meniscus tear in his knee. He’ll undergo surgery in Raleigh on Monday and is expected to miss three to four weeks.
Center Brandon Sutter suffered a concussion and was released from a hospital on Long Island. He will spend some time with his family in New Jersey before coming back to Raleigh sometime next week.
Meanwhile, the Islanders are exercising their right not to disclose injury information, but they have reported that goalie Rick DiPietro will visit a doctor to have an undisclosed injury examined. It’s unknown how long he’ll be out, but they’ve called up a reserve goaltender. It’s an ongoing saga there with Ricky and his health, and here’s the latest.
Carolina will recall Dwight Helminen from Albany to replace Sutter.
For the second time in as many nights, the Hurricanes dug a hole for themselves in the first period. For the second time, they climbed all the way out. This time, they needed overtime to do it, but they beat the Lightning 4-3.
On Friday night, Carolina got scoring from a bunch of unlikely sources. Tonight, they brought out the big guns. Matt Cullen had one marker, Rod Brind’Amour had one, and Eric Staal had two, including the game-winner.
Carolina was very sluggish and undisciplined early on, but as the game wore on, they were the team with all the jump and none of the penalties.
Carolina opened their 11th season on Friday with a wild game against division foe Florida and a 6-4 win. It wasn’t pretty, but two points in the standings look good any day of the week.
The Hurricanes stumbled out of the gates, giving up two goals in the first six minutes of the contest, but settled in nicely with goals from six different players and assists from seven different players. At the end of it all, Tim Gleason earned the game’s first star with three assists.
Recap and notes after the jump
Filed in: Carolina Hurricanes, NHL Hockey, game summary, | Red and Black Hockey | Permalink
Tags: brandon+sutter, carolina+hurricanes, florida+panthers, frantisek+kaberle, game+recap, joni+pitkanen, tim+gleason
After losing the first three exhibition games (and looking bad doing so) the Hurricanes rattled off three straight wins to finish the preseason. Carolina will start playing games that count on Friday with a home game against the Panthers.
Eric Staal and Ray Whitney scored today for a 2-0 shutout over the Preds. Cam Ward went the distance, making 31 stops with both teams pretty much fielding the “A team”.
For the first time all preseason, Rod Brind’Amour played. He skated 19 shifts for a total of 15:04 of ice time. He took just 13 of the faceoffs, compared to 17 taken by Brandon Sutter. This was pretty much the plan: to use him sparingly.
The Hurricanes have trimmed their training camp roster to 33 players, and with the regular season just 10 days away, there are still quite a few lineup issues to be resolved. The most intriguing issue is the blueline. There are still nine defensemen in camp, and only three of them—Joe Corvo, Tim Gleason and Joni Pitkänen—are guaranteed roster spots. And this doesn’t count the enigmatic and AWOL David (aka “Avi”, aka “Snuggles”) who has not shown up for camp and claims he is still concussed.
The News&Observer has opened the floor for the debate: How will the defensive pairings be filled out? Everybody agrees that Gleason, Pitkänen and Corvo are in the top four. The debate is about who among Anton Babchuk, Tim Conboy, Frantisek Kaberle, Josef Melichar, Dennis Seidenberg and Nic Wallin will play every night, who will be a healthy scratch, who will be relegated to Albany, and finally who will be traded to Los Angeles. To make matters more confusing, free agent Bryan Rodney is among the last men standing after another round of cuts on Sunday.
Filed in: Carolina Hurricanes, | Red and Black Hockey | Permalink
Tags: anton+babchuk, bryan+rodney, carolina+hurricanes, david+tanabe, defensemen, dennis+seidenberg, frantisek+kaberle, joe+corvo, joni+pitkanen, josef+melichar, nick+wallin, tim+conboy, tim+gleason
On Wednesday night, the (preseason) puck dropped in Raleigh. Unfortunately for the 2/3 full house, it wasn’t a happy return as the visiting Capitals won the first game of the home-and-home 4-1. Neither team sent its “A” team on the ice, but Washington’s “B” team was a lot better than Carolina’s. LW Tomas Fleischmann led the way for the visitors with two power play markers.