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Red and Black Hockey

Entries with the tag: cam ward

Murphy to sit opening night

The Hurricanes have announced the opening night roster for tomorrow’s home tilt against the Bolts.  There’s a bit of intrigue to it.  Ryan Murphy, the highly touted 2011 first round draft pick, survived the final round of cuts and was kept on the roster.  Strangely, he’ll be a healthy scratch for opening night.  The expectation was that he would play in the first nine games, then get sent back to the Kitchener Rangers of the OHL as if nothing had happened.  If he plays fewer than 10 games, his newly signed contract will roll over until next season.

My money was on forward Riley Nash to survive the final cut and make his NHL debut this week.  That’s going to have to wait.  Frankly, I’m at a loss as to why the Hurricanes would keep Murphy around just so they could scratch him.

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Filed in: | Red and Black Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brian+boucher, cam+ward, carolina+hurricanes, justin+faulk, opening+night, riley+nash, ryan+murphy

This date in Hurricanes history

While the Hurricanes aren’t doing anything this spring, May 28 is a huge day in the history of the Carolina Hurricanes.  Two of the biggest moments in franchise history have taken place on this date.  One in 2002 and the other in 2006.  Both occurred during Eastern Conference Finals play.  One of them was a “where were you when…” moment and the other was one that some Hurricanes fans might not even be able to pin down as a pivotal moment. 

The key players in these franchise-defining moments are Martin Gélinas and Cam Ward.

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Filed in: | Red and Black Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: cam+ward, carolina+hurricanes, jeff+o'neill, martin+gelinas

Two shutouts put Carolina in control of their own destiny

Two shutout games have given Carolina control of its own playoff destiny with two games left to play.  On Wednesday night, the Hurricanes surprisingly shut out the visiting Detroit Red Wings 3-0.  On Thursday night, the Atlanta Thrashers shut out the New York Rangers by the same score. 

The Rangers have 91 standings points—two better than Carolina, and have just one game to play.  They must win their last game against the Devils on Saturday AND get help from Carolina to make the playoffs.  Carolina, on the other hand, can control their own fate.  If they win their last two games, they’re in.

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Filed in: | Red and Black Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: atlanta+thrashers, cam+ward, carolina+hurricanes, detroit+red+wings, eric+staal, jeff+skinner, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, tampa+bay+lightning

Carolina’s playoff hopes buoyed

On Tuesday night, the Hurricanes got a boost to their slim playoff hopes, but there is an asterisk.  The Sabres lost 4-3 in regulation to the Maple Leafs and the Hurricanes grabbed a huge 3-2 win on the road at Washington.  This two-point gain puts Carolina just three points back of the Sabres, and Sunday’s showdown looks really huge right now.  The only unfortunate thing is that Carolina’s win came via the shootout.  Carolina has two fewer ROW wins than Buffalo, so as of right now, a potential standings tiebreaker would go to the Sabres. 

Jussi Jokinen scored a power play marker in the second and Jeff Skinner scored a huge goal early in the third.  In the shootout, Skinner scored in the top of the first.  The Caps missed their first two shots, then Tuomo Ruutu iced it for the Canes with a successful shot in the top of the third. 

Cam Ward made 38 saves to give him 2006 saves on the season.  He’s just the sixth goaltender since the lockout to record more than 2000 saves in a single season.

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Filed in: | Red and Black Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: buffalo+sabres, cam+ward, carolina+hurricanes, jeff+skinner, playoffs, washington+capitals

Cole paces Canes to important win, but Buffalo offers no help

On Friday night, the Hurricanes were again in “the most important game of the season”, and they emerged with a huge 4-3 regulation win over the Lightning.  Jeff Skinner scored his 26th of the season, Eric Staal scored his 30th and Erik Cole added two.  Cam ward made 18 saves.  Unfortunately for the Canes slim playoff hopes, Buffalo also won its game.  With eight games remaining, the Hurricanes remain three points behind the eighth place Sabres.

For the first time since the Truman administration, the Hurricanes tallied two power play goals in the same game.  The power play has been one of many weak points for them this whole season, and it will probably be the one thing that we blame if/when the Hurricanes end up on the outside of the playoff mix. 

Carolina has now won three games in a row, but the harsh reality is that they’re going to have to be blazing hot down the stretch.  “Warm” won’t cut it.  They’ll probably need to get twelve of the sixteen remaining points available.  Every game matters, and they’d like some outside help from the Sabres, or even the Rangers.  The Canes are five points back of the Rangers with a game in hand.

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Filed in: | Red and Black Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: cam+ward, carolina+hurricanes, eric+staal, erik+cole, simon+gagne, simon+gagne, tampa+bay+lightning

LaRose, Ward pace Canes to big win

At this point in the season, the Hurricanes have to view every game as a “must win” and they know that they are also going to need some outside help to get into the playoffs.  They entered play Tuesday night three points behind the eighth place Sabres.  The Canes held up their end of the deal with a 4-3 win over the visiting Senators. 

