Red and Black Hockey
by David Lee on 04/09/11 at 10:45 PM ET
In the final game of the New York Rangers, they knew that they had to win and get some help to get into the playoffs. They did the only thing they had control of: they won their game against the Devils. Carolina had to win, and hoped that the Lightning would “rest” its star players. Things didn’t go well for the Hurricanes, and it was early and often that it didn’t go well. Tampa scored thrice in the first thirteen minutes of the game and kept Carolina off the sheet. In the second, they took a 4-0 lead halfway through, and the game was already over.
Cory Stillman scored at 13:31 of the second, but it was already too late. It was the front end of a five-on-three power play situation, but Carolina had already failed on three previous power plays.
In the third, Chad LaRose scored at 8:33 to give the fans a little bit of hope, but the Lightning closed it out with two empty net goals to account for the final score of 6-2.
This is the second time in the last four seasons that Carolina has missed the playoffs by losing in game 82.
It’s going to be a long offseason for the Canes, but it should be accentuated by a Calder Trophy for Jeff Skinner. There are a bunch of free agents-to-be, and not all of them will be re-signed. It has never been Carolina’s thing to go big in the free agency market, so I won’t expect that this summer either. I’ll expect them to restock the team with what they’ve already got in Charlotte. I’ll expect most if not all of those potential free agents to be re-signed.
The Checkers, by the way, have closed out their regular season with a 6-2 shelling of the Worcester Sharks. Their first round opponent in the Calder Cup playoffs will be the Hershey Bears (Washington Capitals), who have won the last two Cups in a row.
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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.