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Red and Black Hockey

Entries with the tag: tuomo ruutu

Finland, Ruutu making their own luck at Worlds

This year’s IIHF World Championships have been pretty wild.  Some countries have played much better than expected and others haven’t performed as well as expected.  Finland is always expected to be in the medal hunt, but this year, they’re being accused of being lucky rather than good. 

There’s a story on the story on the IIHF home page about how Finland, and specifically Tuomo Ruutu, a href=“http://www.iihf.com/channels-11/iihf-world-championship-wc11/news/news-singleview-2011/article/bounces-players-best-friend.html?tx_ttnews[backPid]=4926&cHash=3de9549f67”>has been in the right place at the right time with a lot of frequency. 

Finland is no stranger to luck at the IIHF tournament.  I’m sure we all remember the 2008 game between Finland and the USA, when Ville Koistinen was credited with a goal that should not have counted.  More on that in a bit.  This year, they’ve been the benefactor of some lucky bounces, but the bottom line is that they’ve put themselves in the spot to reap those benefits.  The harder you work, the more good luck you will have.  Something like that, anyway.

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Filed in: | Red and Black Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: 2011+iihf+world+championships, finland, tuomo+ruutu

Peters, Canes win again

On Sunday afternoon, the Hurricanes won their second straight game, extending their points streak to seven games.  Since Boxing Day, they have earned 12 of 14 points and have kept themselves in position to climb inside the playoff picture.

Since Cam Ward is nursing a minor undisclosed injury, Justin Peters got his second start in a row, and although it was closer than it should have been, he got the two points and the Hurricanes are looking good as they hit the halfway mark of the season.

Although the JET line wasn’t paired togethter today, they were again the stars.  Tuomo Ruutu had a goal and an assist, rookie Jeff Skinner got his 14th of the season, and Erik Cole notched the overtime game winner.  Cole also was at the center of a controversial play that could have been a goal, but instead he was penalized for interfering with a Thrashers defenseman.

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Filed in: | Red and Black Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: altlanta+thrashers, carolina+hurricanes, erik+cole, jeff+skinner, justin+peters, tuomo+ruutu

Canes eat Panthers’ lunch

On Friday night, the Hurricanes played the Panthers for the second time this week, and it had a familiar theme.  The Panthers got off to an early multi-goal lead, then watched it evaporate.  On Monday, the Canes stormed back from a two-goal deficit in the third period to force overtime and steal a point with an overtime loss.  On December 15, the Canes overcame a three-goal deficit against the Panthers to win in regulation, stealing two standings points.  Last night, they were behind 2-0 in the second, but scored five unanswered goals to run away with a win and two stolen points. 

Rookie Jeff Skinner was by far the best player on the ice, with two goals, an assist, and a couple of skating clinics.  Tuomo Ruutu had three assists and Erik Cole added two goals.  The JET line wasn’t together for the whole game, but they collectively had eight (4/4) points. 

Justin Peters got the nod in nets because Cam Ward came down with some “undisclosed” concern.  He probably would have started anyway, but now it looks like he could get two starts in a row.

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Filed in: | Red and Black Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: carolina+hurricanes, erik+cole, florida+panthers, jeff+skinner, justin+peters, tuomo+ruutu

Skinner and the Canes climb out of three goal deficit to earn win in Florida

On Wednesday night, the Hurricanes found themselves in an early 3-0 hole against the Florida Panthers, but they found a way to climb all the way back for a 4-3 regulation win.  18-year old Jeff Skinner had a lot to do with it.  He was officially the second star of the game, but by my recollection, he was the best player on the ice. 

I was out, ostensibly working, but in reality drinking a limited batch Sierra Nevada beer, so I didn’t watch the game live.  I have a bad habit of checking the score, even when I’m DVRing the game, and I did that a lot early.  I saw that Carolina had given up three goals in the first six minutes, and I didn’t bother checking any more after that.  Much to my surprise, when I watched the DVR, I saw my boys climb the mountain and emerge with an improbable win.  It came on the shoulders of Jeff Skinner, Tuomo Ruutu and backup netminder Justin Peters.

Cam Ward, who had been blazing hot in goal in his last ten starts, had a bad night.  In just 102 seconds, he allowed two goals on five shots and was replaced by Peters.

