Red and Black Hockey
by David Lee on 11/21/08 at 06:28 PM ET
On Friday, Olli “Cane Killa” Jokinen and the Phoenix Coyotes will be in Raleigh for the first of two meetings between the teams this season. Phoenix has won the last four games between the teams and the Yotes are the only Pacific Division team who the Hurricanes have not beaten post-lockout.
Carolina was thrilled to see Jokinen traded away from Florida over the summer, as he has absolutely owned the Canes historically. In 50 career games against the Hurricanes, the Finn has 52 (20/32) points, which is the most points any player has scored against them.
Shutting him down will be priority number one for the Canes. On the other side, Phoenix is very aware of Eric Staal’s slide. They’re hoping to keep him on the schneid, but when a very good player is on a cold streak, coaches get nervous. So says Wayne Gretzky, anyway.
Sergei Samsonov finally ended his season-long drought on Tuesday, and they will hope that Mr Captain in waiting can end his. If I were a betting man, I’d wager that Staal gets a cheap one tonight. Maybe a weird deflection. Maybe an empty netter. But I’m betting that he gets one that isn’t exactly pretty. But they don’t ask “how”; they only ask “how many”.
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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.