Inside the Eye: OT Loss to Islanders

Story by Bob Fennel. Photos by Suzie Wolf.

Cary-lina, NC – The Carolina Hurrianes hosted the NY Islanders for the first game in 2012 with the hopes of repeating last season’s sweep in the head to head series.  Bad news is they lost, 4-3 in a shootout,  but on the positive side they’ve now gone 13 straight games against the Islanders without a regulation loss going 10-0-3.

The game was a battle of the basement as both team had a conference low of 32 points but the Canes have played 4 more games.  Read more

Inside the Eye: Staal Leads Canes Past Leafs 4-3 In OT

Story by Bob Fennel and file photo by Tom Mousseau for CaryCitizen.

Cary-lina, NC – Eric Staal scored his second goal of the game 3:09 in overtime to lead the Carolina Hurricanes past the Toronto Maple Leafs, 4-3 at the RBC Center December 29, 2011.  It was the Canes third consecutive victory at home and second in overtime.   Coach Kirk Muller made several new line combinations before the game.  Staal had size, speed and skill on both wings with Zac Dalpe and Jiri Tlusty.

Sutter Scores a Beauty

Early in the first, Brandon Sutter kept the puck in at the blue line, passed up to Drayson Bowman.  Bowman fed Sutter as he was cutting in from the blue line.  Sutter skated to the center for a better angle, then wristed a shot in the upper corner for a pretty goal that rewarded smart play by both Sutter and Bowman.   The defense held their ground as the Canes had 2 penalties in the first.  Toronto has a powerful power play but were only able to muster off 2 shots on goalie Cam Ward.   The Canes had one power play in the period and just couldn’t seem to pull it together.   Rumor has it Jeff Skinner is doing light skating which is the second step to getting back with the team, the first being to just feel better, after the concussion. Skinner and Joni Pitkanen are really missed on the power play with their stick handling capabilities and being strong on their feet.   Shots after 1: Canes 5, Leafs 6

Defense Shines

The Leafs started out strong in the second period.  Nazem Kadri gathered the puck in the corner, used the net as a screen allowing him to do a wrap around shot to the long side of Cam Ward.  No question that caught everyone off guard as Ward stops those 99 times out of 100. Both teams had two penalties in the second, with Tlusty’s being a double minor for high sticking. The Canes were only able to get off one shot on goal while Toronto got off 4 shots.  Both Ward and Reimer were sharp thwarting off every shot.  The Canes defense played an excellent period in both man coverage and toughness while also showing restraint.  More than once it appeared some fourth liners on the Leafs were trying to get a Cane in a fight to take them off the ice.  Tim Gleason and Bryan Allen seem to know just how far they can go before a penalty is called.  Justin Faulk seems to get better every game.  He’s a great skater and handles his stick extremely well.  Jay Harrison is just plain solid and has the wing span of a 747.  Shots after 2: Canes 15, Leafs 15

Well Worth the Price of Admission

Both teams wanted the win in regulation and the Leafs came out gunning.   Nikolai Kulemin picked up the puck in his own end, passed back to Cody Franson for a set play. Franson passed to Mikhail Grabovski who brought the puck into the Canes end. Grabovski passed to Darryl Boyce for a quick shot, Ward made a good save but the rebound came out in front with former Leaf Alexei Ponikarvosky failing to cover Kulemin crashing the net for a tip in.  A few minutes later, All Star Phil Kessel took the puck along the boards up to his blue line then passed to Joffrey Lupul who somehow tipped the puck passed Ward.  The Canes didn’t fold, as Dalpe snared the puck along the boards and gave Staal a lead pass.  Staal raced up ice, got possession of the puck and laid the puck down just as he wristed a shot along the ice to the long side of Reimer.  He pumped his arm so hard in celebration, even the ref ducked.  Two minutes later, Staal put the puck in front of the net.  Tlusty was hacking and whacking at the puck not allowing Reimer to grab it.  Dalpe came in and made an unbelievable play by lifting the puck with his back hand as he was 4’ behind the goal line into the top shelf of the goal to tie the game 3-3.     Shots after 3: Canes 31, Leafs 24