Cam Ward made 36 saves and Chad Sharpie LaRose had two goals to turn a 2-0 deficit into a 4-2 third period lead.  The Sens scored a late goal to make it a one-goal game, then they prevented Sharpie from completing the hat trick.  The regulation win temporarily put the Canes just one point back of the Sabres, who were playing in Montréal, but the Canadiens didn’t do Carolina any favours.  Buffalo ended up winning 2-0, maintaining their three point lead over Carolina. 

Carolina will be off until Friday, when they will play a back-to-back home-and-home with Tampa.  Buffalo’s schedule will be much lighter: a Friday/Saturday home set against Florida and New Jersey.  In order to stay in contention, Carolina will have to win at least one of those Tampa games, and obviously they prefer to win both.  New Jersey has run out of luck, out of steam and out of time.  They’re not going to roll over for Buffalo, but they now know that their miraculous run is over and that they’re not going to make the playoffs.

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Filed in: | Red and Black Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: buffalo+sabres, cam+ward, carolina+hurricanes, chad+larose, jeff+skinner, ottawa+senators

Canes win in OT, will watch Buffalo

On Friday night, the Hurricanes had to come from behind to beat the Islanders 3-2 in overtime.  That gives them 76 standings points, and crucially, 29 “Regulation or Overtime Wins”.  They are now tied with Buffalo in standings points and ROW, but the Sabres have two games in hand.  Carolina is idle until Tuesday, when they will host the last place Senators.  This weekend, the Sabres have home games against Atlanta and Nashville.  The Canes players and fans are hoping that the Sabres lose both games in regulation.  Carolina, by virtue of earning more points versus the Sabres (four) than the Sabres have earned against the Canes (three) would have the tiebreaker and would jump back into eighth place. 

After the Senators game, the Canes have a back-to-back home-and-home with the Lightning, a road game in DC and a home game against the Habs.  During that same stretch,the Sabres will play at Montréal, back-to-back home games against Florida and New Jersey and finally at Toronto.  That stretch certainly plays in the Sabres favor, so the Canes will have to steal some points.

Once again, Cam Ward was great, and for the first time in a while, the Hurricanes showed some fight.  When they were pushed against the ropes, down a goal late in the third, they answered back, forced overtime, and won it the way they needed to—during timed play.

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Filed in: | Red and Black Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: buffalo+sabres, cam+ward, carolina+hurricanes, jeff+skinner, joni+pitkanen, new+york+islanders

Ward, Canes snap skid

On Tuesday night, the Hurricanes were in an absolute must win situation on the road in Buffalo.  It wasn’t the prettiest game in the world, but they got the job done with a 1-0 win to snap a four-game losing streak.  It keeps their slim playoff hopes alive. 

Brandon Sutter scored the game’s only goal at 19:18 of the first.  Cam Ward made 40 saves including 22 in the first period alone. 

With the win, Carolina closed to within two points of the eighth place Sabres with 12 games remaining.  A regulation loss would have put them six points back, and it would have spelled the end of all realistic playoff hopes.  It wasn’t all sweetness and light, though.  While the Canes are thrilled to have gotten two points, they should be disgusted in their continued power play woes.  They were 0-5 on the power play tonight.  They have now gone six games without a power play marker.  They’re zero for their last 27 on the man advantage, dating all the way back to March 1.  This is not how a playoff team plays.

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  Tags: buffalo+sabres, cam+ward, carolina+hurricanes, new+jersey+devils

Canes win, close in on seventh

On Tuesday night, the Hurricanes won a critical game against the Panthers, earning two standings points and maintaining their slim two point cushion over the ninth place Buffalo Sabres.  Carolina got a goal and an assist from Cory Stillman, and the game-winning goal from Eric Staal.  Cam Ward, who has started the last 23 games in a row, made 41 saves to earn his 27th win. 
Meanwhile, the Sabres defeated the Rangers 3-2 in regulation.  The game put Carolina fans in a tough spot because they needed both teams to lose the game in regulation.  Since this can’t happen, the next best thing was a regulation decision, and that’s what happened.  The bad part is that Carolina was unable to create distance between themselves and Buffalo, but the good bit is that the Canes gained ground on the seventh place Rangers.  With a game in hand, Carolina is now just one point behind the Blueshirts. 

The Sabres have two games in hand on Carolina as they head into Raleigh for an epic game on Thursday.  For both teams, two points is the only acceptable outcome.

