Red and Black Hockey
by David Lee on 10/25/09 at 02:08 PM ET
The Hurricanes four game road trip came to a close on Saturday, and they didn’t have much to show for it. They lost a rollercoaster 5-4 game in Denver on Friday, then lost 3-2 in overtime at Minnesota on Saturday. On the four game trip, the Canes only managed two standings points and have yet to win on the road. For the third time this season, they will now have three days off before their next game. Wednesday night, they’ll be back in the RBC Center against the Blues. While they’ve been lousy on the road, the Canes have grabbed five out of eight standings points at home.
While the Canes are struggling, the Albany River Rats are doing well. They have a record of 5-3-0 and sit atop the Eastern division. More importantly, they beat the Adirondack Phantoms 3-2 on Saturday to grab a two games to none lead in the 12-game season series with the hated rival.
I’ve been busy this weekend with a chili cook-off, so I didn’t get a chance to post about the Avs game, and I didn’t even get a chance to watch the Wild game.
Tuomo Ruutu has been suspended for three games by the league after running Darcy Tucker from behind on Friday. Unlike some Canes fans, I don’t have a problem with this. Ruutu didn’t leave his feet, and he didn’t hit tucker with an elbow or anything like that, but there’s no doubt that it was from behind and there’s no doubt that the puck was long gone. He has already served one of the three games, and will become eligible to rejoin the team November 1 against the Sharks.
While nobody will accuse Ruutu of being a dirty player, this was a dirty play and he will serve the suspension without grievance or appeal. While he is in the press box, Brandon Sutter has been called up from Albany. Jerome Samson continues to lead the team and is second in the AHL with 12 (4/8) points, but Sutter is going to be the guy who gets called up. Every time.
Before being tossed from the game on Friday, Ruutu was having a good night. He had a goal and an assist in the first period. In that game, Stephane Yelle and Chad LaRose each got his first point of the year with an assist each.
Ray Whitney, who has played in 1002 NHL games, had a decent road trip with one goal and three assists. He’s leading the team with eight (4/4) points. On November 1, prior to the game against San Jose, the Hurricanes will have a small ceremony to honor Whitney’s NHL career. Of his 1002 games, 302 have been in a Carolina uniform. In the “games played” category, The Wizard is 28th among active players.
I didn’t get to watch the game (or even the highlights) against the Wild, but one thing jumps out at me from the scoresheet. Tim Conboy of the Canes and John Scott of the Wild were given matching minor penalties at 11:32 of the first, and as soon as they came out of the penalty boxes, they dropped the gloves. Their fighting majors were handed out at 13:36 of the period.
Speaking of fighting, there were two fights in the Rats/Phantoms game last night. The cumulative number of fighting majors in the series is six. The total number of goals scored is eight. So far I’m still wrong about my guess that the fighting majors would outnumber the goals. Typically, those games get chippier later in the season, and it’s a safe bet that there’ll be a line brawl in at least one of the games.
So the Canes are out of action until Wednesday. This should give Tim Gleason some time to heal up and the team some time to work on their passing.
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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.