Red and Black Hockey
On Sunday night, the Hurricanes needed some heroics from goaltender Michael Leighton in order to squeak out a 3-1 victory in Anaheim. The Canes took three of a possible four points in California, getting the six game road trip off to a good start.
Michael Leighton got his second start of the year, and he was much better than he was in his win against Tampa. Partial credit on that goes to better defense in front of him, denying second chances. Mostly, though, the credit is his for having better rebound control and better awareness.
Rod Brind’Amour and Eric Staal got key goals late in the game, and Ryan Bayda continued his impressive campaign by scoring his second goal of the season.
On Friday, the Hurricanes began their annual late October two week road trip in Los Angeles. After giving up the game’s first goal, then taking a 3-1 lead in the second, Carolina ended up losing in overtime 4-3. Carolina also lost defenseman Frantisek Kaberle to injury.
At 6:37 of the second frame, Kaberle hobbled off the bench and to the Canes locker room. He didn’t return to action, and the initial report was that he had suffered a fracture in his foot after blocking a shot. He is expected to miss two to four weeks. It’s very early in the season, but already Carolina has nine man-games lost to injury. Tonight’s injury scratches will raise that number to 13.
Eric Staal was also injured in that game, enough to keep him out of practice on Saturday. However, he is expected to extend his consecutive games streak to 259 tonight against the Ducks.
After months and months of waiting, the issue between the Hurricanes and defenseman David Tanabe has finally been resolved.
Tanabe is finally off the books, and Carolina will pay out $850k spread out over the next three years. This payment is per an agreement that was made between Avi and the Hurricanes.
I wrote about this yesterday, wondering when, if ever, this would come to a close. After the attempted buyout and resulting grievance, the Hurricanes scheduled a meeting with an arbitrator. That meeting was to occur “sometime in October”, but according to this News & Observer piece, the hearing was canceled when the two sides came to this agreement.
On Friday, the Hurricanes will play the first of six straight road games, and they’ll have to do it with yet another forward on the shelf.
When Carolina visits Los Angeles tonight at 10:30, they’ll most likely be doing it without Tuomo Ruutu. He missed most of the pre-season with a groin issue, and it’s persisted enough for his status to be deemed “doubtful”.
Ruutu makes three top nine wingers on the injured list. There will be a lot of line juggling, and Chad “Sharpie” LaRose was practicing with the top line on Thursday, so he might get a chance to do that in game action. Patrick Eaves, who started the season on the top line, has found his way into Peter Laviolette’s doghouse, but there’s no telling how the lines will be made tonight.
Still, this is an opportunity for another young player.
One of the more perplexing stories out of Raleigh over the last 10 months or so has been the health status of Canes defenseman David Tanabe. The story has taken a few twists and turns and there’s always a promise of resolution just around the corner, but right now we know less than we did in January.
On December 18 of last year, Tanabe left the game against the Maple Leafs during the first period. Later, it was reported that he had suffered a concussion. He never returned to action, and health status updates were shady at best for the rest of that season.
in July, the Hurricanes attempted to buy out the remaining year of Tanabe’s contract, but that maneuver was immediately protested by Tanabe himself and also by the NHLPA. Injured players cannot be bought out. Fair enough, but the Hurricanes hadn’t heard a peep out of Tanabe. And they still haven’t.
Like Tuesday, my picks are late to be posted today, but here are tonight’s predictions—made this morning at 10:30.
Sabres over Rangers 4-3
Blackhawks over Coyotes 3-0
Bruins over Canadiens 2-1
Oilers over Ducks 4-2
Yesterday, I had two correct picks straight up, and none with the exact score.
Cumulatively, I have gone 11-5 straight up and have made one pick exactly right.
I am VERY late in posting these predictions, but the picks that I made at 10:00 this morning were:
Minnesota to beat Atlanta 3-2
Pittsburgh to beat Philly 4-2
Colorado to beat Calgary 5-2
Anaheim to beat Los Angeles 2-0
Thus far, I have gotten nine out of twelve straight up picks and just one score dead on. Today, the “early” games resulted in two correct straight up picks, but both by the wrong score.
On Monday, the Hurricanes lost their first game of the season 3-1 to the Red Wings. Even though they lost the game, the Hurricanes can take some good things out of the game.
They also debuted their new alternate third sweater, which is actually a whole uniform. They looked stealthy and ninja-like with their black socks, black pants, black gloves, black sweater and black lids. I like the uniform in action even more than I thought I would. I wasn’t in the building tonight, but they looked sharp on teevee.
Unlike the first two games, Carolina actually looked good in all three zones in the first period. Like the first two games, they were scored upon first. Unlike the first two games, they were unable to come back.
Tonight, the Hurricanes will debut their alternate black sweaters against the defending Stanley Cup champion Red Wings, and that means one thing. Out with Scorpions, in with AC/DC.
While “Back in Black” is a superior song to “Rock You Like a Hurricane”, and AC/DC is vastly superior to Scorpions, I hate the fact that this overused cliché will be used to introduce the Hurricanes. It would be less cliché,much less badassed, but much more appropriate if they used the Rolling Stones’ “Paint it Black”
I see a red door and I want it painted black
At any rate, they’ll be hosting the defending champs, who are a much better team than the two they’ve faced so far. They won’t be able to afford to spot the visitors two goals.
Rumor has it that Ty “Communication Breakdown” Conklin will be starting for the Wings. This will bring a smile to the face of every Hurricanes fan as they remember his gaffe in game one of the 2006 SCF, which handed the Canes the game.
Puck drop in just a few minutes.
Along with the rest of the hockey world, I am completely shell shocked by the death of Alexei Cherepanov. Quite literally, I don’t know what to say other than my heart goes out to his family and to the Rangers organization. My only memory of Cherepanov was a vicious hit that was delivered upon him by Brandon Sutter in a World Juniors game. I can’t believe what has happened today.
Last week, I started sharing the hockey picks that I make at work. These are just for fun, and I typically make four picks every weekday. Last week, I made eight picks. I got six picks correct straight up, and I got one score exactly right. I make these picks at about 10:00 every morning, and today’s picks included two afternoon games. Today, I picked:
Detroit to beat Carolina 4-2. Obviously, I’m hoping for a different outcome
Buffalo to beat Islanders 3-2
Vancouver to beat Washington 3-1
St. Louis to beat Toronto 4-0
St. Louis and Buffalo won their games, but not by the scores that I predicted. The way I figure it, I should be lucky to nail one pick per month, but I got off to a good start with one nailed on the second day.
Canes debut the black sweater tonight. More on that in a few minutes
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.