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Filed in: | Red and Black Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: cam+ward, carolina+hurricanes, cory+stillman, eric+staal, florida+panthers

Ward’s glove save on Carle

During the second period of play on Friday night, Cam Ward made a sensational glove save against Matt Carle of the Flyers.  He seemed like he was down and out, but he snared Carle’s shot which was marked for the top shelf.  It was absolutely Ward’s best save of the season and should be, at season’s end, one of the best by any goaltender:

Filed in: | Red and Black Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: cam+ward, carolina+hurricanes

Sutter and the Canes climb into eighth

On Saturday night with an opportunity to climb into the playoff picture, the Hurricanes seized the moment.  Sort of.  While any win at all would do the trick, they would have preferred to have won in regulation against the Thrashers.  It marked the third time this season that the teams have played each other, and each game has gone into extra time.  Carolina has earned the extra point each time, but it has also allowed Atlanta to get the consolation point.  This could come into play at the end of the season. 

Both Cam Ward and Ondrej Pavelec were outstanding in nets.  Both goalies faced 37 shots. Both made spectacular saves.  Both played well enough to win. 

Erik Cole’s coast-to-coast play was capped by a wrister from the right circle to win the game for the Canes at 2:48 of overtime.  It was Cole who also scored an overtime winner the last time the teams met, and the final score was the same—4-3.  Brandon Sutter had a huge goal and a really good night in the faceoff circle.  After the jump, I’ll detail the reasons that I had him as my first star.  Jiri Tlusty also had a big goal and the Captain scored his 26th of the season to start things off for the Canes.

With the Circus in town, the Hurricanes will now embark on a five game road trip that begins and ends in New Jersey.  They’ll hope for six out of ten points on the trip, but will settle for five.

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  Tags: atlanta+thrashers, brandon+sutter, cam+ward, carolina+hurricanes, erik+cole, ondrej+pavelec

Canes win a crazy game, keep streak going

On Tuesday, the Hurricanes won their third straight game and extended their streak to eight games in which they’ve earned at least one standings point.  It wasn’t a pretty game, and they needed the shootout to earn the extra point, winning 6-5 against the Flames.  At one point late in the second, the Canes had a three goal lead, but the pesky Flames fought back and nearly stole the game in regulation.  Although it was nerve-wracking, the Canes got the two points and there’s no harm in giving away one point across conference lines. 

Jussi Jokinen, who missed six games with a “lower body concern” returned to the lineup with a bang: he scored two goals and assisted on another.  Cam Ward was named to the All-Star roster Tuesday morning, and also returned to the lineup after backing up Justin Peters two games in a row.  He didn’t put up All-Star numbers, but he picked up the win, and that’s what matters the most. 

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  Tags: calgary+flames, cam+ward, carolina+hurricanes, eric+staal, jeff+skinner, jerome+iginla, jussi+jokinen

Canes gain another point, but lose

On Wednesday night, Cam Ward and Henrik Lundqvist engaged in a goaltenders’ duel, which ended with a 2-1 overtime win for the home team Rangers.  It’s the second straight overtime loss for the Hurricanes, but marks the fifth straight game in which they’ve gotten at least one standings point.  They remain in ninth place in the Eastern Conference, three points behind Montréal, against whom Carolina has one game in hand. 

Carolina will have two divisional games coming up and will hit the halfway point of the season on Sunday with a home game against the Thrashers.  By then, the Canes will hope to have leapfrogged Les Habitants into the inside of the playoff bubble. 

Cam Ward has been very good for the last couple of weeks, but the Hurricanes are still having trouble giving him any run support.

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  Tags: cam+ward, carolina+hurricanes, eric+staal, new+york+rangers

Ward and the kids shine in Ottawa

On Wednesday night, Cam Ward earned his second shutout of the season, Zach Boychuk scored two goals and Pat Dwyer scored his second in as many nights to pace the Hurricanes to a 4-0 whitewash of the Ottawa Senators.  Erik Cole scored the other goal. 

Boychuk was called up two weeks ago to replace the injured Jiri Tlusty and had only notched one assist in five previous games.  He potted two goals in the first period tonight and nearly completed the hat trick early in the second.  Pat Dwyer has played every game this season for the big team and has now matched his exact point production (7 goals, 5 assists) from last season.  He will not, at any point, be reassigned to Charlotte, and he’s pretty much guaranteed that his contract will be renewed over the summer. 

Cam Ward, meanwhile, is silently putting himself in the top tier in every goaltending statistical category.

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  Tags: cam+ward, carolina+hurricanes, ottawa+senators, zach+boychuk

Canes overcome two goal deficit for second straight night

For the second night in a row, the Hurricanes were on the road against a Southeast division opponent.  For the second night in a row, they found themselves down by two goals after two periods.  Fortunately, for the second night in a row, they climbed all the way back and walked out with a win.  Now, for the first time all season, they have won three games in a row, and they capped off a five game road trip by earning seven of ten standings points. 

One night after failing to show up, Cam Ward had a pretty remarkable night in nets.  He had 45 saves in a shooting gallery and looked great doing it.  He was especially sharp in the waning moments of regulation.  The Atlanta media couldn’t see fit to award him with one of the stars of the game, but it’s no doubt that he was the best Hurricane player. 

