Kukla's Korner

Red and Black Hockey

Dalpe turning heads in Columbus

Zac Dalpe, the Hurricanes second round selection from the 2008 draft, is making things happen.  At least at the collegiate level.  The Ohio State freshman was just named CCHA rookie of the week for the second time this season.

Dalpe leads all Buckeyes with nine (6/3) points through ten games and is among the scoring leaders of all Central Collegiate Hockey Association players.

He’ll probably play at least one more season in Columbus before making the jump, but the Hurricanes aren’t at all worried that he’ll pull a Jack Johnson on them.

There’s no YouTubeage of Dalpe with the Buckeyes, but here’s some of Dalpe doing something….  else.  Warning: you might become a little dumber if you watch the clip.

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  Tags: zac+dalpe

Carolina thrashed by Thrashers

On Sunday, the Thrashers came to Raleigh and completely embarrassed the home team in a 5-2 romp. 

The scoreless first period was the most boring hockey I’ve watched in quite some time.  The game came alive in the second period, but Carolina was only there for about five minutes.  Ray Whitney scored a nifty breakaway goal at 5:50 to give the Canes a 2-1 lead, but it was a steep downhill road after that.  Offensively, defensively, and most importantly, in net. 

Cam Ward has been shaky for most of this young season, and it was certainly no different against Atlanta.  Not to discredit the Thrashers, but Ward had a very manageable puck bounce off his chest and roll down his back.  He had horrible rebound control, often sending stuff back into the slot instead of covering or sending to the corner.  He let in one soft goal.  Sure the defense let him down once, but he wasn’t anywhere near the top of his game. He only faced 22 shots and let five of them in.  That makes for an abysmal 0.773 save %.  I think he’ll sit on Wednesday against the Caps.

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  Tags: atlanta+thrashers, carolina+hurricanes

Thrash visit Carolina

On Sunday, the Atlanta Thrashers will visit Raleigh for the first of six meetings between the two teams this season.  This is the second of five consecutive Sunday home games for the Hurricanes.  The 3:00 game will fall into the untelevised abyss, as neither the Hurricanes nor the Thrashers network is covering this one. 

Last season, the Hurricanes were 6-1-1 against the Thrashers,  and have won the last six games in a row. 

Atlanta got off to a slow start this season, but they are on a three game winning streak during which they have scored 14 goals. 

Carolina’s Captain-in-waiting Eric Staal was very good against this division foe last season, scoring 16 (7/9) points in the eight games.  Hopefully, this will be just what the doctor ordered for him.  To say he’s been on the schneid would be an understatement.  He has just nine (5/4) points through 14 games, which is a pace of just 53 points for the season.  He’s had eight games without a scoring point, including the last three in a row.

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  Tags: atlanta+thrashers, carolina+hurricanes

Hurricanes top Sens, Laviolette passes Tortorella

On Friday, the Hurricanes used two third period goals to beat the visiting Senators 2-1.  The win was coach Peter Laviolette’s 163rd behind the Carolina bench and his 240th overall NHL win.  He is now the winningest US born coach in NHL history. 

I realize that this accomplishment pales in comparison to Scotty Bowman, who won a like billion games and nine Stanley Cups. I also realize that the Detroit Red Wings invented the sun and the moon, but that isn’t my focus. 

Playing in just his fifth game, goaltender Michael Leighton picked up his fourth win and has continued to be impressive as a backup.

Joe Corvo, playing in his second game against his former team, got the game winner.

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  Tags: carolina+hurricanes, joe+corvo, michael+leighton, ottawa+senators

Terrible Twos

In each of its last four games, Carolina has allowed an opposing player to pot two goals.  This is obviously a trend that needs to come to an end immediately.

On Saturday, Ethan Moreau scored two when the Oilers defeated the Canes 3-1.
On Sunday, Mikhail Grabovski scored two, but the Hurricanes beat the Leafs 6-4.
On Tuesday, Grabovski duplicated his two goal performance, but Carolina held on for a 5-4 win over Toronto.
On Thursday, Alexander Semin had two markers to lead the Caps to a 3-2 win over Carolina.

The Canes are at home tonight against Ottawa, and they will have Dany Heatley and Jason Spezza to deal with. 

Both the Canes and the Sens are playing the second of back-to-back games.  The starting goalies should be Michael Leighton for Carolina and Martin Gerber for Ottawa.

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  Tags: carolina+hurricanes, ottawa+senators

Russian duo sinks Canes in DC

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.

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  Tags: alex+ovechkin, alexander+semin, carolina+hurricanes, tuomo+ruutu, washington+capitals

Lavi ties Torts for winningest US born coach

On Tuesday, the Hurricanes eked out an overtime win in Toronto after squandering a three goal first period lead.  The win was the 239th of Peter Laviolette’s career, which ties him with John Tortorella for winningest NHL coach born in the United States.