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Filed in: | Red and Black Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: carolina+hurricanes, florida+panthers, jeff+skinner, justin+peters, tuomo+ruutu

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

Tuomo Ruutu done for the season

The Carolina Hurricanes dug themselves in a very deep hole with a14-game losing streak early in the season and horrendous play throughout the first half.  Since January 1, they’ve been playing very good hockey and had actually put themselves in a position to discuss playoff possibilities.  Their main enemy over the last few weeks hasn’t been the Boston Bruins (who are currently in eighth place) or any of their division rivals; it’s been the calendar.  One more month of games, and they’d be sitting pretty.  Unfortunately, they’ve gone on a mini-skid, losing two games in a row.  And while Boston has been winning their own games to make it worse, the Canes have started to suffer injuries again. 

Tim Gleason has a busted foot and will miss all but maybe the last game of the season.  Cam Ward is on the recovery trail from a back injury.  The latest victim is Tuomo Ruutu, who has been playing through shoulder pain.  The team announced today that Ruutu will undergo surgery on his right shoulder on Thursday and will miss the remainder of the season.

Drayson Bowman has been recalled from Albany to fill the roster void.

Filed in: | Red and Black Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: carolina+hurricanes, drayson+bowman, injuries, tuomo+ruutu

Tuomo Ruutu to miss several games

Tuomo Ruutu injured his right hand in a fight with Colorado’s Darcy Tucker on Friday night, and the first “official” news is that he’ll be out of the lineup for a couple of weeks.  So far, there are no further details about the extent of his “upper body” (right hand) injury.  This means that Carolina is now simultaneously missing six of its top nine forwards and one of its top four defenseman.

Some of the previously injured players are starting to skate in no-contact drills, but none is ready to return.  Eric Staal is attending a funeral today, and it’s extremely unlikely that he’ll be back for Sunday afternoon’s game.  They will need to call up yet another River Rat.  There will be almost as many Rats in the room as Canes.  At this point, the fans should be wearing Rats gear in the stands of the RBC Center. 

My guess is that Drayson Bowman will be the newest callup.  We’ll probably find out sometime today.

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

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 down Stars.  It’s all about the Finns

On Wednesday, rumors spread that Carolina will be opening the 2010-11 season with two games in Finland.  Maybe all that excitement about the Finnish trip had something to do with it, and maybe it was just some sort of synchronicity, but Carolina’s three native Finns played very well in Carolina’s 5-3 victory over the visiting Dallas Stars.  At the end of it all, Tuomo Ruutu got his first career hat trick, even if Ray Whitney almost messed it up.

Nothing has been announced, and nothing will be announced for another couple of months, but there’s some very strong suggestion that Carolina will be one of the teams starting their season in Europe next season, and everything is pointing towards Finland.  With Carolina’s three Finns, the games would be certain to draw huge crowds.  According to what I’ve heard, although the teams lose home games, the league gives them financial benefits from the Europe games.  Season ticket holders would lose one game, but they obviously wouldn’t have to pay for it.  The Finns get to play at home.  Everybody wins. 


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Filed in: | Red and Black Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: carolina+hurricanes, dallas+stars, eric+staal, finland, joni+pitkanen, jussi+jokinen, tuomo+ruutu

Legace and the Finns win again.

Carolina extended their streak of earning points to five games with an impressive 3-1 win over the visiting Bolts.  It was only the second regulation win of the season for Carolina and it snapped a streak of four straight overtime games and three straight shootouts. 

Brandon Sutter had a four game point streak snapped, but still played a good game.  Jussi Jokinen extended his points streak to four games with the game-winning goal.  In the past four games he has three goals and an assist. 

Manny Legace played with confidence, played well, and had the guys in front of him play well.  It was probably the most complete game this team has played all season.

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Filed in: | Red and Black Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: carolina+hurricanes, chad+larose, jussi+jokinen, manny+legace, tampa+bay+lightning, tuomo+ruutu

Ruutu, Cole and the Canes snatch victory from the jaws of defeat

On Thursday night, the Hurricanes hosted the Maple Leafs with a good chance to stretch their points streak to four games.  Although things didn’t go well early on, they battled back.  Although they gave up a would-be game winning goal with 30 seconds remaining in the third, they never gave up.  Erik Cole scored with two seconds remaining, and then the Finns took care of business in the shootout.  Carolina emerged with a gutsy 6-5 win and they have crawled out of the Eastern conference cellar.  Baby steps.