Brandon Sutter and Eric Staal scored third period goals to overcome a 2-0 deficit, and Jussi Jokinen and Sergei Samsonov scored in the shootout to secure the two points.

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  Tags: atlanta+thrashers, brandon+sutter, cam+ward, carolina+hurricanes, eric+staal

Carolina takes three of four road points

The Hurricanes had a difficult back-to-back road set this weekend in Dallas on Friday and in St. Louis on Saturday.  The Stars are the second best team in the West, while the Blues are one point out of eighth place in the West.  Behind some stellar goaltending by Cam Ward, the Hurricanes were able to earn a consolation point on Friday and eke out a shootout win on Saturday. 
For the second night in a row, Ward allowed only one regulation goal and emerged as a hero of the game.  Jussi Jokinen got the game-deciding goal in the shootout.  With the win on Saturday, the Hurricanes are back at .500 for the season.  This isn’t any way to make the playoffs, so they’ll need to string together some wins.  It won’t be an easy task in the much improved Southeast division.

I wasn’t able to see either game, but I was able to listen to Saturday’s game.  I can’t say much about the games, but I know that Cam Ward made some spectacular saves in the overtime period on Friday and that he made 38 stops on Saturday.  He and the rest of the Canes will have a well-deserved three days off before playing another back-to-back road set on Wednesday and Thursday in Florida and Atlanta respectively.

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  Tags: cam+ward, carolina+hurricanes, charlotte+checkers

The Kids are Alright

On Friday night, the Hurricanes hosted the Avalanche for the only meeting of the teams this season, and on the strength of play from the kids, Carolina emerged with a 2-1 overtime win.  18-year old Jeff Skinner showed off some fancy skills when he scored his eighth goal of the season.  21-year old Brandon Sutter potted his fifth just a minute and change into overtime to help the Canes snap a home losing streak that had reached three games.  Cam Ward also made 34 saves in what turned out to be a marvelous goaltenders’ duel with Craig Anderson.

Other things went right for the Canes, including an amazing performance by the penalty killers and some strong play be the defense.  It wasn’t the prettiest game, but in the end Carolina got two points out of it.  That’s all that really matters.  There’s no column in the standings for “ugly win” or “tough loss”.

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  Tags: brandon+sutter, cam+ward, carolina+hurricanes, colorado+avalanche, jeff+skinner

Ward, Canes shut out Bs

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.

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  Tags: boston+bruins, cam+ward, carolina+hurricanes, jeff+skinner

Coming up Roses—Carolina 5 - San Jose 2

To take a page out of Mike Chen‘s book, the soundtrack for the Canes-Sharks game is “Coming Up Roses” by Curve. 

On Tuesday night in San Jose, Carolina earned a convincing win against the Sharks by the score of 5-2.  They have done in five games what took them 19 games to do last season: win three games. 

Eric Staal, who I called out earlier in the day, had a great game with a goal and an assist.  Chad LaRose, who has been the invisible man in four games, had a fantastic game with a goal and two assists and was named the first star of the game.  Rookie Jeff Skinner had a remarkable game.  Cam Ward also had a very good and very important game.  The boys looked good in almost every aspect.

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  Tags: cam+ward, carolina+hurricanes, chad+larose, eric+staal, san+jose+sharks

Canes start North American season with loss

On Thursday, the Hurricanes played their first game of the season on North American soil.  They won the two games in Finland, but dropped the game in Ottawa 3-2.

Before the game was three minutes old, Senators netminder Pascal Leclaire had to leave the game with what appeared to be a groin injury.  Brian Elliott came on in relief, and got the job done.  On the other end of the rink, Cam Ward was great, but a was done in by a late power play goal.

Eric Staal and Sergei Samsonov each scored his first goal of the season for the Canes, while Mike Fisher was the man for Ottawa with two goals including the game winner.

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  Tags: cam+ward, carolina+hurricanes, eric+staal, ottawa+senators

Cam Ward makes brilliant return

On Monday night, Cam Ward got his first start in nets for the Canes in nearly two months.  He showed no signs of rustiness, beating a desperate Thrashers team 4-1.  Jussi Jokinen scored twice for the Canes while Brandon Sutter and Erik Cole each added one. 
This was one of the super-rare games that neither team televised, so it wasn’t even on Center Ice.  Added to that, somebody at the Hurricanes flagship radio station fell asleep at the webcast switch, and we lost the feed after the first period.  Canes fans outside of Raleigh were almost completely in the dark.  Like a lot of others, I had to rely on NHL.com’s “live scoreboard”, which is, if I’m fair, a lot better than nothing. 
The win puts another breath into Carolina’s slim playoff hopes, and it may have ruined Atlanta’s.

