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Red and Black Hockey

Entries with the tag: new york rangers

It’s down to this

The Rangers have decided to make things a little more difficult for the Hurricanes. They’ve just beaten the Devils and now have 93 standings points.  Carolina must now win its game against the Lightning at 7:00.  As I said before, the Bolts can’t gain or lose anything tonight, so they might not be very hungry.  On the other hand, Carolina will be very hungry.  One thing that might come into play:  it doesn’t matter whether Carolina wins in regulation, overtime or shootout.  As long as they win.  The head-to-head tiebreaker would break a potential points tie and even an ROW tie. 

Both teams have been in this situation before.  Last season, the Rangers were kept out of the playoffs on the last day of the season when they lost a shootout game to the Flyers.  In 2008, the Hurricanes needed a win at home against the Panthers in their final game OR a Capitals loss to the same Panthers the next day.  It didn’t pan out for the Canes. 

And now everyone in Ranger nation will be watching Carolina tonight.  Henry and Linda Staal will be watching.  Jordan is already in the playoffs, and this game decides which of their other two NHL sons gets to go.

Filed in: | Red and Black Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: carolina+hurricanes, new+york+rangers, playoffs

Bad day / good day

Friday was a mixed bag of emotions for me.  Due to a budget crunch, I lost my job of six years.  That sort of takes all of the wind out of any sails.  On Friday night, on the strength of the Two Finns and a Skinner line, the Hurricanes routed the Thrashers 6-1 to put themselves in eighth place and in control of their own destiny.

The Rangers take on the Devils at 12:30 today, and every Canes fan will be watching that game closely.  If the Rangers lose, the Canes are in no matter what.  Whatever the Rangers do, the Canes have to match or better.  At this point, Carolina has control of the tiebreaker scenarios, and by 3:00, they’ll know what they need to do. 

If it comes down to needing a win at 7:00 tonight, Carolina has the benefit of playing against a team who has nothing to play for.  The Bolts have already locked up the fifth seed and nothing that happens today or tomorrow can change that.  Will they give Dwayne Roloson the night off?  Will they play their top lines less?  If they don’t go 100%, there may end up being a conspiracy theory about the Bolts tanking the game to put another SE team in.  None of that will matter if the Rangers lose.

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Filed in: | Red and Black Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: atlanta+thrashers, carolina+hurricanes, jeff+skinner, new+york+rangers, playoffs

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

Canes hopes take a hit

On Sunday, Carolina had a chance to put their destiny into their own hands.  Regardless of the outcome of the Rangers/Flyers game, if the Canes had beaten Buffalo in regulation, they would have moved ahead of Buffalo and into the playoff mix.  More importantly, they would have put themselves in a situation where they could control their own playoff destiny.  Things didn’t go well.  They went badly. Not catastrophically bad, but it wasn’t good. 

The Rangers won their game in a shootout, and that hurts the Canes. However, t’s potentially an advantage to the Canes that it was a shootout win.  Carolina lost their own game to Buffalo, 2-1 in overtime.  The consolation point is small consolation, but it might actually play a huge role on the final day of the season. 

Carolina now finds themselves two points behind the Rangers and three behind the Sabres with three games remaining for each team.  Although it isn’t a mathematical impossibility, catching the Sabres is extraordinarily improbable at this point.  To catch the Rangers, Carolina’s “magic number” is eight.  Any number of points that the Rangers fail to earn and points that the Hurricanes earn totaling eight will catapult Carolina over NYR. 

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Filed in: | Red and Black Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: buffalo+sabres, carolina+hurricanes, new+york+rangers, playoffs

A couple of scenarios for Sunday

After a great week for the Hurricanes, they’ve climbed out of a hole and are in a position to climb as high as seventh place on Sunday afternoon.  With four games to play, including the huge matchup with the Sabres on Sunday afternoon, there’s just two points separating seventh from ninth.  Depending on the outcome of that game and the outcome of the game between the Rangers and Flyers, Carolina might be pushed hard against the wall or they might be in seventh.  Or somewhere in between. 

There are a lot of different scenarios that could play out tomorrow.  Some of them involve tiebreakers from which Carolina would benefit.  While Carolina and Buffalo will each have three games remaining after Sunday, they’re both looking at that game as the most important game of the season. 

There are about two dozen scenarios with the two games, and I was gonna outline how each of them would impact the standings. but after about five scenarios, my head was swimming.  I’ll simplify it.

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Filed in: | Red and Black Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: buffalo+sabres, carolina+hurricanes, new+york+rangers, ryan+miller

Surging Canes very much in the race

A week ago tonight, I gave last

rights

rites to the Hurricanes after their home loss to the Lightning.  They were five points back of eighth place with a tough week ahead of them.  Since then,  all the Canes have done is win three straight games while Buffalo and the Rangers lost.  Suddenly, the Canes are just one point behind the eighth place Rangers and very much revitalized.  On Saturday, the Canes got another huge win on the road against a hot Islanders team.

