Red and Black Hockey
by David Lee on 12/19/08 at 01:29 AM ET
Earlier this week, Hurricanes defenseman Joe Corvo switched to a different kind of stick that is lighter but denser. He scored the game-winning goal on Tuesday against the Canadiens with a howitzer from the point. On Thursday, he scored an absolute highlight reel goal in overtime for his second straight game winner. It’s gotta be the sticks. He says he’s only got two more of the new sticks, but he’s just gonna have to order some more.
In Tuesday’s post-game teevee coverage, the Canes broadcasting team teased him about the new sticks, and he claimed that they gave him an additional 5mph on his slapshot. But it wasn’t his patented slapshot that won the game on Thursday. Frankly, he looked like Alexei Kovalev with the fancy maneuver. First he eluded a defender at the top of the right circle, then dragged the puck from his forehand to the backhand and lifted a finesse backhanded wrist shot from the slot into an essentially empty cage. Very impressive stuff from a rearguard. I’ll post a clip when I can. It’s a must-see goal.
Justin Williams also tallied a goal for the Canes, his first of the season. In seven games back after his Achilles tear, he has three (1/2) points and is really starting to look comfortable out there.
With the win, Carolina lays claim to eighth place in the East. More importantly, the pieces are really starting to fall into place. Since bringing Chairman Mo back into the fold, the Canes have gone 3-1-3 and have now earned standings points in six consecutive games.
Carolina will travel up to Boston for a very tough matchup against the Bs on Saturday. Boston has only lost one home game in regulation this season and are 22-5-4 overall. The NBA Celtics are an even more impressive 24-2 overall. New England Patriots? Not so much. Joe and his new sticks will really be put to the test against the best team in the East.
Corvo’s goal was his fifth marker of the season and his third game winner. Did I already mention it’s his secong GWG in a row? It’s his 53rd NHL goal, 14 of which have been game-winners.
Both goaltenders played very well, as is usually the case with the Florida-Carolina matchups. There was a little bit of rough stuff, as is usually the case. For the first time in a while, though, there wasn’t any controversy about the officiating.
Although they only had two goals to show for it, this was a good effort by the Hurricanes. There was a little lapse at the tail end of a third period power-play leading to an unforced turnover, leading to a breakaway goal by Cory Stillman, who was just stepping out of the penalty box. Aside from that, there weren’t any bad stretches for the Canes. They dominated flow in the first period, and really should have been up 3-0 if not for the heroic play of Panthers goaltender Tomas Vokoun. There was that lapse in the third period, but Carolina still looked in control. At the end of it all, although the Canes were outhit by a shocking 37-18 margin, the Canes outshot the Panthers 37-20. Where it reallycounted, though, the Canes had it 2-1.
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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.