Saturday, December 09, 2006

Almost coming back is kinda nice, right?

For the most part, I'm kind of ambivalent about the new NHL Web site. But I do like the "Frozen Moment" hi-res images they cycle at the top of the page. Check out Erik Cole from last night.

Grasping for a little sunshine today, and finding little. According to Luke in today's N&O (I'll omit the last name in the hope of avoiding a Bevis and Butthead riff from JP), last night's comeback from a three-goal deficit was the Hurricanes first since 2003. Maybe that's the wee bit 'o sunshine I'm looking for...but I can't quite get out of my head all the bad penalties, Eric Staal missing badly on the penalty shot (I think the puck caught a couple of threads on the shoulder of Luongo's sweater as it sailed high), and of course Scott Walker tossing the puck over the boards...twice. I think that over-the-glass rule is stupid. It ought to allow for discretion on the part of the officials, except in extreme cases, like when Mick McGeough is officiating. But I think knowing the rule, and still popping the puck over the glass twice is even more stupid.

There were Hurricanes who played hard last night. There weren't many who played smart. I thought Mike Commodore played very well last night. Not just the timely goal. He was poised and controlled in his aggression. None of his blueline mates matched his poise, smart physicality or pinch-sense. Anton Babchuk seemed to stagger through a shift after kissing the endboards at 55 mph. By the third he was back and playing with more poise and creativity than his more seasoned pards. Matt Cooke was definitely in Heddy's head last night. Few probably noticed David Tanabe drawing a penalty in the third and choosing to serve it, and the rest of the game, in the locker room.

The Hurricanes are averaging 3.13 goals per game. The are allowing 3.10 goals per game. And the PP sucks. Lavvy, his crew and JR are going to have to find a way to widen that .03 margin if the Canes are going to jump back to the top of the standings. Yeah, they might slug through the year and get in as an 8th seed. That paid off real nice for the defending Stanley Cup Champion last season, eh? Nothing like a first-round matchup with the Slugs to cap a schizo season.


J.P. said...

Obviously missing Brindy is tough. Check out the stats from Elias:

"The Hurricanes were without captain Rod Brind'Amour when they played the Canucks in Vancouver. Brind'Amour sat out with what was cryptically described in press reports as a 'lower-body injury.' Brind'Amour's absence hurts Carolina in many areas, since, entering Friday's action, he led the league in road points (22), third-period points (17), faceoffs taken (829) and faceoffs won (494). Through the Hurricanes' first 30 games this season Brind'Amour took 46 percent of the team's faceoffs, the highest percentage for any NHL player. Buffalo's Chris Drury was a distant second at 35 percent."

CasonBlog said...

Roddy's got a groin issue. Only rest fixes that one.