The Canes spotted the Leafs one goal, allwing Matt Stajan to score on the Leafs second shot of the game at 1:01 of the first.  Lee Stempniak added one at 14:21 and Mikail Grabovski another at 18:26.  Things, seemingly, were about to fall apart.  However, as they have done repeatedly this month, they refused to let a two or three goal deficit cancel their will to compete.  Instead of folding like a rented futon, they displayed a little sisu and fought back.  And won.

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Filed in: | Red and Black Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: carolina+hurricanes, erik+cole, sisu, tim+gleason, toronto+maple+leafs, tuomo+ruutu

The streak is over!

On Sunday, the Hurricanes finally ended their horrific 14-game winless streak.  It wasn’t the prettiest win in the world, but since there’s no column in the standings for “ugly win”, we’ll chalk it up in the “W” column.  Twice, the Canes had three goal leads in the second period.  With 6:15 to play in the second, the Canes had a 4-1 lead, but the next eight minutes of gameplay were a train wreck.  Fortunately, the Canes emerged out of the shootout with a win, and a tremendous weight was lifted off of the RBC Center.  The kind of weight that’s lifted only when one’s career depends on it.

The weight was lifted off the players, the fans, the PA announcer, the hot dog vendors, the organist, and just about anybody who has any connection to this team.  The celebration on the ice and in the stands was sort of like the ones we’ve seen after winning playoff series, and at this point, it feels about the same.

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Filed in: | Red and Black Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brandon+sutter, carolina+hurricanes, michael+leighton, minnesota+wild, ray+whitney, tuomo+ruutu

Canes streak continues

On Friday night, the Hurricanes dropped their 14th consecutive game, even if they managed to force overtime.  Since October 9, they have gone 0-10-4.  However, the news isn’t all bad. 

On Wednesday, the Canes overcame a two goal deficit only to lose 5-2.  On Friday, they overcame a horrible first period in which they fell behind 3-0.  Tim Gleason took a really dumb double minor early in the game which ended up spotting the Islanders two goals, but it was his goal late in the third that forced overtime.  The Canes were 14 seconds away from going to shootout when defenseman Bryan Rodney, recently called up from Albany, committed a bad turnover deep in the Canes zone.  This led directly to the winning goal and although the Canes looked like they would end the horrible streak, they added one more tick mark to the locker room wall. 

The good news is that some of the forwards are starting to play well.  With five (3/2) points in his last seven games, Brandon Sutter has looked like a Sutter, and Tuomo Ruutu is starting to assert himself.  And for only the second time in this dry spell, the Canes scored more than two goals.  That’s a start.

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Filed in: | Red and Black Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brandon+sutter, carolina+hurricanes, losing+streak, manny+legace., minnesota+wild, new+york+islanders, tuomo+ruutu

Canes keep losing, Rats keep winning

The Hurricanes four game road trip came to a close on Saturday, and they didn’t have much to show for it.  They lost a rollercoaster 5-4 game in Denver on Friday, then lost 3-2 in overtime at Minnesota on Saturday.  On the four game trip, the Canes only managed two standings points and have yet to win on the road.  For the third time this season, they will now have three days off before their next game.  Wednesday night, they’ll be back in the RBC Center against the Blues.  While they’ve been lousy on the road, the Canes have grabbed five out of eight standings points at home. 

While the Canes are struggling, the Albany River Rats are doing well.  They have a record of 5-3-0 and sit atop the Eastern division.  More importantly, they beat the Adirondack Phantoms 3-2 on Saturday to grab a two games to none lead in the 12-game season series with the hated rival.

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  Tags: albany+river+rats, brandon+sutter, carolina+hurricanes, ray+whitney, tuomo+ruutu

Canes get it going against Cats

On Friday night against the visiting Florida Panthers, the Hurricanes finally figured out how to get the puck in the net.  Seven different guys scored goals and twelve different guys had scoring points in a 7-2 romp of the Cats.  The Canes continued to have success in the black sweaters as they wore them for the first time this season. 
While the penalty killers got better, the power play units did not, and that continues to be a major area of concern.  The Canes were limited to three power play chances, and failed to score even in a minute of five-on-three.  On the other side, the Canes killed off all six shorthanded situations including 40 seconds of a two man disadvantage. 

Tom Kostopoulos scored the game’s first goal on a shorthanded situation after forcing a turnover in the Florida zone.  The unassisted goal came at 7:00 of the first.  After that, it was all gravy.

