Red and Black Hockey
Entries with the tag: montreal canadiens
On Wednesday night, the Hurricanes got a two huge standings points, and one of their few lopsided victories on the season. Rookie forward Jeff Skinner and rookie defenseman Jamie McBain each chipped in two goals to lead the way in a 6-2 pounding of the visiting Canadiens. Joni Pitkanen and Cory Stillman also scored for the Canes.
Meanwhile, at the HSBC Arena, the Sabres got a 1-0 shutout over the Rangers. This means that Carolina is still three points behind the Sabres (and now also three points behind the Rangers) with just five games to play. The Sabres have a slightly tougher road to hoe down the stretch, but the Canes can only concern themselves with their own games. The most important of the five remaining games is the home game against the Sabres on Sunday.
On Saturday night, Carolina went to la belle province, where they have had success in the past. They didn’t have success tonight, falling 4-3 in regulation. It looked like the Canes were going to earn at least a point, but Andrei Kostitsyn scored the game-winning goal at 16:07. Meanwhile, the Sabres earned one point in a shootout loss to the Red Wings. Now, the Sabres are just two points behind the Hurricanes for the eighth and final playoff spot in the east, with two games in hand. The only saving grace there is that the Sabres had a lead in their game with less than a minute to play, but gave it away and only earned the single point. Watching the post-game interviews, neither Ryan Miller nor Lindy Ruff was happy with the single point.
For about the millionth time in a row, Carolina’s power play was an area of concern. They were 0-4 on the power play, including a four minute double minor. On the other side, Carolina was only penalized once and les Habitants cashed in with the game-winner in that scenario.
On Tuesday, the Hurricanes earned one standings point and lost another goaltender. Carolina had a one goal lead late in the third period, but Manny Legace gave up a bad goal to Sergei Kostitsyn which sent the game into overtime. In the overtime period, Carolina had a man advantage for the final two minutes of play, but failed to cash in on the four-on-three advantage.
The shootout went six rounds, with Maxim Lapierre getting the goal and Carey Price making an improbable skate save on Matt Cullen.
Carolina has earned points in three straight games, and Brandon Sutter scored again. These are good things. But the rather bad news is that Michael Leighton suffered an apparent groin injury in the second period.
I’ve just taken a couple of days away from the blog, as I am forced to do twice a year when work puts everything else on hold for an entire weekend. Now, back to the hockey business.
Carolina has eleven games remaining and they are clinging to the eighth and final playoff spot. Both Florida and Buffalo, who are chasing, have games in hand and could easily catch the Canes. There is a possibility that the Rangers or even Montréal could collapse down the stretch and fall out of the race. However, Carolina should keep their focus on taking care of their own business.
I figure they’ll need 95 points to guarantee a spot in the playoffs, which means they’ll have to earn 16 out of 22 points down the stretch. 7-2-2. 8-3-0. 6-1-4. Whatever. They may be able to do it with 93, but either way, it’s going to be tough. They’re going to have to win, and it isn’t going to be easy. Of their 11 remaining games, three are against the Devils, and two of those are in the swamp. They will have home games against playoff teams Washington, Rangers and the smokin’ hot Penguins. Sure, they have two home games against the lowly Islanders, but that doesn’t do much to soften the blow of having to play three against the Devils.
Carolina is, without a doubt, going to have to “steal” some of their final games and they won’t be able to give any away.
On Tuesday, the Hurricanes took advantage of 11 power play opportunities, cashing in on three of them to defeat the visiting Canadiens 3-2. In the process, Eric Staal potted two goals and Sergei Samsonov earned two assists.
Slowly but surely, Staal is getting back to where he should be. And so are the Canes. There’s no denying that this has been a sub-par season for the Canes in the win column and for Staal on the stats sheet. In the past six games, Carolina has earned seven standings points. For the first time all season, they’ve earned at least a point in four consecutive games. Eric Staal has a four game point streak, which is also a first this season. In those four games, #12 has seven (4/3) points, including two two-goal games.
It’s great to see Staal coming to life because thus far this season, that old saying is perfectly applicable. “As Staal goes, so go the Canes.” When he scores, the Canes are 7-0-1.
Sergei Samsonov is also coming to life. In the last six games, he has six (2/4) points. He, too, is getting to the kind of production he was giving the Canes last season.
On an unseasonably cold night Tuesday, the Hurricanes defeated the visiting Canadiens 2-1.
Carolina dominated the first period, then spend the entire second period in the box. Finally, they dominated the third period, getting two goals and the win.
Sergei Samsonov is finally off ye olde schneid. His game tying goal very early in the third was quickly followed by Ray Whitney’s winner about three minutes later. How did Sammy end his cold streak? He put his sticks in a bucket of ice. Who knew?
Here’s one of the many perils of using a 100% digital voting process for the all-star game.
Here’s the code, which came with instructions posted on an Habs message board.
Ingenious? You bet. In “the spirit of the thing”? Absolutely not.
It’s a completely ludicrous process anyway. Penguins defensemen Sergei Gonchar and Ryan Whitney are on the ballot, despite the fact that neither player has played a single game and neither will meet the eligibility requirements even when they do return from injury.