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  Tags: atlanta+thrashers, cam+ward, carolina+hurricanes, jussi+jokinen

Ward up, Peters down

For tonight’s game against the Thrashers, the Hurricanes have activated Cam Ward from the IR and have also assigned Justin Peters to Albany.  Peters has played very well for the Canes, but will be needed as the Rats head down the stretch and into the Calder Cup playoffs.  And then there’s the fact that Cam Ward is back from injury.  Ward has been out of the lineup since before the Olympic break with a back injury and will re-enter the lineup in the unfamiliar spot of the backup’s chair.  Manny Legace, who is auditioning for next year’s team, will get the start in nets tonight.

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  Tags: cam+ward, carolina+hurricanes, justin+peters

Canes hot streak continues

On a rare snowy day in Raleigh, the Hurricanes welcomed one of the best teams in the league in the Chicago Blackhawks.  Andrew Ladd and a few other Hawks had a slumber party at Eric Staal’s house, but the Canes weren’t as kind to the visitors once they got inside the RBC Center.  Carolina stretched their winning streak to four games with a 4-2 victory. With tonight’s result, the Blackhawks have not won in North Carolina since a 4-1 victory on January 14, 1998.  Jeff Hackett was the goalie for the Hawks that night. 

A big storm came through on Friday night, dumping at least eight inches of snow on most of North Carolina.  Everything was business as usual at the RBC Center, though.  NC State played a basketball game and the Canes game went on without a hitch.  The crowd was a sparse 7000, but those who drove through the ice and snow were treated to a great game. 

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  Tags: cam+ward, carolina+hurricanes, chicago+blackhawks

Staal captaincy gets off to roaring start

Carolina made a captaincy change on Wednesday, removing the -in waiting part of Eric Staal’s title and officially giving him the C.  On Thursday, things went very well for him in his first game as the Cap.  He scored a goal in each period.  Carolina beat the Thrashers 5-2, and Staal’s empty netter in the closing minute capped off his tenth career hat trick. 
His big night also makes him one of the hottest players of late.  In his last ten games, he’s accrued 17 (7/10) points.  Now that he’s got 13 goals, it seems like he has a chance to reach the 30 goal plateau for the fifth consecutive season.

Staal has some detractors, but I love the captaincy shift and I really like him as a player.  I don’t understand how fans can find much to dislike about a guy who has played at exactly a point-a-night for the last five seasons.  Sure, he’s streaky.  Sure, he always starts slow.  Sure, his defensive skills are still a work in progress.  He’s still a premier player who is really good in the clutch.  And now that he’s officially the captain, I think we’ll see more of that “put the team on his shoulder and take over the game” stuff.  I know it’s just one game, but he sure did that tonight.

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  Tags: atlanta+thrashers, cam+ward, carolina+hurricanes, eric+staal

Canes set season mark

On Tuesday night, the Hurricanes did something they haven’t done since last season:  they won a third consecutive game.  Despite being outshot by a wide margin, Carolina doubled up the host Toronto Maple Leafs to the tune of 4-2.  With the regulation win, the Canes move to within four points of fourteenth place in the East.  There’s still a chance, albeit a very slim one, that the Canes could make the playoffs.  At the very least, they have an excellent chance of finishing higher than 30th in the league. 

With some stout goaltending by Cam Ward, some solid minutes from the “Rat Pack”, another strong outing by Eric Staal and some good special teams work, the Canes have their longest winning streak of the season.  They’ve won three in a row and four of their last five.  And the word on the street is that Chad LaRose could return to the lineup in Detroit on Thursday.  And that Erik Cole is right behind him in the recovery room.

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  Tags: brandon+sutter, cam+ward, carolina+hurricanes, eric+staal, toronto+maple+leafs

Whitney lifts Canes past Blueshirts in OT

The Rangers and Hurricanes played for the third time this season on Saturday afternoon.  Both previous meetings were in Raleigh, both were low-scoring, the Canes scored first in both, and the Rangers won Both.  3-1 on December 21, 2-1 on December 31.  This game almost followed the same formula as the Canes scored first, and it was low scoring.  Carolina emerged with the 2-1 win in their first game of the 2010 portion of the schedule. 

Carolina has earned five of eight available points in their last four games, and have won two straight road games.  Still, though, they’ve only won three road games all season.  It’s silly to complain after a win, but Carolina only managed to get 19 shots on goal, and that’s not going to be enough to win the game most nights.  They will need to continue working on shooting the puck and getting it through the defense. 

Both goaltenders were great, but only one could win, and it was Cam Ward.

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Filed in: | Red and Black Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: cam+ward, carolina+hurricanes, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, ray+whitney

Devils outlast Canes

Martin Brodeur had a chance on Wednesday to set a new NHL record for career shutouts.  For about 26 minutes of gametime, it looked like it might happen.  In the end, though, he earned a 4-2 win and the Devils protected their lead atop the Atlantic division.

Cam Ward was playing for the first time in 32 days, and he looked pretty sharp.  He gave up two goals in the first period that were not at all his fault, and one in the second.  Late in the second, when the Canes were surging, Ward was really sharp.  In the third, the puck was in the other end for most of the period, and he really didn’t have to work much.  It was a good first game back for him, and it was a good game overall for the Canes, even if they came out on the wrong end of it.