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  Tags: andrew+alberts., carolina+hurricanes, florida+panthers, jussi+jokinen, tuomo+ruutu

Finns get Canes off the schneid

On Tuesday night, the Finnish connection got the job done in Carolina, handing them their first win of the season.  It took a shootout to break a 1-1 tie with the Lightning, and the Hurricanes were successful. 

This was one of those odd games that fell through the cracks, and wasn’t broadcast by either team’s network.  This meant that, even with the Center Ice package, this game wasn’t on television.  Thank goodness for internet radio and Chuckandtheletterk. 

This was the first game of the season for defenseman Joni Pitkänen, who had knee surgery over the summer.  Unfortunately, he didn’t last the whole game.  However, he and the other Finns all pitched in for the win.  It was also the first game of the season for tough guy utility player Tim Conboy.  As I expected, he spent more time in the box than on the ice.  I sincerely hope that this experiment will come to a rapid end and one of the skilled forwards from Albany is recalled. 

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Filed in: | Red and Black Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: carolina+hurricanes, joni+pitkanen, jussi+jokinen, tampa+bay+lightning, tuomo+ruutu

Canes, Ruutu agree to three year pact

On Thursday, the Hurricanes made a very nice announcement.  Tuomo Ruutu has been re-signed to a three year deal valued at $11.4M.  He will be paid $3M in 2009-10, $4M in 2010-11 and $4.4M in 2011-12.  The 26-year old Finn, who was the ninth overall pick in the 2001 Entry Draft, is coming off his best NHL season and his only postseason.  He put up new career bests in goals (26), assists (28) and points (54).  He also led the Hurricanes with 228 hits in the regular season.  He had just four (1/3) points in 16 playoff games this spring.

In addition to being a reliable offensive player, Ruutu is a very big hitter and a fierce competitor.  He was acquired from Chicago on February 26, 2008 in exchange for Andrew Ladd, who was the fourth overall pick in 2004.  I think it’s safe to say that both teams have benefited from this trade.  It took no time at all for Ruutu to endear himself to the Caniacs, as he made a big impact before he had even been in Raleigh for an hour.  For details and video of that, read on

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  Tags: carolina+hurricanes, tuomo+ruutu

Ruutu one of 20 NHLers to file for arbitration

On Sunday, the NHLPA announced a list of 20 NHL players who have filed for an arbitration hearing with their respective clubs.  Tuomo Ruutu, a RFA, is the only Hurricanes player on that list.  The date of Ruutu’s hearing isn’t known yet, but the hearings begin on July 20 and will conclude on August 4.

Last summer, Chad LaRose filed for arbitration, but he and the Hurricanes came to an agreement just a couple of days after filing and a couple of weeks before his scheduled hearing.  The last time the Hurricanes actually had an arbitration hearing was when Jeff O’Neill was awarded $1.5M ...  cue Conan O’Brien ... in the year 2000.

The Hurricanes have offered a perfunctory qualifying sheet, which was presumably $2.25M.  This is what they must offer according to the CBA.  Although they have most likely offered him more than that in negotiations, they have obviously been unable to reach an agreement.  Yet.  More often than not, these things don’t even make it to the hearing.  I certainly hope this one doesn’t.

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Filed in: | Red and Black Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: arbitration, carolina+hurricanes, tuomo+ruutu

Canes off-season.  The forwards

So we’ve got a few days before the Awards Show, then another week before the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.  Carolina will have the 27th overall pick, and most prognosticators are saying that Carolina will draft a defenseman. 

A few days after the draft, the real fun begins.  The free agent signing period.  Carolina has never been a big spender in the FA signing period, and I don’t expect them to be this summer.  Their primary focus will be on re-signing the guys they have, then picking someone up in the bargain bin.  Last summer, they were inactive in the FA market, but made the blockbuster trade with the Oilers, sending Erik Cole that way for Joni Pitkänen.

This summer, while some people are dreaming up elaborate ways to get Dany Heatley here, I expect little if any activity from the Hurricanes camp.  At least not as far as the forwards are concerned.

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Filed in: | Red and Black Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: carolina+hurricanes, chad+larose, erik+cole, free+agency, jussi+jokinen, tuomo+ruutu

Cole Ruutu doubtful for game two

The headline of the article in the N&O says that Erik Cole and Tuomo Ruutu are “questionable” for Thursday’s game two with Pittsburgh.  The text of the article suggests that it’s worse than that.  Canes GM Jim Rutherford and head trainer Pete Friesen both said that it “doesn’t look good for either player”.

