Red and Black Hockey
On an unseasonably cold night Tuesday, the Hurricanes defeated the visiting Canadiens 2-1.
Carolina dominated the first period, then spend the entire second period in the box. Finally, they dominated the third period, getting two goals and the win.
Sergei Samsonov is finally off ye olde schneid. His game tying goal very early in the third was quickly followed by Ray Whitney’s winner about three minutes later. How did Sammy end his cold streak? He put his sticks in a bucket of ice. Who knew?
In order to quell the Montréal Canadiens All-Star robot voting campaign, the league put some robot-prevention on the fan balloting page, and they also stripped some votes away from Canadiens players. Still, they’re running away with the fan balloting.
Robots. I don’t even know why the scientists make them.
Outside the US: click here. Everyone else, enjoy the embedded video
On Sunday, the black-clad Hurricanes came from two goals down to defeat the visiting Lightning 3-2, needing the shootout to get the win.
Things got off on the wrong foot when Carolina ran a sloppy power play. They committed a turnover deep in the offensive zone. Because a defenseman was pinching and Tampa’s man was coming out of the box, the turnover resulted in a three-on-one and a goal by Martin St. Louis at 11:20 of the first. Former Hurricane Radim Vrbata got the only assist.
Early in the second, Vincent Lecavalier potted a power play goal on a very goofy play that should have been whistled dead. Tampa was making a change and the puck was going to clear the zone, but it hit the skate of a player leaving the ice. He was the sixth man on the ice at that point, and while it may have been inadvertent, it kept the play on-side. Seeing as how Carolina had just been called for a too many men penalty, this should have been noticed. It wasn’t. The Canes stopped playing and the Bolts scored. The Horseman from the Recchin’ Ball and Steve Eminger at 4:05.
All was not lost, though. The Canes regrouped and ended up stealing the win.
On Sunday afternoon, the Lightning will visit the Hurricanes for the first time this season. In their only previous meeting this year, Carolina came from behind to win in overtime in Tampa behind Eric Staal’s two goal effort.
This will also be the first game for the Bolts under the direction of Rick “Wagergate” Tocchet.
Carolina will be wearing their alternate black sweaters for the third time. Thus far, they have gone 1-1-0 wearing them. They will wear them at home 12 more times, and have recently added two road games for which they will don the third (December 11 @ Philly and December 13 @ Rangers). The game is being telecast by the Lightning only.
Rod Brind’Amour is one point shy of becoming #50 on the all-time NHL points list. He is currently tied with Joe Nieuwendyk (564/562) and HOFer Mike Bossy (573/553) with 1126 career points. A single point will also tie him for third on the Whaler/Canes all-time scoring list.
On Friday, the Hurricanes went down to “Blueland” and were beaten by Atlanta 3-2. The Hurricanes were plagued by some of the same things that hurt them in their previous two embarrassments, but they managed to make this one look better.
The defense really hurt the Hurricanes in this game. Perhaps it’s safe to say that the D lost the game for the Canes.
Here’s one of the many perils of using a 100% digital voting process for the all-star game.
Here’s the code, which came with instructions posted on an Habs message board.
Ingenious? You bet. In “the spirit of the thing”? Absolutely not.
It’s a completely ludicrous process anyway. Penguins defensemen Sergei Gonchar and Ryan Whitney are on the ballot, despite the fact that neither player has played a single game and neither will meet the eligibility requirements even when they do return from injury.
On Thursday, the Hurricanes had a very long and hard practice after playing a completely terrible game on Wednesday night. Tim Gleason sat down with News & Observer columnist Luke Decock and basically blasted himself and the rest of the team.
“That’s what happens when you suck… Go ahead and write that down…
We went through a hard workout today which was well deserved because we stunk yesterday and we stunk (against) Atlanta…
Starting from myself, I was terrible… I made a stupid play right off the bat and that hurt us. I know I have to be better.
That’s the meat of it, but I recommend reading the entire article here.
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.
This year will be the
fourth year that the NHL All-Star balloting will be 100% digital, which opens the gates for a lot of ballot box stuffing. Fans are allowed, and even encouraged to vote as often as they wish.
There are three Hurricanes on the official ballot. Eric Staal, the reigning All-Star MVP; Rod Brind’Amour; Ray Whitney.
One group of fans has started a website and grassroots campaign for writing in Hurricanes defenseman Nic Wallin. here is the fan site devoted to the cause. Please join me, Canes Country and many others in the campaign. Use your write-in to vote for Wallin. Vote often. Very often.
Until a recent rough spot, Wallin was at the top of the league in the much disregarded +/- category and is still near the top of the league in scoring from the back end. He is currently seventh in the league with 46 hits and is one of just six defenseman who have registered game winning overtime goals this season.
The balloting opens November 12, and will be done primarily through the official NHL portal at fanballoting.nhl.com, which won’t go live until some time Wednesday. Alternately, fans can text message the name of their favorite player to 81812 (using any carrier) or all players from their favorite team by sending HURRICANES to 81812. Additionally, fans will be able to cast ballots at kiosks located at the NYC NHL store and also at each NHL rink.
For the first time, real-time results will be available at fanballoting.nhl.com/leaders.
Today is Remembrance day in Canada (and the rest of the allied nations) and Veterans’ Day in the United States. The Federal holiday usually means loads of matinee games. There are just six games today, with one matinee between the Flyers and Islanders, at which General Colin Powell will drop the ceremonial first puck.
Please join me in commemorating this holiday, which is properly observed at 11:00 am local time.
All-Star balloting opens tomorrow, and I’ll post something special about that this evening.
About Red and Black Hockey
David Lee is a restaurant manager with an unused degree in political science. He can be found at Carolina Hurricanes games, Scrabble tournaments and indie-rock shows. Sometimes, all in the same day.