Kukla's Korner

Red and Black Hockey

Entries with the tag: colorado avalanche

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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Filed in: | Red and Black Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brandon+sutter, cam+ward, carolina+hurricanes, colorado+avalanche, jeff+skinner

Canes make lots of deals, but not “the big one”

On the trading deadline day, Carolina Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford was very busy.  He made five transactions, which sent a total of six players out of Raleigh.  In return, the Canes organ-eye-zation is getting four players and five picks.  Just one of the four players is NHL ready, but they’ll be picking up a third round, fourth round, sixth round and seventh round pick in this summer’s draft, plus a second round pick in 2011.  There are two very important things going on with these trades that will help Carolina immensely.  First, they’re going to immediately save money, getting some of these contracts off the books.  And they instantly get much younger.  Five Canes players who were traded are over the age of thirty, and they only gave away one prospect.  In return, they’re getting one NHL player, three prospects, and the picks.
Among the bevy of trades, Ray Whitney remains a Hurricane.  He was considered to be a highly sought after player in the trade market, but nobody was able to make an attractive enough offer.  I’ll try to make quick analysis of each of the trades.  I realize that I might be among the minority in Caniac Nation, but I really like what Jim Rutherford did today.

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Filed in: | Red and Black Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: aaron+ward, anaheim+ducks, andrew+alberts, carolina+hurricanes, colorado+avalanche, joe+corvo, scott+walker, stephane+yelle, trade+deadline, vancouver+canucks, washington+capitals

Canes beat Avs, lose Ruutu

This season has been a house of horrors for the Canes.  Not only have they been losing a lot of games, but they’ve been losing a lot of players too.  For Friday night’s game against the Avalanche, six skaters were from the American League.  For Sunday’s game against the Senators, we’ll need to make that seven.

Back in late October, the Canes traveled to Denver where they lost a rollercoaster game to the Avs.  In that game, Tuomo Ruutu was given a boarding major, game misconduct and a two game suspension for running Darcy Tucker from behind.  Ruutu was taken to task for this, and he won the battle but lost the war.

Carolina won the game 2-1, just barely finding a way to deny Cam Ward his first shutout of the season.  There were some really good things in this game.  Losing Tuomo Ruutu to injury is not one of them.  The Hurricanes will now have to make another call down to Albany, where the cupboard is beginning to run bare.

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Filed in: | Red and Black Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: albany+river+rats, carolina+hurricanes, colorado+avalanche, injuries, tuomo+ruutu

Canes, Cullen bury Avalanche

On Sunday afternoon, the Hurricanes beat the visiting Avalanche for the first time ever, and did it in convincing fashion.  With 3 goals from Matt Cullen, some outstanding “character” play from Tim Conboy, and a balanced 60 minute game, the Hurricanes emerged with a 5-2 win.  They are now just one point out of eighth place and four points out of fourth place in the East.  The Rangers game is still pending tonight, but the Penguins have already lost, which helps Carolina’s cause.  The three other teams that Carolina is chasing (Buffalo, Montréal and Floriday) will all be in action on Tuesday, when the Hurricanes play in Ottawa.  If things go well, Carolina could be in fifth place by 10:00 pm on Tuesday. 

Matt Cullen registered his 17th, 18th and 19th goals of the season to get his first career hat trick.  The final goal, an empty netter, was set up very unselfishly by Ray Whitney.  The Wizard had a perfectly clear shot on the empty net, but opted for a difficult cross-ice pass to the trailing Cullen.  Cully made no mistake in finishing it.  In addition to being the first of Cully’s career, it was the first hat trick scored against Colorado all season. 

He won’t get much accolade, but Tim Conboy played a huge role in setting the tone of this game early on.

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Filed in: | Red and Black Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: carolina+hurricanes, colorado+avalanche, matt+cullen

Back in Black—- Canes host Avs

Today the Hurricanes will be hosting the Westerm Conference cellar dweller Avalanche.  They may be in last place, but they’ve won four games in a row even without Joe Sakic, Paul Stastny and J-M Liles.  They’re also the only team that Carolina has never beaten.  The last time the Whaler/Canes beat the Nordique/Avs was thirteen years ago.  On February 9, 1996, the Whale beat the Avs 3-2 in overtime.  The Avs were a machine that year.

Carolina will be wearing the alternate uniforms today.  In eleven previous outings wearing black, Carolina is 4-5-2.  Incidentally, the two overtime losses wearing black were both on the road.

The key to this game will be for Eric Staal to be active.  The earlier the better.  When he is, good things happen.  The Canes are 16-2-1 when Staal scores at least one goal.  He has two consecutive multi-point nights. 

Tim Conboy, who can play defense or wing, will remain in the lineup.  Brandon Sutter will most likely be a healthy scratch. 

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Filed in: | Red and Black Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: carolina+hurricanes, colorado+avalanche, eric+staal

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