Both players suffered knee injuries in game one resulting from questionable hits by the Pens.  Mark Eaton was not penalized for his play on Ruutu (which some people are wrongly calling a slew foot).  Nor was Matt Cooke for his knee on Cole.  Neither player will be facing supplemental discipline.

The officials and the league got it wrong with Ovechkin v Gonchar, and they have gotten it wrong with Cooke v Cole.  I’m not calling Cooke a dirty player, but the play was very dangerous and it resulted in an injury.  If they don’t tighten up their officiating and disciplinary standards, things could get really ugly.  Frontier justice is not a pretty thing.

Filed in: | Red and Black Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: erik+cole, injuries, playoffs, tuomo+ruutu

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

Jokinen beats buzzer

Holy cow!  A miracle at the RBC Center!

Jussi Jokinen deflected the game-winning goal with two tenths of a second left.  The last time I saw anything like that was when Kevyn Adams scored a shorthanded overtime goal with one tenth of a second left at Atlanta on March 5, 2004.

Carolina dominated the first 39 minutes of the game, building a 3-0 lead.  Eric Staal and Ryan Bayda scored one minute apart in the opening frame to give the media (and Carolina fans) what they wanted: a game where Carolina took the lead.  The Canes also did what every Canes blogger was begging them to do:  they shot the puck.  And they established a forecheck and offensive pressure.  And they forced New Jersey to take penalties.  And they got physical.  And they neutralized Parise/Zajac. 

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  Tags: brian+gionta, carolina+hurricanes, chad+larose, dainius+zubrus, dennis+seidenberg, eric+staal, jussi+jokinen, new+jersey+devils, playoffs, tuomo+ruutu

Staal, Canes destroy Tampa

On Saturday night, the Hurricanes scored a season high nine goals in a rout of the Tampa Bay Lightning.  Eric Staal had a career high six (4/2) points, which matches a franchise mark set by Ron Francis back in the Hartford days.  Carolina did all its scoring in the first 40 minutes, then eased off the throttle, settling for a 9-3 final.

Staal’s six point night was huge, but his first line mates also had huge nights of their own.  Tuomo Ruutu pitched in with five (2/3) points and Erik Cole had four (0/4).  15 points out of the top line is one heck of a night.  There was way too much scoring to enumerate the goals, but it was one shorthanded goal, two power play goals and six even strength markers.  When it didn’t matter, Tampa scored two unanswered goals in the third.

On Carolina’s current three-game winning streak, they’ve scored 20 goals and given up just six.

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  Tags: carolina+hurricanes, eric+staal, erik+cole, tampa+bay+lightning, tuomo+ruutu

Canes destroy Yotes, end road trip

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.

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  Tags: carolina+hurricanes, chad+larose, phoenix+coyotes, sergei+samsonov, tuomo+ruutu

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

Canes climb to seventh

With a 2-1 win over the Blues on Friday night, the Hurricanes moved out of a two-way tie for the eighth spot in the East and into sole possession of seventh place, leapfrogging Buffalo and Pittsburgh in a single bound.  Both teams have a game in hand, and both will be in action this afternoon.  Carolina will be in Tampa tonight, hoping to fortify their position. 

Carolina’s top line of Eric Staal flanked by Sergei Samsonov and Tuomo Ruutu had their second consecutive five point night.  Staal scored the game’s first goal while Ruutu and SerSam had two assists apiece.  On New Year’s Eve, SerSam had 2/1 while Staal and Ruutu had one assist each.  Tonight, they will have a chance to have another very productive night against a bad Tampa team.  There are no easy games, but the Bolts are just not very good.

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Filed in: | Red and Black Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: carolina+hurricanes, eric+staal, sergei+samsonov, tampa+bay+lightning, tuomo+ruutu

Canes win round two

On Friday afternoon, Carolina stole a 3-2 overtime result from the Flyers to take the back end of the home-and-home.  More importantly, they move to within one point of the first place Capitals in the Southeast division.

After a flat first period, the Hurricanes got second period markers from Patrick Dwyer, who scored his first NHL goal, and also from Tuomo Ruutu, who has been Carolina’s best player of late. 

The Flyers, who were wearing their third sweaters, tied it in the second and also had a goal taken away for having too many men on the ice. 