Sutter the Hero, Staal Scores Again

Brandon Sutter had another fantastic overall game and made a play in overtime that will never make the scorecard or highlights but was a game saver.   With the Leafs on an odd man rush in overtime, Sutter raced back for support.  Sutter tipped a pass meant for Tim Connolly, then went to the corner for the puck.  His tenacity and strength to get the puck forced Connolly to trip Sutter giving the Canes a 4-3 man advantage.  With the power play going 0-for in its previous 17 attempts, the Canes had good puck movement.  Jamie McBain had the puck down low, passed it up to Faulk on the point who made a quick pass to Staal.  Staal had his stick ready for the hard one timer that no goalie would have been able to save, giving the Canes and the very loud fans something to cheer about.

Let’s hope the success can continue at the RBC for the Canes into 2012.  Happy New Year!

Inside the Eye: Holiday Edition

Story by Bob Fennel and file photos by Tom Mousseau for CaryCitizen.

Cary-lina, N.C. – Santa Claus was good to the Carolina Hurricanes this past holiday week with an OT win over Ottawa and a victory over the Devils.

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Inside the Eye: This is Starting to Hurt

Story by Bob Fennel. Photos by Tom Mousseau.

Cary, NC – This one hurt. The Canes were up 3-1, wildly outshooting the Coyotes before eventually falling to the visitors 4-3. Another third period with mental and physical breakdowns and a lack of defensive coverage. Read more

Inside the Eye: Canes Outscore Canucks 4-3

Story by Bob Fennel. Photos by Suzie Wolf.

Cary-lina, NC – Drayson Bowman scored 2 goals leading the Carolina Hurricanes in scoring over the high-powered Vancouver Canucks by 4-3 at the RBC Center (soon to be PNC Arena) on Thursday, December 15, 2011.  Read more

Inside the Eye: Jets Soar Past Canes

Story by Bob Fennel and file photo of Cam Ward by Hal Goodtree.

Cary-lina, NC –  The Carolina Hurricanes lost to the Winnipeg Jets 4-2 in their 3rd game of a 4 game Canadian road trip on Friday.  While the score wasn’t good, there were some good things that happened during the games and during the day. Read more

Inside the Eye: Penguins Slip By Canes

Story by Bob Fennel and photos by Tom Mousseau for CaryCitizen.

Cary-lina, NC – The conference leading Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Canes, 3-2, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2011 in an Eastern Conference Game.

This is the seventh game for Sidney Crosby since returning from the concussion he suffered in January after a cheap shot in one game then a slam into the boards a couple of games later. He’s been on fire since his return, which is good for the NHL, while bad for the Canes.  Craig Adams, a former Cane on the Stanley Cup team returned to the RBC Center to have a great game against the Canes.  Read more

Inside the Eye: Canes Fall to Rangers

Story by Bob Fennel. File photo by Hal Goodtree.

Cary-lina, NC – The Carolina Hurricanes hosted the red (and blue) hot New York Rangers on Dec. 1, 2011 at the RBC Center.  The Rangers have a powerful offensive and a very stingy defense as they have the lowest goals against in the NHL.  The Canes lost in the first meeting, 5-1, at the Garden on Nov. 11.  Thursday night’s game ended with a similar result, 5-3 in favor of the Rangers.  Read more

Inside the Eye: Coach Muller Debuts vs. Panthers

Story by Bob Fennel. File photo by Hal Goodtree.

Cary-lina, NC – The Carolina Hurricanes hosted the division leading Florida Panthers under new coach Kirk Muller at the RBC Center Nov 29.  While they lost 3-1, really 2-1 (a late empty-netter), the team did skate better and hit more, probably to impress the new coach.  Read more

Inside the Eye: Shoot Out Loss to Habs

Story by Bob Fennel. File photo by Hal Goodtree.

Cary-lina, NC – The Carolina Hurricanes hosted the Montreal Canadiens the night before Thanksgiving and really needed this game in more ways than one.  At the end, they lost 4-3 in a shootout, which is a horrible way a professional sport should determine the outcome of a team game.  Read more