Red and Black Hockey
Entries with the tag: boston bruins
On Wednesday, the Hurricanes finally got their first win of the season with a 3-2 regulation win over the defending Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins. The Hurricanes got goals from Joni Pitkänen, Anthony Stewart and Jiri Tlusty, while the visitors got markers from Brad Marchand and Tyler Seguin.
The Hurricanes converted one of four power play chances, while shutting down the Bruins power play. To be fair, Boston has struggled mightily in that department, but it was still a great night for the special teams.
Defenseman Jamie McBain made his season debut, while rookie Justin Faulk was one of three healthy scratches on the night.
Carolina is now 1-2-1 on the young season. They’ll start a four-game road trip on Friday in Buffalo.
The Hurricanes had a good month in January, then the city of Raleigh shined during the All-Star weekend. Things were looking good for the team as they headed into a very tough month of February. First up on Tuesday night was the Northeast-leading Bruins, who had won the last two games between the teams.
It was a hard-fought game in front of an excellent weeknight crowd of 18,000. Unfortunately, Carolina was unable to earn even a consolation point. The Bruins skated out of there with a 3-2 regulation win. Meanwhile, the Thrashers were beaten by the Islanders, which left the back door open. They’ll have to wait until Thursday night for another chance to creep inside the playoff picture. The Thrashers will be at home against Calgary while the Hurricanes are in Toronto. Following that, Atlanta and Carolina meet up for a “four point game” in Raleigh on Saturday.
On Black Friday, the Hurricanes played a matinee in Boston and came out of there with a very impressive win. It was arguably their best performance of the season and their first shutout. The 3-0 win snaps a three-game winless streak. It was Cam Ward rather than the glowing hot Tim Thomas who stopped 37 shots to post a shutout.
Rookie Jeff Skinner led the way for the Canes with a goal and an assist. Tuomo Ruutu also had a goal and an assist. Jussi Jokinen scored the other goal. All three goals were power play markers as Carolina was a perfect three-for-three with the man advantage.
All of this against the league’s best penalty kill and the league’s best goaltender.
On Saturday afternoon, the Hurricanes season ended pretty much the way it started: ugly. In a 4-2 loss to the Bruins, the Hurricanes surrendered THREE shorthanded goals during the same power play. All in a span of 62 seconds, which has set a new NHL record. I once saw Carolina score two shorties in a single power play, and I’ve seen teams score three in a game, but I’m sure that I’ll never see this again.
Take those 62 seconds away, and the Hurricanes played a pretty good game. That, however, is emblematic of the entire season. There were only a couple of games in which they played poorly for the entire game. Almost every one of the 14 games in the winless streak through November was characterized by breakdowns that lasted three or five minutes. Unfortunately, those breakdowns parlayed into very low confidence levels, and this sort of made the team beat themselves.
In order to keep their ridiculously slim playoff hopes alive, the Hurricanes knew that they would have to beat the Bruins in regulation on Tuesday night. Instead, they lost in regulation 5-2 and now find themselves ten points back of the eighth place Bruins. There were four points in the balance, and anything other than a regulation win would be bad. This is not a death blow, but the fat lady is warming up in the wings. With thirteen games left, it’s just too much ground to cover.
The game was over before it even started. Patrice Bergeron scored just 23 seconds in on the first shot of the game. This isn’t the way of a team trying to make the playoffs. This is something else.
Five different Bruins scored one goal and Tukka Rask made 30 saves to get the win. On the other side of the ledger, Erik Cole scored two goals and Manny Legace stopped 32 of 37 shots in loss. There wasn’t much to cheer about for Canes fans and this loss has to deflate the hopes of even the most unrealistically optimistic fan.
On Saturday night, the Hurricanes traveled to Boston and left with a lot of cuts, bruises, and possibly a break. They also lost the game 7-2 to the Bruins.
The first period did not go well, as the Bruins jumped out to a 3-0 lead on goals by Marc Savard, Michael Ryder and Blake Wheeler. After that, it went from bad to worse as Cam Ward was chased, no fewer than five different Hurricanes players ended up getting cut. One was Eric Staal, who left the game, bloodied, in the second period after being hit in the ear by a teammate’s slapshot. Erik Cole suffered an ugly-looking knee injury late in the game. Carolina managed to score two goals, but if you’re a Canes fan, there really isn’t anything good to take from this game.
On Thursday night, the Hurricanes faced the prospect of becoming the 22nd team in the history of the NHL playoffs to squander a 3-1 lead in a best-of-seven series. After losing two games in a row and facing an elimination game, they did what was the most appropriate. They went to overtime. AND THEY WON!!!!!