Andy Greene was the star of the night with two goals including the game winner.  On the Canes side of things, Joni Pitkä was quite good, picking up two assists. 

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  Tags: andy+greene, cam+ward, carolina+hurricanes, joni+pitkanen, martin+brodeur, new+jersey+devils

Canes, having cap issues, place Ward on LTIR

Although the Hurricanes are far from the most injured team in the NHL (Carolina has 57 man-games lost compared to 109 for the Canucks), they are starting to run into some cap issues.  Carolina started the season a little over their own budget, but with plenty of room under the cap.  That’s no longer the case. 

To ease the strain, Carolina has placed Cam Ward on the Long Term Injured Reserve and has recalled Justin Peters from Albany.  This allows a portion of Ward’s salary to be withheld from the cap hit.  Presumably, this has been done retroactive to November 8.

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  Tags: cam+ward, carolina+hurricanes, injuries, manny+legace, salary+cap

When will the nightmare end?

On Saturday night, the Hurricanes lost more than just the game.  For the third time in the last four games, they scored the “all-important” first goal.  For the second time in as many nights, they led after one and looked great after two.  For the twelfth time in a row, though, they ended up with a loss.  Not only are the losses piling up, but so are the injuries.  And tonight, the Canes suffered an injury loss that they can’t afford: Cam Ward. 

Early in the first period, Ward was cut by the skate of Blue Jackets captain Rick Nash, who was skating through the goal crease.  Although it was well inside the crease, the contact was incidental, and nobody will blame Nash for causing the injury.  Ward had to be rushed to the hospital, where he was stitched up and where he will be held overnight. 

In March of 2007, Ward suffered a similar injury in a game against the Rangers.  The fear was that he was going to miss the remainder of the season and that he wouldn’t be able to play for Canada in the IIHF World Championships.  He only missed three games and played very well in the IIHF tournament.  Hopefully this fall, he’ll be able to make a similar speedy return to the lineup.

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Filed in: | Red and Black Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: cam+ward, carolina+hurricanes, injuries, losing+streak

Ward stands on his head, but the Canes lose anyway

On Saturday, the Hurricanes returned to “The Rock” for the first time since they stunned the Devils with two goals in the last 90 seconds of game 7 to steal the first round of the 2009 playoffs.  The Devils in general, and Martin Brodeur specifically, had not been playing well at home, and it was a chance for the Hurricanes to get their two-week road trip off to a good start. 

Both goaltenders played very well and Martin Brodeur got the shutout, beating the Canes 2-0 and coming within one shutout of Terry Sawchuk’s 103.  He’ll get the spotlight, but Cam Ward also had a very good game that was for naught.  Unfortunately for Ward, the Hurricanes record doesn’t indicate how well he’s been playing.  If and when the Canes start scoring goals, Ward will get some more ticks in the W column.  Everyone knows that the Canes’ losses aren’t because of Ward.  Last season, the Hurricanes were shut out only once in the regular season.  So far this season, they’ve already been shut out twice in just seven games.

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Filed in: | Red and Black Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: cam+ward, carolina+hurricanes, martin+brodeur, new+jersey+devils

Ward extended

For the second time in as many summers, Jim Rutherford has broken with tradition by signing a player to a big contract extension one year before he would become a free agent.  Today’s big news was that Cam Ward’s contract was extended for six years at an average of $6.3M.  He would have become a restricted free agent in July, but like Eric Staal last summer, JR wanted to get it taken care of.  And we’re glad he did.

Starting with the 2010-11 season, Ward will be the third highest paid goaltender in the league and the second highest payed player on the Hurricanes.  The team has made a major commitment to the two cornerstones of the franchise, and the significance isn’t lost on Ward.

“I realize I’m being paid to be an elite goaltender.  I realize there’s added pressure that always comes with something like this.I do not want to shy away from it.  If anything, I want to rise to the occasion….  I’m not going to get complacent. I want to get better and better and be one of those elite goaltenders in the NHL “

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  Tags: cam+ward, carolina+hurricanes

Pens crush Canes 6-2, tighten noose.

On Saturday night, the Penguins all but ended the Hurricanes postseason with a 6-2 whipping.  Evgeni Malkin led the way with two goals and an assist and is looking very much like he could be the Conn Smythe winner.  The Pens have a commanding 3-0 series lead in what was supposed to be a good series.

Despite scoring first and getting the home crowd going, the Canes were awful for the rest of the first period, allowing the Penguins to do what they do. 

For the second game in a row, the story behind the story is that Carolina’s defense was horrible.  On Malkin’s first goal, Tim Gleason made a pathetic attempt to clear the puck, putting it right on Malkin’s stick in the slot area.  On Crosby’s goal, Joni Pitkänen let #87 just waltz right in, making no effort to stop Crosby or the fantastic pass from Billy Guerin.  On Malkin’s second goal, it was again some sloppy play by Gleason. 

