Red and Black Hockey
by David Lee on 02/08/09 at 03:41 AM ET
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about Carolina’s remaining schedule, and I picked out this three game road trip that just ended. I figured that the Canes would have been lucky to get two points out of the Vancouver / San Jose / Phoenix swing. Tonight, they smoked the Coyotes 7-2. Coupled with the big win in San Jose, they secured four points (and pissed two away).
Last season, the Hurricanes missed the playoffs by two points. There’s usually a team that misses out by one point or two. It’s easy for that team to look back a their schedule and pick out games that they gave away, pointing fingers at a game that slipped away. Hopefully, Carolina will find themselves in the playoffs and will be able to look back favorably at the big wins in tough buildings (San Jose and Phoenix).
Sergei Samsonov had a huge night for the Canes, racking up four (1/3) points while Tuomo Ruutu added another three (2/1). It was a good night all around as both specialty teams scored.
There was too much scoring to catalog all of it, but it got started very early when Tuomo Ruutu was credited with a power play goal on an attempted centering pass that bounced off at least two Coyotes and into the net.
Eric Staal, Matt Cullen and Sergei Samsonov also scored power play markers. In all, the Canes were 4-5 on the power play. They added a nifty even strength goal from Patrick Eaves, who is finally off the schneid with his second goal of the season. Ruutu’s second goal of the night was even strength.
Chad LaRose also scored a shorthanded goal when the game was already well out of reach. LaRose now has a career best 12 goals on the season. To add insult to injury, the Coyotes had just squandered almost a minute of five-on-three power play before Matt Cullen fed Sharpie for the shorthanded breakaway. This is the third time in the last five games that those two have teamed up for a shorty. After 49 games, Carolina had zero shorties, and now they’ve opened the floodgates.
The four-point night for Samsonov was his first such night since 2001.
Jussi Jokinen, who was acquired earlier in the day, notched an assist on the Eaves goal. He logged 16:31 of ice time, and took a bunch of faceoffs, winning 13 and losing three.
Joseph Corvo had another great night. He had 29 minutes of ice time, SIX blocked shots, and he picked up one assist. He really has been impressive lately. His reputation is obviously as an offensive minded defensive liability, but he’s been really responsible in his own end and has been one of the anchors.
Because Florida lost to Washington, Carolina jumped back into the 8th spot in the East. The Hurricanes will now have four days off before hosting the Panthers on Thursday.
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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.