Congrats to Lavi. 

Game details later.  I have to watch Katie Couric turn CBS’s Election Night coverage into a snoozefest.

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  Tags: carolina+hurricanes, peter+laviolette

“Ratherisms”

As I commented before, one of the best things about Election Night in the United States over the past few decades has been watching the results come in and the tabulations being made.  Every news channel has its own coverage, but the most entertaining, by far, is CBS.  Dan Rather, who is quite a character, adds zest to the coverage with his turns of phrase, his “Ratherisms”.

Probably the most famous “Ratherism” is

This race is as tight as the rusted lug nuts on a ‘55 Ford

My personal favorite came back in the 2000 coverage, when he quipped

“Yeah, but if a frog had sidepockets, he’d carry a handgun and he wouldn’t be afraid of blacksnakes”

Usually, as the night wears on, these things make less and less sense, but they’re always fun.

Feel free to leave your own favorite “Ratherisms”

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Walker activated, LaCouture clears, 3 Canes on All-Star ballot

On Tuesday morning, the Hurricanes announced that Scott Walker had been activated from the Injured Reserve list and added that he will play in Toronto tonight.  Matt Cullen, out with a groin issue, is “day to day” and there’s no word on Patrick Eaves and his undisclosed illness.

Carolina also announced that center Dan LaCouture cleared waivers and has been assigned to Albany.

It seems awfully early for this, but the All-Star nominations have come out.  Carolina has three players on the ballot, and voting opens on November 12.  Eric Staal, Rod Brind’Amour and Ray Whitney are the Canes on the ballot.  For the third consecutive year, the voting is completely digital, and fans can vote as frequently as they wish.  Like last year, fans can vote through the NHL website, or they can vote via text message.  I tried the text message method last season and found it to be slightly nightmarish.  This year, it sounds like they’ve streamlined the process a little bit and offered fans the option of texting in single votes for their favorite player or for every player representing their favorite team. 

One very cool addition this year is that fans will be able to monitor real-time results.

Fans can vote for their favorite players to be in the starting lineups as many times as they want, and for the first time in professional sports history, the NHL will provide real-time All-Star fan balloting results online at NHL.com. Fans around the world can vote online from Nov. 12 through Jan. 2 via interactive English and French ballots at Vote.NHL.com. Those in the U.S. and Canada also will be able to cast their votes via text message using any wireless carrier. During the voting period, real-time results will be available exclusively on Vote.NHL.com/results. This marks the third-consecutive year the All-Star balloting process is entirely digital.

Speaking of voting, it’s Election Day in the US, and for the first time since 1976, there is neither a Bush nor a Clinton on the ballot.  One of the best things about election day is watching CBS News just to hear Dan Rather with his ridiculous “Ratherisms”.  Thousands of people participated in “early voting”, which made going to the polling place much easier.  In 2004, I stood in queue for about an hour and a half to cast my vote.  This time, I walked right in and right out.

Enough of that.  Puck drops in a few minutes.

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Hurricanes waive LaCouture

On Monday, the Hurricanes placed forward Dan LaCouture on waivers and simultaneously gave rookies Dwight Helminen and Pat Dwyer votes of confidence.  LaCouture entered camp as an unsigned free agent and earned a two-way contract and a job on the big team.  Because LaCouture is a veteran player, he has to clear waivers before the Hurricanes can assign him to Albany.

After scoring the game-winning goal in Carolina’s season opener against Florida, and one other goal versus the Kings, LaCouture has been invisible.  He’s had extremely limited ice time, and virtually all of it at even strength.  Carolina coaches were very impressed by Pat Dwyer on Sunday, and particularly his ability to play on the penalty kill.  This was the chief reason that Dwyer was allowed to stay, but I’m not completely sure that LaCouture had to go.

Carolina has several forwards out with injuries, and there’s no guarantee that Patrick Eaves will have overcome his illness by gametime on Tuesday.  This leaves the Canes a little short on the front lines.  Scott Walker is getting close to returning, but Matt Cullen isn’t expected to play for a few more games, and there’s no word on Brandon Sutter.  Or for that matter, Eaves. 

I just don’t understand this move unless there’s a reciprocal move from Albany to come.  Petruzalek, maybe? 

The Canes will face the Leafs in the ACC at 7:30.

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  Tags: carolina+hurricanes, dan+lacouture

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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. 

David has contributed to CBC.ca for their Stanley Cup playoff coverage in 2006 and to the New York Times Slapshot blog for theirs in 2008. Red and Black Hockey was founded in July of 2005.

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