Carolina gave up not one, but two goals in the last minute of the first period, and it seemed like the game was already over.

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Filed in: | Red and Black Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: cam+ward, carolina+hurricanes, evgeni+malkin, pittsburgh+penguins, playoffs

Ward, Canes shut out Bruins.

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. 

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Filed in: | Red and Black Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: boston+bruins, cam+ward, carolina+hurricanes, chad+larose, eric+staal, matt+cullen, playoffs

Bs take game one

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….

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Filed in: | Red and Black Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: boston+bruins, cam+ward, carolina+hurricanes, jussi+jokinen, marc+savard, phil+kessel, playoffs, tim+thomas

Canes win thriller, advance to conference semis

Tuesday night was a do-or-die for the Hurricanes and the Devils.  With 90 seconds to play, the Devils had a 3-2 lead in their own building and it looked grim for the Hurricanes.  I had already started making mental notes for a Canes eulogy and for a concession letter to the gals at Interchangeable Parts.

But then….

The Canes decided that it wasn’t over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor.  Nothing was going to be over until they decided it was.  (please click the link if you don’t already get the joke)

Jussi Jokinen, the hero from the uber-dramatic game 4, scored a Finn-tastic (sorry) goal to tie it.  The crowd at the Rock and the Devils on the ice were shell-shocked.  Their shock turned to horror when Eric Staal fired a shot in from the right circle to win the game at 19:29 ....

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Filed in: | Red and Black Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: cam+ward, carolina+hurricanes, eric+staal, jussi+jokinen, new+jersey+devils, playoffs, ray+whitney, tuomo+ruutu

Ward, Canes shut out Sabres

One night after looking like the worst team in hockey, the Hurricanes came out and got an impressive and crucial road win by shutting out the Sabres 3-0. 

Eric Staal was a one-man wrecking crew in the first period.  He scored a power play goal by grabbing a puck out of the air, gloving it legally to himself, then firing a shot from the high slot.  It hit a Buffalo player on the way in and got past Miller.

Later, with a delayed penalty in hand, Staal worked his way through a trio of matadors and fired a shot from the low slot off Miller.  Chad LaRose pounced on the rebound to make it 2-0.  Staal had the primary assist and Anton Babchuk got the other.

As bad as Carolina looked in the previous two games, they came out with a ton of jump in the first period and set the tone of the game. 

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  Tags: buffalo+sabres, cam+ward, carolina+hurricanes, eric+staal

Cam Ward Wins Goaltender Duel

On Saturday night, the Hurricanes again had a “must win” game at home against the hapless Thrashers.  With goals by Matt Cullen and Ray Whitney and a shutout by Cam Ward, they got the job done.  The 2-0 win was the third shutout of the season for Ward and the 101st win of his career. 

I’ve seriously got to tip my hat to Atlanta netminder Kari Lehtonen.  Without his brilliant play, it could have easily been 8-0.

Cam Ward was sharp in the shutout, but he only faced 19 shots.  Lehtonen faced more than that in the first period alone. 

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Filed in: | Red and Black Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: atlanta+thrashers, cam+ward, carolina+hurricanes, kari+lehtonen, matt+cullen, shorhanded+goals

Staal, Ward lead Canes over Pens

On Tuesday, the Hurricanes used a 32-save outing by Cam Ward and Eric Staal’s 20th goal to outlast the Penguins 2-1 and catapult themselves back into the top eight in the East.

All season long, it’s been Good Canes/Bad Canes.  Tonight, the “Good” Canes showed up and won their second straight game as they head into the ASG.  Early in the game, it looked like Bad Canes, as they fell behind 1-0 early, then squandered a lengthy five-on-three in the first period.  Carolina recovered with a gorgeous power play goal late in the first, then the game-winner by Staal at 8:01 of the second.

To finish the game, Carolina killed a four minute high-sticking minor that ended up being a six-on-four power play.

For the second straight night, Tuomo Ruutu did some of the unglamorous things very well, and deserves a boatload of credit.

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Filed in: | Red and Black Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: cam+ward, carolina+hurricanes, eric+staal, pittsburgh+penguins, tuomo+ruutu

Ward, Canes shut out Leafs

On Monday night, the Hurricanes did something they hadn’t done in nearly two weeks: they won.  After losing five in a row including a pair of 5-1 undressings, the Canes finally got off the schneid.  Cam Ward was brilliant between the pipes and the Canes got goals from Joe (s)Corvo and Chad “Sharpie” LaRose to beat the Leafs 2-0.  They will take their one game winning “streak” to Pittsburgh on Tuesday before taking an entire week off for the ASG. 

Corvo’s power play goal was one of his patented laser beams from the top of the left circle late in the second.  It was his fourth game-winning goal and his eighth marker overall.  LaRose scored a back-breaking insurance goal with just four and a half seconds left in the second period.  However, it was the Hurricanes penalty killing and the outstanding play of Cam Ward that took center stage.

