Red and Black Hockey
Entries with the tag: Washington Capitals
On Saturday, the Hurricanes had a much better showing than they did on Friday. Against the defending Southeast Division champion Capitals, they forced overtime to earn a standings point.
For the second game in as many days, the Hurricanes scored the first goal, but couldn’t put one in the “win” column. For the second game in as many days, Jussi Jokinen took a penalty that ended up being really costly. Apart from that, it was a very different game from the one against the Lightning.
On Tuesday night, the Hurricanes got a boost to their slim playoff hopes, but there is an asterisk. The Sabres lost 4-3 in regulation to the Maple Leafs and the Hurricanes grabbed a huge 3-2 win on the road at Washington. This two-point gain puts Carolina just three points back of the Sabres, and Sunday’s showdown looks really huge right now. The only unfortunate thing is that Carolina’s win came via the shootout. Carolina has two fewer ROW wins than Buffalo, so as of right now, a potential standings tiebreaker would go to the Sabres.
Jussi Jokinen scored a power play marker in the second and Jeff Skinner scored a huge goal early in the third. In the shootout, Skinner scored in the top of the first. The Caps missed their first two shots, then Tuomo Ruutu iced it for the Canes with a successful shot in the top of the third.
Cam Ward made 38 saves to give him 2006 saves on the season. He’s just the sixth goaltender since the lockout to record more than 2000 saves in a single season.
On Friday night, the Hurricanes visited the Capitals for the fifth of six meetings between the teams. The Caps won 2-1 to make their record against the Canes this season a perfect 5-0.
I didn’t get to see the game because I was partaking in some rock and roll fun. Something went awry with my DVR, so I didn’t get that either. I got the second period of the radio broadcast and I saw the highlights, but nothing else. It was a goaltending duel between Cam Ward and the Capitals’ flavour of the month Braden Holtby with the latter getting the upper hand.
After a scoreless first period, Tuomo Ruutu scored late in the second to send the Hurricanes to the room with a 1-0 lead. Until this game, Carolina was 21-0 when leading at the second intermission. Unfortunately, Alex Ovechkin scored in the first minute of the third, then Matt Hendricks scored the eventual game-winner.
Carolina was victimized by an unfortunate blown (pun intended) call by referee Chris Lee. However, the blown call had nothing to do with the fact that Carolina didn’t outscore the Capitals.
Like most of the eastern United States, Raleigh was hit with a snowstorm on Christmas Day. The Hurricanes canceled a season ticket holder event. The game for tonight—against the Capitals, is on. Maybe.
The Hurricanes are ready to go. The Capitals are in town and ready to go. According to twitter feeds, they’re still waiting on the referees to show up. And that could be tricky. Hundreds of flights have been delayed in New York, Washington, Baltimore, etc. I read earlier today that Delta was canceling more than 500 flights and US Air was canceling more than 300. Between the delays, the cancellations, the last minute changes, and the frustration of travel during the holiday, it could spell trouble.
For now, the plan is to play the game. No word on the arrival of the officials.
Whenever the game is played, Carolina will have a slightly different look.
On Sunday afternoon, the Hurricanes traveled up 95 North to take on the Capitals. Simultaneously, the respective American League teams were battling in Hershey. Paul Maurice was unable to earn a win in his 1000th game, but the Hurricanes were able to emerge with one standings point.
The Capitals were off and running with two goals in the first period off the sticks of Marcus Johansson and Alex Semin. They dominated the first period, and it looked like it would be a long afternoon for the Hurricanes.
After playing their way back into the game and pulling Cam Ward in the final minute of the game, Eric Staal forced overtime with less than three seconds to go in the game. Overtime solved nothing, and Carolina’s shootout shooters couldn’t find the net. Ovechkin scored in the first round of the shootout, and that’s all they needed.
Meanwhile, the Checkers were thrashing the defending Calder Cup champion Hershey Bears to the tune of 5-2.
On Wednesday night, the Hurricanes played their first real home game of the season, and things did not go well for the home team. The visiting Capitals won the game 3-0 behind some excellent goaltending by Michal Neuvirth. It was the first career shutout for the young netminder.
