Red and Black Hockey
by David Lee on 09/09/09 at 09:48 PM ET
On Wednesday, the Hurricanes prospects lost in their final round robin game to the Atlanta Thrashers prospects by the score of 7-3. The game was virtually meaningless, as Carolina was guaranteed to advance to the championship game no matter what. On Thursday night, they’ll face the winner of this evening’s game between Minnesota’s and St. Louis’ prospect squads.
Mike Murphy, who was the winner in the first two games, started the game and gave up two goals through two periods. Alain Valiquette started the third period and had a brutal time, surrendering five goals in the last period. Earlier today, NHL.com ran a nice article about Murphy.
Zach Boychuk and Matt Kennedy each scored for the third time in three games. Depending on which account is accurate, either Harrison Reed or defenseman Michal Jordan scored the Canes’ other goal.
It sounds like 20-year old Mike Murphy will be a serious contender for the #1 job in Albany. While talking to the press about his experience in the Traverse City tournament, Murphy couldn’t help but brown nose a little bit.
It’s a great feeling just to throw on that jersey and it’s extra special when Jim Rutherford and Tom Barrasso, two phenomenal goaltenders, are watching your game.
There’s no doubt that Barrasso was a great goaltender. There’s no doubt that he’s been an exceptional mentor to Cam Ward. But Jim Rutherford? As a GM, Rutherford has a well respected “pimp hand stronger than granite”. As a goalie, he was average. He did manage to lose 34 games in a single season, which is pretty remarkable. Granted, it was the 1976-77 Red Wings, who were miserably bad.
In that same article, Tom Barrasso praised Murphy for his work ethic and his competitive streak
You can have a lot of tools in the toolbox, but if you don’t compete, you won’t have a lot of success.
This quote could just as easily be applied in a negative way to someone like Pavel Krispy Brendl. Brendl had all the tools in the world, but a lousy work ethic. He’s a very good example of raw talent amounting to nothing more than a hill of beans.
Back to Murphy for a second. He was selected by the Hurricanes in the sixth round of the 2008 entry draft and has been an absolute stud for the Belleville Bulls of the Ontario Hockey League. This past season, he was named the best goalie in that league after putting up some sensational numbers. 40 wins against nine losses and four overtime losses. His GAA was a league best 2.08 and his save percentage was an eye-popping .941, also a league best. And it wasn’t a fluke, either. He had similar numbers the previous season. In 2007-08, he had a record of 36-7-4, a league best GAA of 2.24 and a league best SV% of .929. Add to that (this is something that Tom Barrasso will love), he can move the puck. He had three assists in 54 regular season appearance this season and one playoff assist in 17 games. The previous season, he had one assist in 49 regular season games and three helpers in 19 playoff games. See his full stats profile here.
The level of play will be much different in the AHL, but we should expect good things from Mike Murphy this season and looking forward at Albany.
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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.