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  Tags: cam+ward, carolina+hurricanes, chad+larose, joe+corvo., joni+pitkanen, toronto+maple+leafs

Canes lose fourth in a row

On Thursday night, with a nearly full house, the Hurricanes lost a very exciting game 6-4 to the Leafs.  The game was pretty much a microcosm of the Hurricanes season.  Long stretches of disappointment punctuated with brief but intense moments of inspiration.  It was also one of the most intense regular season games I’ve ever attended. 

The Canes stood around for 37 minutes while the Leafs built a 4-0 lead.  Then they got a fluky goal from Matt Cullen with about two to play in the second.  The Canes came out on fire in the third, completely owning the first 12 minutes of the period.  On second period markers from Tuomo Ruutu, Eric Staal and Scott Walker, Carolina climbed all the way back to tie the game.  And then the wheels fell off.

Carolina gave up a four-on-three power play goal to Tomas Kaberle late in the third, then an empty netter from Jason Blake.  It completed the hat trick for Blake and closed the scoring out at 6-4. 

It was another painful loss, the fourth in a row.  However, some good things did happen, even if that only lasted 14 minutes.

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Filed in: | Red and Black Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: cam+ward, carolina+hurricanes, eric+staal, jason+blake, ray+whitney, tim+gleason, toronto+maple+leafs

Ward out, Williams maybe in

On Monday, the Hurricanes got a bit of bad news and a bit of good news. 

Cam Ward, who left Sunday’s game against the Ducks after the first period has been ruled out for at least a few games.  He has, apparently, suffered a groin injury.  Justin Peters has been called up from Albany to back up Michael Leighton. 

The good news is that Justin Viva Williams may play this week, perhaps as early as Thursday against the Penguins.  Williams suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon over the summer and was scheduled to be out for 4-6 months.  He recovered way ahead of schedule and has been practicing with full contact for about a week.

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Filed in: | Red and Black Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: cam+ward, carolina+hurricanes, injuries, justin+williams

Hurricanes win rough game on the Island

On Saturday, the Hurricanes needed some big-time heroics from goaltender Cam Ward to hang on to a 4-3 victory.  Although he was on the bench for the two previous games, he wasn’t the least bit rusty.  He made 57 saves, including a stop on a penalty shot with less than one second to play in regulation.  He was easily the game’s first star by anyone’s account.  Except, of course, the Islanders radio network, which picks the “official” three stars.  Somehow, they left Ward off the card entirely.  Although the game ended well, it wasn’t all pie and cake for Carolina.

The Hurricanes got off to a good start, pushing off to a 2-0 lead early in the first.  The last time the Hurricanes led a game 2-0 was March 28 of last season in a 7-1 win over the Thrashers.  Throughout the second and third periods, the Canes committed one penalty after another, putting themselves perpetually on the PK.  The good news is that the defense responded well to that, killing seven of eight penalties.  But there was bad news They gave up a shorthanded goal, and they lost two players to injury.

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Filed in: | Red and Black Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brandon+sutter, cam+ward, carolina+hurricanes, chad+larose, doug+weight, eric+staal, injuries, new+york+islanders

Canes lose, but look like ninjas doing it

On Monday, the Hurricanes lost their first game of the season 3-1 to the Red Wings.  Even though they lost the game, the Hurricanes can take some good things out of the game. 
They also debuted their new alternate third sweater, which is actually a whole uniform.  They looked stealthy and ninja-like with their black socks, black pants, black gloves, black sweater and black lids.  I like the uniform in action even more than I thought I would.  I wasn’t in the building tonight, but they looked sharp on teevee.

Unlike the first two games, Carolina actually looked good in all three zones in the first period.  Like the first two games, they were scored upon first.  Unlike the first two games, they were unable to come back.

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Filed in: Carolina Hurricanes, NHL Hockey, game summary, | Red and Black Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brandon+sutter, cam+ward, carolina+hurricanes, detroit+red+wings, ryan+bayda, ty+conklin

Canes close preseason with win

After losing the first three exhibition games (and looking bad doing so) the Hurricanes rattled off three straight wins to finish the preseason.  Carolina will start playing games that count on Friday with a home game against the Panthers.

Eric Staal and Ray Whitney scored today for a 2-0 shutout over the Preds.  Cam Ward went the distance, making 31 stops with both teams pretty much fielding the “A team”.

For the first time all preseason, Rod Brind’Amour played.  He skated 19 shifts for a total of 15:04 of ice time.  He took just 13 of the faceoffs, compared to 17 taken by Brandon Sutter.  This was pretty much the plan: to use him sparingly.

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Filed in: Carolina Hurricanes, | Red and Black Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brandon+sutter, cam+ward, carolina+hurricanes, eric+staal, joni+pitkanen, patrick+eaves, preseason, rod+brind'amour

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