Scott Walker, the villain from game five, scored the series winning goal at 18:46 of the overtime period. Please see my previous post.
On Tuesday night, the Hurricanes had a chance to eliminate the Bruins on home ice. They had failed to finish the task on Sunday in Boston, and it seemed like it would be better this way. Unfortunately, they couldn’t get it done. They spotted Boston two goals in the first six minutes of the game and ended up losing 4-2.
Three days ago, it seemed like it was a guarantee that Carolina would advance to the Eastern finals. Now, they find themselves in a single game playoff. Nothing at all matters now. One game. Thursday night.
The Bruins are poised to become only the 22nd team (out of 237) to overcome a 3-1 series deficit and win.
When the doctors examined Aaron Ward’s face, they “saw something in the x-ray” and suggested to him that he wear a visor in game six. He said he never has, and he’s not about to start.
He had lots more to say about the Walker incident, describing Walker’s side of the story as “a joke”. He also took great exception to the use of the term “engaged” when describing a fight. Then, in a very bizarre move, he played a political card.
“I know Jimmy (Rutherford) is a pretty staunch Republican. I didn’t know he brought Karl Rove in here to spin it for him,”
Read all about it here.
The NHL’s disciplinary committee handed down one of its most perplexing rulings in quite some time. Scott Walker, was fined $2500 for his actions at the end of game five and the automatic one game suspension was rescinded. Since the suspension wasn’t upheld, I assume that the $10k fine to Paul Maurice was also rescinded.
This benefits the Hurricanes, but I’m bewildered by it. My immediate thoughts during the game were that he wouldn’t face supplemental discipline, and I included that thought in my game wrap-up. Later, when I was reminded of rule 47.22, I assumed that he would get the one game suspension but nothing else.
For reference: here’s the rule, verbatim:
The Bruins Blog is reporting that Claude Julien thinks that Aaron Ward may have suffered a broken orbital bone as a result of Scott Walker’s punch in the closing moments of Boston’s 4-0 win on Sunday. Boston staved off elimination, but may have lost one of their top defensemen.
Rule 47.22 clearly states that Walker will be in line for an automatic one game suspension because he instigated a fight with less than five minutes to play in regulation. It also states that coach Paul Maurice will face a $10k fine. In some instances, the penalty may be rescinded, but this won’t be one of those cases. Walker was suspended for one game last season for headbutting Ottawa’s Mike Fisher, so he doesn’t have a pristine driving record.
Carolina will have to make at least one lineup change for game six, and I think probably two.
On Sunday night, the Hurricanes had a chance to eliminate the Bruins and advance to the Eastern finals. The Bruins had other plans. They played their best game of the series by far and beat the Canes 4-0. Phil Kessel had two goals and Tim Thomas stopped all 19 shots he faced. The series now stands 3-2 Carolina, and the Canes will have a chance to win it at home on Tuesday.
I expected a good game from the Bruins. I even kind of expected them to win this game. I did not expect this.
After the game was out of hand, Carolina lost their composure and committed twelve penalties in the third including six in the last three minutes. Of course the Bruins committed nine of their own in the third and most of them were matching. This is not the kind of thing that Carolina fans wanted to see.
Sunday is Mother’s Day in Canada, the US, Finland and many other nations. Don’t forget to phone your mom and tell her that you love her. Don’t forget your wife, and don’t forget your mother-in-law.
To celebrate Mother’s Day, the Hurricanes will be taking on the Bruins, with a chance to finish off the series on road ice. This will be the third time that Carolina has played on Mother’s Day, and they have had tremendous success, winning big games in 2002 and 2006. They won both games.
In 2002, Carolina was at home against the Canadiens. The series was tied 2-2, and Carolina had just pulled off “The Miracle at Molson”, erasing a three goal third period deficit and winning the game in overtime. That wasn’t just a turning point in that series; it effectively ended it.
On Friday night, in front of a packed RBC Center crowd, the Hurricanes seized control of the Eastern semifinal series with Boston. They won the game 4-1 behind two goals from Eric Staal and now have a commanding 3-1 series lead. Game five will be Sunday night in Boston.
Eric Staal scored his eighth and ninth goals of the postseason and has passed some guy named Ron Francis on the franchise postseason scoring list. He stands alone as the most prolific Hurricane in postseason play.
For the second game in a row and the third in these playoffs, Jussi Jokinen got the game-winning goal, his sixth of the second season. The newfound crowd favorite added two assists and earned the first star of the game.