Nick Backstrom scored two third period goals, including a shorthanded empty netter and Matt Hendricks was credited with a controversial goal in the first period.
Neuvirth looked great against the Canes, making a few spectacular saves against Eric Staal and a very couple of gems against Carolina’s other forwards.
On Thursday night, the Hurricanes hosted the Washington Capitals in a game that had very very little playoff implications. Someone forgot to tell the home team, and they emerged with a 4-3 overtime win.
Former Cane Joe (s)Corvo scored twice for the Caps in the middle stanza while Eric Staal got one for the Canes.
Brett Carson and Chad LaRose scored for the Canes in the third and Eric Fehr forced overtime.
Ray Whitney scored with a shot “from the ladies’ tees” in the final minute of overtime to give Justin Peters another huge win in his young NHL goaltending career.
When the day started, Carolina was nine points out of eighth place, desperately clinging onto the hope of making a run to the playoffs. They were about to finish a three game road trip through the Southeast division and they seriously needed a win against the best team in the league. They ended up with a 4-3 overtime loss, which would be a good outcome most nights, but when every game is a “must win”, it’s a little heartbreaking.
I know, as I knew in November, that this team isn’t going to make the playoffs. However, they’ve played very well since the new year and actually made the impossible seem possible.
They also learned early in the morning that Erik Cole was suffering from flu-like symptoms and would be unavailable tonight. In other seasons, that would be devastating news, but to be brutally honest, I’ve actually forgotten that he’s even on the team this season.
On the trading deadline day, Carolina Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford was very busy. He made five transactions, which sent a total of six players out of Raleigh. In return, the Canes organ-eye-zation is getting four players and five picks. Just one of the four players is NHL ready, but they’ll be picking up a third round, fourth round, sixth round and seventh round pick in this summer’s draft, plus a second round pick in 2011. There are two very important things going on with these trades that will help Carolina immensely. First, they’re going to immediately save money, getting some of these contracts off the books. And they instantly get much younger. Five Canes players who were traded are over the age of thirty, and they only gave away one prospect. In return, they’re getting one NHL player, three prospects, and the picks.
Among the bevy of trades, Ray Whitney remains a Hurricane. He was considered to be a highly sought after player in the trade market, but nobody was able to make an attractive enough offer. I’ll try to make quick analysis of each of the trades. I realize that I might be among the minority in Caniac Nation, but I really like what Jim Rutherford did today.
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Tags: aaron+ward, anaheim+ducks, andrew+alberts, carolina+hurricanes, colorado+avalanche, joe+corvo, scott+walker, stephane+yelle, trade+deadline, vancouver+canucks, washington+capitals
On Monday night, the Hurricanes went to face the best team in the East on hostile ground. Not only were the Caps the best team in the Eastern conference, but they were until last night undefeated in SE divisional play. Perhaps they saw the Hurricanes coming and decided to take the night off. Perhaps they were shelled by the team trading away its captain. Perhaps something else. Carolina did not look like the worst team in the league, and they spanked the Caps 6-3.
In the third period of Saturday’s game against the Flyers, the Carolina coaching staff gambled on on reconstructing a top line of all centers. They put Jussi Jokinen, Matt Cullen and Eric Staal together. It was a chance, and it worked beautifully in that game and even better Monday night against the Capitals. Saturday night, they combined for six points in just one period of play. Monday night, they combined for ten points. It’s way too early to know for sure, but it looks like this new top line is a great idea.
Tonight will be the third of six meetings between the Washington Capitals and the Carolina Hurrianes. In each of the previous two meetings, Alexander Ovechkin has found a way to injure Hurricanes defenseman Tim Gleason. Tonight, the crafty Russian will have another chance.
On November 30, in Raleigh, Ovechkin showed a bit of his reckless side when he instigated a knee-on-knee hit on Gleason that resulted in a bigger injury for the hitter than the hittee. Gleason missed one shift, while Ovechkin was ejected and handed a two-game suspension.
