Red and Black Hockey
Entries with the tag: phoenix coyotes
On Saturday night, the Hurricanes played the final game of a seven-game, 15,000 mile road trip. Just for fun, they took the final game to overtime. It was, at times, a beautiful game. It was, at times, a game reminiscent of the 14-game slide last season. In the end, though, the Hurricanes got the two points in Phoenix with the 4-3 win. On the road trip, they earned eight of a possible 14 points and will head for home on an overnight flight.
The mercurial defenseman Anton Babchuk potted the game winner in overtime after the Coyotes rallied from three goals down to force the extra session. In total, the Canes blueliners accounted for four of the nine scoring points in the game.
Although the Canes squandered the lead by giving up three quick goals in the third, they didn’t fold up the tent. They stayed focused. Cam Ward made some quality saves down the stretch, and they played aggressively in the extra frame.
On Thursday night, the Hurricanes announced that they have acquired the rights to right winger Jared Staal. Staal, who was the property of the Phoenix Coyotes, was acquired in exchange for a fifth round draft selection in this summer’s NHL Entry Draft. There was a time when Jared was believed to be the most talented of the four Staal boys, but he was the only one not to have been selected in the first round of the NHL Entry Draft. He was selected by the Coyotes with the 49th overall pick in the 2008 Entry Draft.
JaStaal is the only right-handed shot of the four Staal boys and the only right winger. In addition, he’s the only one not to have made an impact on the parent club in his first season as a pro. There is some speculation that although he has the most raw talent of the four Staal boys, he has the least ambition.
On Saturday, the Phoenix Coyotes shut out the Carolina Hurricanes 4-0. In the process, they did great damage to Carolina’s quixotic pursuit of the eighth and final playoff position in the East. Martin Hanzal and Lee Stempniak had two goals apiece while Ilya Bryzgalov shut the door 29 times against Canes shooters. The Hurricanes’ eight game home winning streak comes to a screeching halt and the hill to climb becomes that much steeper. Montréal helped the Canes by beating eighth place Boston 3-2, but none of that matters because the Canes failed to help themselves. The gap between the Canes and eighth place remains eight points.
Hurricanes coach Paul Maurice has announced that Brandon Sutter will not be able to play tonight against the visiting
Phoenix Coyotes. Sutter suffered a “lower body injury” Thursday night against the Penguins, and didn’t feel right today in the morning skate. Not that it matters, but depending on whose account you believe, Sutter was injured (1) in a collision with Bill Guerin; (b) after getting legs tangled with Kris Letang; (iii) after being checked by Evgeny Malkin; or (D) when he got a skate in a rut and lost an edge.
Coaches were hopeful that he would return to the lineup for tonight’s home game, but it’s not going to happen. Jerome Samson has been recalled from the Rats to fill the roster spot. In one previous recall, Samson (Sam-SAWN) had one assist and four PIMs in five games. He is, by miles, the stats leader in Albany with 62 (32/30) points in 65 games. The native Quebeccer wears the extremely unusual number 67 for the Canes and 17 for the Rats.
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about Carolina’s remaining schedule, and I picked out this three game road trip that just ended. I figured that the Canes would have been lucky to get two points out of the Vancouver / San Jose / Phoenix swing. Tonight, they smoked the Coyotes 7-2. Coupled with the big win in San Jose, they secured four points (and pissed two away).
Last season, the Hurricanes missed the playoffs by two points. There’s usually a team that misses out by one point or two. It’s easy for that team to look back a their schedule and pick out games that they gave away, pointing fingers at a game that slipped away. Hopefully, Carolina will find themselves in the playoffs and will be able to look back favorably at the big wins in tough buildings (San Jose and Phoenix).
Sergei Samsonov had a huge night for the Canes, racking up four (1/3) points while Tuomo Ruutu added another three (2/1). It was a good night all around as both specialty teams scored.
On Friday, the Hurricanes crushed the visiting Coyotes 5-2. Coach Wayne Gretzky’s comments about Eric Staal in the Raleigh paper this morning turned out to be kind of eerily prophetic. Not only did Staal snap his eight game goal scoring skid, but he had a hat trick and the game’s first star.
Added to that, Carolina kept Olli Jokinen off the scoresheet.
I predicted that Staal would come off the schneid tonight by getting “a cheap one”. I was wrong about that, but I’ll gladly take the three goals. None of them were cheap.
On Friday, Olli “Cane Killa” Jokinen and the Phoenix Coyotes will be in Raleigh for the first of two meetings between the teams this season. Phoenix has won the last four games between the teams and the Yotes are the only Pacific Division team who the Hurricanes have not beaten post-lockout.
Carolina was thrilled to see Jokinen traded away from Florida over the summer, as he has absolutely owned the Canes historically. In 50 career games against the Hurricanes, the Finn has 52 (20/32) points, which is the most points any player has scored against them.
Shutting him down will be priority number one for the Canes. On the other side, Phoenix is very aware of Eric Staal’s slide. They’re hoping to keep him on the schneid, but when a very good player is on a cold streak, coaches get nervous. So says Wayne Gretzky, anyway.