Thursday, June 4, 2009
A season to remember
With the way the Canes season started it looked like we might be on the outside looking in again come playoff time. JR turned alot of heads by bringing in former coach Paul Maurice. I admit I was one of the many second guessing the move and thinking it was a mistake. Boy, was I wrong! Coach Mo got the team to be more responsible on the defensive side of the puck. We were cheating towards creating offense. Within a couple of weeks the odd number rushes were drastically cut down. JR also made a couple of moves that helped us down the stretch and into the playoffs. He traded some players not being used to Tampa Bay for Jussi Jokinen. Jussi was great in shootouts and was able to play center or wing. Around the trade deadline JR sent injured Justin Williams to L.A. and a 3 way deal that brought Erik Cole back to Carolina for another tour of duty. This seemed to spark Eric Staals offensive production. Going down the stretch we were one of the hottest teams in the East. We lost the last couple of games leaving us in the number 6 position for the playoffs. The Canes beat New Jersey in the Shock at the Rock in 7 games. We were down by a goal by less than a minute when Jokinen scored to tie it. It looked like overtime until Staal shocked the NJ faithful by streaking down the ice and scoring on future hall of famer Marty Brodeur. Of course no one gave us a chance now that we were taking on number 1 seeded Boston who had run away with the Eastern Conference. We went up 3-1 in the series with some hard fought wins after losing the first game of the series AGAIN. The Bruins battled back hard to send it to a 7th winner take all game in Boston. No one gave us a chance but once again the Canes prevailed in dramatic fashion with Scotty Walker scoring in overtime. Next came the Pittsburgh Penquins. Unfortunately the well ran drive for the Canes in this series with the Pens advancing after a 4 game sweep. The Canes accomplished so much in this magical run. I am proud to be a Caniac and look forward til next year.