Carolina was behind 2-1 after 40 minutes, and this was exactly where the Isles wanted to be.  They’re the third hottest team in the league since Christmas and they’d only lost one regulation game all season when leading after two.  Joe Corvo, Erik Cole and Eric Staal had plenty to say about that as they each scored in the third to give the Canes a 4-2 win.  Corvo had three points on the night and Cole had another game-winner.  He’s been Mr. Clutch in the second half and is looking more like the Cole we knew from before the injury. 

As I write, the Caps have just forced overtime against the Sabres, so Buffalo will be at least two points ahead of Carolina going into tomorrow’s enormous matchup at the RBC Center. 

Filed in: | Red and Black Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: buffalo+sabres, carolina+hurricanes, erik+cole, joe+corvo, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, playoffs

While idle, Canes fall to ninth

At the end of Thursday’s games, Carolina was in seventh place in the East with a tough game ahead of them and a few days off after that.  On Friday, they got smoked in Chicago, and dropped to eighth because the Rangers won their game.  Buffalo won back-to-back games on Saturday and Sunday.  The Rangers demolished the Flyers on Sunday.  All of this means that the Rangers are in seventh, the Sabres in eighth and the Hurricanes are on the outside looking in.
 
Coach Paul Maurice said

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“We had a terrible night yesterday and we didn’t play at all”.

 

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Filed in: | Red and Black Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: buffalo+sabres, carolina+hurricanes, new+york+rangers

McBain propels Canes to seventh place

On Thursday night at the RBC Center, the Hurricanes and Sabres played a playoff-style game that had huge implications for both squads.  The Sabres twice had a one-goal lead in the second period, but each time, the Canes answered back.  The game was knotted at two after 60 minutes, and it took a scant 26 seconds of overtime for the Canes to win it 3-2. 

Rookie defenseman Jamie McBain tallied the game winner with a blast from the right point with a screen from Eric Staal in front of the goal.  Ryan Miller never saw it.  It was McBain’s fifth goal of the season and his second career overtime game-winner. 

It was a sweet win for the home team, and to make matters even better, the Rangers lost in regulation.  This means that Carolina has 71 points and the Rangers 70.  Carolina is now in seventh place and still holds a game in hand against the eighth place Rangers.  The Canes would have preferred to have gotten this thing done in regulation to create some space between themselves and Buffalo, but the most important thing is that they got the two points.

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Filed in: | Red and Black Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: buffalo+sabres, carolina+hurricanes, jamie+mcbain, new+york+rangers

Canes blow late lead, then lose in shootout

On Tuesday night, the Hurricanes had a great chance to leapfrog the New York Rangers in the standings and move into seventh place in the East.  With two minutes left in the game, they had a 3-2 lead, and it looked they were indeed going to claim the regulation win and seventh place.  Instead, they gave up a late goal, then were beaten in the shootout.  The single point is pretty cool, but it isn’t at all what the Canes were hoping for. 

Carolina defenseman Jay Harrison scored his second goal of the season in the first period, but he inadvertently tipped the game-tying goal into his own net at 18:10 of the third. Wojtek Wolski was credited with that goal, and he also “scored” the game-deciding goal in shootout. 

Jussi Jokinen scored two third period goals for the Canes and Cam Ward made 43 saves. 

Carolina will be off until Friday, when they host the Penguins.

Filed in: | Red and Black Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: carolina+hurricanes, jussi+jokinen, new+york+rangers, wojtek+wolski

Huge game for Canes/Rangers

Tonight in Raleigh, the Hurricanes and Rangers will meet for the final time this season, and there’s quite a bit on the line.  If Carolina can win in regulation, they will move into a points tie with the Rangers, as both teams will have 66 points.  The first tiebreaker is games played, and since Carolina has a game in hand, they would move into seventh place in the East. 

So far this season, the Hurricanes have gone 2-0-1 against the Blueshirts, and the only other game at the RBC Center resulted in a 4-1 win for the Canes. 

Both teams have been struggling a bit of late, and now the Rangers are beset with injuries.  The biggest injury is the concussion symptoms that star Marian Gaborik is having.  He didn’t even accompany the team to Raleigh, so he’s likely to be out for a while.

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Filed in: | Red and Black Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: carolina+hurricanes, new+york+rangers

Canes’ second line heats up against Blueshirts

On Thursday, in the fourth of a tough five-game stretch, the Hurricanes played a sound game against the road-weary Rangers and ended up with a convincing 4-1 win.  The five game stretch got off to a great start with a 6-4 win at home against the Lightning last Saturday.  That was followed by a lackluster performance in a blowout 7-0 loss at Boston on Monday.  The next day, Carolina played a much better game, but still lost 3-2 in regulation to the Bs.  They have gained four of the eight available points so far and are still in fair shape, only two points behind the Thrashers with two games in hand.  Up next is a Saturday game at Pittsburgh, who will likely be without Sidney Crosby. 