On December 11, in DC, Gleason suffered a nasty cut on the mouth after an Ovechkin slapshot caromed off Gleason’s stick and right into his face. Obviously, AO didn’t do this on purpose, but it was kind of strange. The injury kept Gleason out of the game for one period and he returned to score a dramatic shorthanded goal that forced overtime. He would later miss a few games with concussion-like symptoms.
On Friday, the Hurricanes announced that both Erik Cole and Chad LaRose would be placed on the injured reserve list. Jiří Tlustý and Pat Dwyer were called up from Albany to fill the forward lines. Cole has an “upper body injury” and will be out for two to three weeks. Sharpie has a “lower body injury” and will be out for three to four weeks.
It didn’t take long for the Czech to make his mark. Just 2:01 into the game, on his first shift as a Hurricane, Tlustý gave the visitors a 1-0 lead. Carolina built a 2-0 lead in the first period, watched it evaporate in the second, then traded goals in the third. Regulation ended in a 3-3 deadlock and Mike Green gave the Caps the win at 1:16 of the extra frame.
For the second game in a row, Carolina lost, but played well. There’s no column in the standings for “well played loss”, but there is one for “overtime loss”, so Carolina gets a much needed standings point.
On Saturday night, the Hurricanes used a playoff-like atmosphere to defeat the SE leading Capitals 4-1, propelling themselves into sixth place with 85 standings points and eight games remaining. Eighth place Montréal is four points back with two games in hand while ninth place Florida is five points behind Carolina with two games in hand.
Carolina took care of their own business, winning their third straight game and their eight straight home game. Meanwhile, they got some help from other teams in the hunt. Les Habitants did their part by losing to the Leafs and the Kitties did theirs by losing to Columbus. It would have been nicer if Buffalo had beaten Rangers, but at least it wasn’t a three-point game.
The Canes got three goals from the defense including a 190-footer by Joe Corvo into an empty net. The defense also did a great job of denying the middle of the ice, which makes Cam Ward’s job a lot easier. Señor Hot Stick had seven shots on goal, but I don’t remember any of them being great chances.
On Sunday, the Hurricanes hosted the Southeast leading Capitals for a twilight matinee that was the back end of a back-to-back for each team. Carolina needed to win this game in regulation to avoid falling eight points behind the Caps. A regulation win is exactly what they got. Late goals by Eric Staal and Ray Whitney gave the black-clad Hurricanes a 3-1 win over their rival and the first win in the second reign of Chairman Mo.
For the first time in 13 games, the Canes scored first. Reason enough to celebrate. For the first time in six home games, they won. Even more reason.
Although the game ended well, it was not without a price. Anton Babchuk left the game midway through the third with what appeared to be a shoulder or chest injury. He will now join the ridiculously large group of injured defensemen that includes Frantisek Kaberle, Tim Gleason, Nic Wallin and Dennis Seidenberg. Brett Carson was just called up from Albany, but this almost certainly will necessitate the recall of another Albany rearguard.
Still, though, there was plenty of good to go around.
On Tuesday morning, the Canes had a share of the division lead in the SE. By the end of the night, they were crushed 5-1 by the Capitals and they had waved goodbye to their share of the division lead. The way the team looks right now, that may be the last time they are that close to a playoff spot.
Without getting too analytical, the game boils down to this: Washington’s best players did their jobs; Carolina’s best players did not.
Alexander Semin had two goals and three assists. Alexander Ovechkin had one goal and three assists. Niclas Basckstrom had one goal and three assists.
After the Hurricanes swept the home-and-home series against the Leafs, they returned to intra-division play on Thursday with a game at Washington. Carolina played well enough to win for 57 minutes, but lost it in the end.
The upside for Carolina is that they very nearly put together their first 60-minute effort of the season. They’ve played well for a period or two at a time, but have yet to look good for an entire game, despite their seven wins. The downside is that the effort was for naught, as they let a win, then a guaranteed point slip away in the closing moments.
Alexander Semin had the game-tying and game-winning goals in the third period at 17:17 and 19:49 respectively. Alexander Ovechkin assisted on all three Capitals goals.
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.