Monday, November 16, 2009

Canes end winless streak with 5-4 shootout win

If I wanted to be negative I would say we blew leads of 3-0 and 4-1 but when you are just fighting your way out of a 14 game winless streak you find the positives. The offense managed to score 4 goals. Yes, Minnesota did too but Michael Leighton has seen very limited action playing behind Cam Ward. He played well enough to get the win and came up big in the shootout. Its tough to stay sharp without real game action. Leighton has an opportunity to get a lot of action and get his confidence in net back. He is competing with the newly acquired veteran Manny Legace. Hopefully something good will come out of Cams extended stay on the injured list. A confident, solid number 2 goalie that will enable coach Maurice to rest Cam occasionally when he comes back.
It will be interesting to see if the Canes can turn things around. The weight of the losing streak is gone. Now it is time for the talent and character in the locker room to shine through. This team is so much better than their record and needs to prove it on the ice.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Canes fall to last in NHL

If you are a Canes fan these are some dark times to be sure. We have lost 12 straight and have fallen to last in the eastern conference. As if that wasn't enough, Cam Ward, the starting goalie, was lost indefinitely with a lacerated thigh. Eric Staal is already on the shelf with an "upper body" injury and is not due back for some time.

This fan is very disappointed with the losing streak the Canes are on but I have faith that they will turn it around. This team had a great run in the playoffs in '02 losing to the talented Red Wings. Then there was the ultimate high of us winning the Stanley Cup in '06. Just last year we managed to make the eastern cup finals after beating New Jersey and Boston in dramatic fashion only to be over matched by the eventual Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins. I enjoyed those seasons very much so you can bet I am not about to stop supporting my Hurricanes!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Canes Bring Back Aaron Ward

The Carolina Hurricanes traded forward Patrick Eaves and a 4th round draft pick to the Boston Bruins for Aaron Ward. The 6"2 defenceman had 3 goals and 7 assists along with a plus/minus 16 for the Bruins in '09. His experience and grit should be welcomed back with open arms by the Canes.

Ward played on the '06 Cup team before leaving via free agency for the Rangers.
Ward was at the center of some controversy after being punched in the face by the Canes' Scott Walker during the playoffs. Hopefully there won't be any lingering ill feelings between the two players now that they are teammates.

The Bruins placed winger Patrick Eaves on waivers. You have to wonder if this may be the end of his career. He has had numerous serious injuries. I'm hoping someone will sign him and he can play up to his potential.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Canes sign Ruutu to 3 Year Deal

The Carolina Hurricanes avoided arbitration by signing Tuomo Ruutu to a 3 year deal worth 3m, 4m, and 4.4m. This signing was crucial to the Canes. Ruutu brings that nasty, hard to play against physicality along with the ability to put the puck in the back of the net. Ruutu had his best offensive season in the NHL with 26 goals and 28 assists. He also stayed healthy and played in 79 games. Ruutu is a fan favorite in Carolina. Many Caniacs along with myself are breathing a sigh of relief with this signing.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Carolina Hurricanes voted 2nd Best Franchise by ESPN

The Canes take quite a bit of flack about being a hockey team from the south where many northerners believe hockey shouldn't be. Tampa Bay winning the cup in '04 and the Canes in '06 beg to differ.
We are passionate about our team here in Raleigh. Many welcome the team home win or lose at the airport during the playoffs. Caniacs show up as early as they will open the gates for hours of intense tailgating.
Just attending 1 game at the RBC Center is many times enough to win over a new fan. Personally I was hooked after attending 2 games in Greensboro when the Canes first came to Carolina. Once the team moved into their new arena in Raleigh the experience has gotten better every year win or lose.
I have fond memories of buying a ticket in the parking lot years ago so I could watch Mario Lemieux play against us the year he came out of retirement. It was well worth the inflated price I paid!
I also remember enjoying tailgating during '02 playoffs and meeting many nice Montreal fans in the parking lot and inside the arena. They really appreciated the tailgating experience.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Babchuk: To Be a Cane or Not

Rutherford made a qualifying offer of 1 million and so far Babchuk and his agent have not signed it. I agree that Babchuk has done some stupid things like not going to Albany when assigned there and bolting for Russia instead. After a year there he came back and played very well for this team last year. He was tied for 5th in overall goals for a defenceman with 16. He was 26th in the plus/minus department with (+13) I think Babchuk should have signed the offer sheet. He was lucky to have been brought back from Russia. He played pretty well during the season but was a healthy scratch in many of the playoff games. I guess it is a case of both sides being stubborn. JR holds the cards and I think 1 million is fair. He should sign the offer sheet and play like he has something to prove. Then come next year he would deserve that raise from us or another team.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Heatley deserves nothing

A no trade clause is there to protect a player from being traded to a team they don't want to play for. When a player goes to management asking to be traded that clause should automatically be null and void. Ottawa had a good deal set up with Edmonton where they were getting value back for Heatley. He said no to the trade. Now if Ottawa doesn't trade him he can just sit home while the NHL goes on without him. Heatley is talented but selfish.