Read on for full details including a great highlight…
On Wednesday night, Carolina had a chance to take a lead in the series with Boston. They had the same opportunity in game three of the series with New Jersey, but the Devils prevailed in overtime. This game went to overtime, and the Caniacs held their collective breath for the umpteenth time this playoff season. Jussi Jokinen pulled through for the Canes, potting the game winner at 2:48 of the fourth period.
On Sunday night, the Hurricanes played a much better game than they did on Thursday. In the end, the score was 3-0. The series is now tied at one and has become a best of five series where Carolina has the home ice advantage.
Cam Ward was absolutely on fire, completing his fourth career postseason shutout. Eric Staal decided to take things into his own hands, and as I said before, things can get ugly when that happens.
Now, it would be crazy for Carolina to break their arms patting themselves on the back. Carolina was indeed very good tonight, but the fact of the matter is that the Bruins were sloppy. At times, they were flat out bad. They looked like they were at McGreevy’s getting hammered until the wee hours this morning. If that’s indeed the case, a special thanks goes to their wonderful bartender Amanda.
Carolina is up 2-0 at the second intermission, and it almost became 3-0. Chad LaRose came as close to scoring a goal as you can. With about two seconds left in the period, Dennis Seidenberg fired a shot from center ice that was stopped by Thomas. The Bruins decided not to play to the buzzer, but Chad LaRose did. The rebound kicked out to Sharpie, whose rebound chance hit the right post and rolled on edge along the goal line. The ruling on the ice was no goal, and the Situation Room confirmed the call.
As the play was under review, I was thinking “where have I seen that exact goal before?”. Then it dawned on me. Lake Placid, 1980. End of period one, Miracle on Ice. The exact same play. Except that Mark Johnson buried his chance and Sharpie clanged the heavy metal.
May 3 is a sad day for the Whaler/Cane franchise. For that matter, also the Red Wings and Flames. Given the Hurricanes opponent in the Eastern Conference semis, it’s impossible to ignore the historical significance of today’s date. Today is the tenth anniversary of the tragic death of defenseman Steve Chiasson.
After the Hurricanes were eliminated by the Bruins four games to two in the 1999 Eastern quarterfinals, the players flew home, then had a wrap party at Gary Roberts’ house. This went on well into the wee hours of the morning. A very intoxicated Chiasson made a terrible decision to drive himself home, declining rides from teammates and taxis. He never made it. Around four in the morning, his truck flipped over, killing him instantly. ...
The Canes and Bruins opened their Eastern Conference semifinal series on Friday, and it was a solid victory for Boston. Just as the Devils did in game one of the first round, the Bruins won game one 4-1. The Bruins have won all five postseason games, and none of them have been close.
David Krejci started things off for the home team at 1:34, tipping a right point blast from Aaron Ward. Michael Ryder got the secondary assist. To me, it looked like Ward’s goal. However, they determined that it was touched by Krejci in the slot, and he gets the credit….
On Tuesday, the Hurricanes retired the number 2 of defenseman Glen Wesley. In the game that followed, things did not go well for the Canes. In other games around the league, things went even worse.
After taking an early 1-0 lead, Carolina looked like they had taken all the momentum from Sunday’s win in Buffalo, but it didn’t last long. The Bruins showed why they’re the best team in the Eastby absolutely controlling the rest of the game. They ended up with a 5-1 win. In other games, both Buffalo and Florida won, meaning that the Hurricanes dropped to five points out of the playoffs.
To add injury to insult, three Hurricanes rearguards were hurt in the game. Nic Wallin had a cut on his face, requiring some stitches. Later, Joe Corvo tweaked his knee a little. Both players returned. In the closing minutes, Joni Pitkänen left the game with an undisclosed injury and did not return.
On Saturday afternoon, the Hurricanes were beaten badly by the Bruins. Although the scoreboard indicated a final tally of 5-1, it wasn’t even remotely that close. Boston was, by a million miles, the better team. If there is any good that came out of the game, it’s that Carolina still hasn’t been shut out this season. That sure is a cute statistic, but it won’t matter one iota if the Canes are making tee times for Pinehurst #2 this spring instead of playing playoff hockey.
Very early in the game, a potential breakaway for Eric Staal fell by the wayside when he collided with referee Dan O’Halloran at center ice. To Staal’s credit, he didn’t get upset with O’Halloran or himself, but it was a potential tone setter gone wrong.
Two losses in a row means that Carolina’s foothold in the playoff race has gotten a little shakier. However, the schedule is rather kind for the next eight games.
Here’s to hoping that the Carolina Panthers have a better fate this evening as they host the Arizona Cardinals in the NFC semifinal game. Kickoff a little after 8:00.