Red and Black Hockey
by David Lee on 11/03/08 at 12:30 AM ET
On Sunday afternoon, the Hurricanes won the front end of a home-and-home with the Maple Leafs by the score of 6-4. Carolina had been pretty anemic of late, particularly on the power play, but they scored a season high six goals including three power play markers to take the two standings points.
Six different Hurricanes scored goals and nine different guys had at least one assist. In all, ten guys had scoring points, including rookie Dwight Helminen, who got a goal and an assist in his third NHL game. He also earned the official first star of the game.
This was just the second time that Carolina wore their new third sweater uniform, and the first win.
Unfortunately, the Canes had to add one more player to the list of injured men, as Patrick Eaves left the game during the second period with an undisclosed illness.
There were ten goals in the game, and I’ll spare the usual goal-by-goal description
The goal scorers for Toronto were Ian White at 6:28 of the first, Mikhail Grabovski at 7:41 of the second and again at 13:3 of the second, and finally Niklas Hagman at 8:42 of the third.
Carolina’s scorers were Joe Corvo (power play) at 0:34 of the second, Ray Whitney (power play) at 16:10 of the second, Dwight Helminen (first NHL goal) at 17:17 of the second, Tuomo Ruutu at 19:31 of the second, Chad LaRose at 1:15 of the third and finally Eric Staal (power play, empty net) at 19:38 of the third.
Carolina looked okay in the first, then got off to a good start in the second, but fell asleep for about 12 minutes of the second period. They looked bad, especially defensively as Grabovski was left all alone in the slot for his second goal..
Something really clicked with Whitney’s goal. It was just after a five-on-three sequence ended and one power play remained. The Canes got off a ton of shots during that sequence, and it seemed to awaken them. When Helminen’s goal tied the game barely a minute later, The Wizard was jumping up and down on the bench like a little schoolgirl. He was probably the happiest guy in the building for some reason. Maybe it was the Wizard’s goal, maybe it was his celebration of Mayo‘s goal, maybe it was something else, but things really clicked from then on out. It was a shooting gallery for the rest of the period and CuJo made some amazing stops to keep the game tied. Tuomo Ruutu had done his homework, though, and he elevated a wrap-around chance to beat CuJo top shelf, which put the Canes ahead for the first time. They nearly scored again just a few seconds later on an identical play, but it didn’t quite fall like that.
Just before the third period started, the teevee guys announced that Patrick Eaves had left the game with “an illness” and wouldn’t return. Coach Laviolette’s comments after the game didn’t shed any light on that, but we’ll assume that he’s day-to-day.
The Canes got a real scare on the first shift of the third period when both Sergei Samsonov and Rod Brind’Amour went down and appeared to be injured. Brind’Amour hobbled to the bench and Samsonov hobbled to the dressing room. Fortunately, neither guy missed a single shift, but it was a scary moment.
Seconds after that, Chad “Sharpie” LaRose scored the game-winner at 1:15 of the thrid on a goal mouth scrum.
A few minutes later, Carolina had yet another scare. After Joe Corvo was whistled for a penalty, he left the ice, headed for the dressing room. A different player served the penalty, and we wondered if Corvo had somehow been injured. Fortunately, it turned out to be an equipment issue that was resolved quite quickly.
After Hagman scored to cut it to one, things got a little tense, but Carolina held the fort and Staal scored an empty netter to put it away.
So many guys deserve to make the three stars, and I should at least mention that Toronto’s Grabovski had two goals, but he didn’t make any three stars list. The three stars given by the Canes teevee crew were Ray Whitney (third), Chad LaRose (second) and Dwight Helminen (first). The “official” three stars went to Dennis Seidenberg (third), Tuomo Ruutu (second) and Dwight Helminen (first). Mine are only a little bit different.
The RBH three stars:
THIRD STAR Chad LaRose, CAR—- game winning goal, 1 assist, +2
SECOND STAR Dennis Seidenberg, CAR—- 1 assist, 5 hits, 3 blocked shots, +1
FIRST STAR Dwight Helminen, CAR—- 1goal, 1 assist, 5 hits, 7-1 on faceoffs, +3
It should also be mentioned that right wing Patrick Dwyer, who made his NHL debut tonight, had 14:10 of ice time including two PK shifts.
Sergei Samsonov, who had been pointless through the first ten games, finally got an assist tonight. Hopefully, that’ll get the ball rolling.
Carolina goes back out on the road with an Election Day game in Toronto to finish the home-and-home segment.
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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.