A scoreless third period forced overtime, and Sergei Samsonov potted the game winner for Carolina at 3:53 of the bonus frame.  This was SerSam’s second goal of the season, which is far less than Canes fans were expecting at the quarter pole, but he’s been looking good/

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Filed in: | Red and Black Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: carolina+hurricanes, philadelphia+flyers, sergei+samsonov., tuomo+ruutu

Canes steal one, await Habs

On Sunday, the black-clad Hurricanes came from two goals down to defeat the visiting Lightning 3-2, needing the shootout to get the win. 

Things got off on the wrong foot when Carolina ran a sloppy power play.  They committed a turnover deep in the offensive zone.  Because a defenseman was pinching and Tampa’s man was coming out of the box, the turnover resulted in a three-on-one and a goal by Martin St. Louis at 11:20 of the first.  Former Hurricane Radim Vrbata got the only assist. 

Early in the second, Vincent Lecavalier potted a power play goal on a very goofy play that should have been whistled dead.  Tampa was making a change and the puck was going to clear the zone, but it hit the skate of a player leaving the ice.  He was the sixth man on the ice at that point, and while it may have been inadvertent, it kept the play on-side.  Seeing as how Carolina had just been called for a too many men penalty, this should have been noticed.  It wasn’t.  The Canes stopped playing and the Bolts scored.  The Horseman from the Recchin’ Ball and Steve Eminger at 4:05.

All was not lost, though.  The Canes regrouped and ended up stealing the win.

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Filed in: | Red and Black Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: carolina+hurricanes, rod+brind'amour, shootout, tampa+bay+lightning, tuomo+ruutu

Back in Black:  Bolts at Canes

On Sunday afternoon, the Lightning will visit the Hurricanes for the first time this season.  In their only previous meeting this year, Carolina came from behind to win in overtime in Tampa behind Eric Staal’s two goal effort.

This will also be the first game for the Bolts under the direction of Rick “Wagergate” Tocchet. 

Carolina will be wearing their alternate black sweaters for the third time.  Thus far, they have gone 1-1-0 wearing them.  They will wear them at home 12 more times, and have recently added two road games for which they will don the third (December 11 @ Philly and December 13 @ Rangers).  The game is being telecast by the Lightning only. 

Rod Brind’Amour is one point shy of becoming #50 on the all-time NHL points list.  He is currently tied with Joe Nieuwendyk (564/562) and HOFer Mike Bossy (573/553) with 1126 career points.  A single point will also tie him for third on the Whaler/Canes all-time scoring list.

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Filed in: | Red and Black Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: carolina+hurricanes, rod+brind'amour, sergei+samsonov, tampa+bay+lightning, tuomo+ruutu

Russian duo sinks Canes in DC

After the Hurricanes swept the home-and-home series against the Leafs, they returned to intra-division play on Thursday with a game at Washington.  Carolina played well enough to win for 57 minutes, but lost it in the end.

The upside for Carolina is that they very nearly put together their first 60-minute effort of the season.  They’ve played well for a period or two at a time, but have yet to look good for an entire game, despite their seven wins.  The downside is that the effort was for naught, as they let a win, then a guaranteed point slip away in the closing moments. 

Alexander Semin had the game-tying and game-winning goals in the third period at 17:17 and 19:49 respectively.  Alexander Ovechkin assisted on all three Capitals goals.

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Filed in: | Red and Black Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alex+ovechkin, alexander+semin, carolina+hurricanes, tuomo+ruutu, washington+capitals

Carolina begins road journey

On Friday, the Hurricanes will play the first of six straight road games, and they’ll have to do it with yet another forward on the shelf.
When Carolina visits Los Angeles tonight at 10:30, they’ll most likely be doing it without Tuomo Ruutu.  He missed most of the pre-season with a groin issue, and it’s persisted enough for his status to be deemed “doubtful”.
Ruutu makes three top nine wingers on the injured list.  There will be a lot of line juggling, and Chad “Sharpie” LaRose was practicing with the top line on Thursday, so he might get a chance to do that in game action.  Patrick Eaves, who started the season on the top line, has found his way into Peter Laviolette’s doghouse, but there’s no telling how the lines will be made tonight.
Still, this is an opportunity for another young player.

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Filed in: Carolina Hurricanes, NHL Hockey, | Red and Black Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: carolina+hurricanes, injuries, los+angeles+kings, tuomo+ruutu, zach+boychuk

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