Tonight, the newly formed second line of Jeff Skinner / Tuomo Ruutu / Chad LaRose did the heavy lifting.  Skinner and Sharpie each had a goal and an assist while Ruutu pitched in with two assists.  Jussi Jokinen scored again and Brandon Sutter lit the lamp for the first time in 16 games. 

Cam Ward made 39 saves to earn the win.

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Filed in: | Red and Black Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: carolina+hurricanes, chad+larose, jeff+skinner.+tuomo+ruutu, new+york+rangers

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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Filed in: | Red and Black Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: cam+ward, carolina+hurricanes, eric+staal, new+york+rangers

Skinner has big night in Canes win

On Friday night, the Hurricanes traveled to Madison Square Garden to play the Rangers on the front end of a back-to-back set.  18-year old Jeff Skinner, who was Carolina’s first round pick in this summer’s draft with the seventh overall pick, had a massive night for the visiting team.  He had two goals and an assist, including a real highlight reel play for his second of the game and third of the season.
All four goals came from the second line of Skinner/Tuomo Ruutu/Erik Cole, and that trio also added four of the seven assists.  With play like that, they might become the top line.

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Filed in: | Red and Black Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: carolina+hurricanes, erik+cole, jeff+skinner, new+york+rangers, tuomo+ruutu

Canes busy trading day

The Hurricanes entered the 2010 Entry Draft with a league-high eleven picks.  Although they didn’t make a big move to parlay some of the three second rounders into an additional first rounder, they were busy making trades with those draft picks.  I’ll analyze the draft selections later.  For now, I’ll give a rundown of the trades that brought a forward prospect, a free agent forward prospect and a defenseman who may be NHL-ready.

Full details after the jump

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Filed in: | Red and Black Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: bob+sanguinetti, carolina+hurricanes, draft, edmonton+oilers, jon+matsumoto, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, riley+nash, trades

Bubble teams fail to show up against Canes

For the second straight game on Wednesday, the Hurricanes faced a team on the Eastern Conference playoff bubble.  For the second game in a row, that bubble team took the Canes too lightly.  And for the second straight game, the Hurricanes emerged with a 5-1 win.

On Sunday, it was the Bruins who came to the RBC Center but were not ready to play.  Like the Canes, they are a team with four regulars out of the lineup, but their effort was horrible.  Carolina played well, but it should also be noted that Boston stank.  They skated for about five minutes of the first period, then fell completely apart.

On Wednesday, the Rangers stunk up their own barn with a sad performance which will temporarily knock them out of the top eight.

Eric Staal netted another two goals tonight, bringing him to 17 on the season and seven in four games since being anointed captain.  Despite his detractors in Caniac Nation, he’s on fire and looking more like the Staal of 2005/06.

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Filed in: | Red and Black Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: carolina+hurricanes, eric+staal, new+york+rangers

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

Carolina sets new franchise mark

On Thursday night, the Hurricanes won their seventh straight game and their tenth in a row at home.  The latter is a new franchise record.  The final score was 4-2, with Eric Staal and Rod Brind’Amour each scoring one and Chad LaRose notching two, including the game-winner. 
Simultaneous with the start of the game, Chad LaRose was featured on the NHL Network’s “A Day in the Life”.  Most of the program surrounded him antagonizing Sean Avery in the March 9 game between these same two teams.  It was a big day for the little guy.

Carolina has now leapfrogged Pittsburgh and Philly into fourth place.  The Canes have 93 standings points and four remaining games.  They still haven’t guaranteed a playoff spot, but this makes it almost a certainty.

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Filed in: | Red and Black Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: carolina+hurricanes, chad+larose, eric+staal, new+york+rangers, ray+whitney

Canes Back in action after long break

The Hurricanes will be back on the ice tonight after having a four day break.  Tonight’s game against the Rangers will be the first of four straight home games for the Canes, who have won nine in a row at the RBC Center.  They also have a six game overall win streak on the line. 

If the Hurricanes can continue their winning ways, they’ll find themselves in fourth place, and they’ll be able to fully entertain the idea of having home ice in the first round of the playoffs. 

Also, don’t forget to set the DVR.  Chad LaRose will be the featured player in the NHL Network’s “A Day in the Life” series.  They followed him around on March 9, when the Rangers were last in town.  The Canes won 3-0, but LaRose didn’t have any scoring points that night.  Still, it should be a lot of fun

Filed in: | Red and Black Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: carolina+hurricanes, chad+larose, new+york+rangers

The homestretch

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.

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Filed in: | Red and Black Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: buffalo+sabres, carolina+hurricanes, florida+panthers, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, playoff+picture

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