Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Begrudging respect for Koval-Kilt

Hope Kovvy's not hurt too bad. As much as I detest his showboating and petulence, he's no Sean Avery. I spent part of this evening looking at YouTube vids of past Avery shennanigans. In the first couple page views, You'll find a sucker punch on Shane Doan while Doan was on his hands and knees. And you'll see a stick chop to the neck on Rick Dipietro. Then waving the blade of his stick in the face of Darcy Tucker. And a bull rush on Marty Brodeur.

So hats off to Kovvy for this tilt with Avery last season after a dirty hit from behind in front of the bench. Note how Paulie Mara steps in and attempts to interfere with the ass-whooping Kovvy was about to put on Avery:

Fury is good

Didn't get to see the first period last night. Thanks #1 Son for your mad DVR programming skills. Had to see the Walker brawl on the NHL Network later. Scotty's hit on Gomer was cleaner hit than Orr's on Cullen. And of course it brought out Avery in full punk mode. Nice blind-side attack on Walker there you little girl. Only hockey's pre-eminent bitch would drop the gloves and takes a full swing at Walker before Scotty even knows he's there. Scott Walker is a man. Sean Young Avery wishes he was half a man.

OBTW, did you notice that both Staal's were on the ice and in that corner? Marc Staal laid a wimpy cross-check on Walker before Avery did his one man Pearl Harbor re-enactment. Eric went after Avery but Tim Gleason and Jaro Jagr (of all people) joined the scrum ahead of Eric. Might have been nice to see a little Staalsy Civil War action. Any video out there of the Brookbank/Orr tilts?

In other news
Alas, no more George Hamilton, aka Zorro the Gay Blade PP Specialist jokes. The Canes big coup free agent signing looks like he's on the way out the door. I'm sure JR tried to peddle Jeff Hamilton to one of those teams looking for a deal on a sniping forward. The deal might be on re-entry.

Ray Emery's fine for being late to practice amounted to one-day's pay - around $14,500. Don't you wish $14,500 meant nothing to you? For guys like Ray, it's just "Straight cash Homey."

Hey dad's! Plan on sending your little princess to Arizona State University. She'll enjoy sun, fun, not too challenging academics (see question #2) and maybe even receive special invites to serve as a Super Bowl party ho errr hostess.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Lets get physical

The Rangers are in the RBC tonight and I am looking forward to some bone-jarring action. Colton Orr and Avery should be made to feel like Simon Kenton on a Shawnee gauntlet run on every shift. I'd love to see Chad LaRose draw the Sean Avery torment assignment. Beyond the revenge factor, tonight would be a good night to deliver a little extra punishment from the forecheck to the defensive zone. The term "consistency" is one I've heard as the key to a Canes late resurgence. If that means consistently responsible on defense, consistently physical on every shift and consistently playing to win - as in no rope-a-dope, I'd agree.

If we are to believe that only one Southeast Division sqaud will earn a spot in the playoffs, the Caps seem to me the scariest team The are playing a very physical and fearless brand of hockey right now. Erskine, Ovy and Chris Clark all play with a deep mean streak. Then they have Brashear waiting in the bullpen if somebody takes a run at that impetuous little Ovy.

Rumor du jour
The latest I read yesterday on Spector was that JR was in negotiations with the Kings Dean Lombardi about Tom Preissing. Have you noticed how many times Bruce Garrioch's name comes up in Canes rumor mongering? Wonder why....But Tom Preissing at $2.75 mil thru 2011? That would make an under-achieving rebuilding mode castoff the highest paid blueliner on the Canes roster. And I bet he'd want a no-trade/no-movement clause. That's crazy! That Tom Preissing has devil eyes. I'm Brian Fellow!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Second Run Movie Review-3:10 to Yuma

Nice Schofields Ben-just love that jacket

I love gritty Westerns. I took my oldest son to see 3:10 to Yuma last weekend and I'd give it 4P on the C/B 0P to 5P movie review rating system. Everybody in this flick is appropriately circa 1870 filthy. The two leads are a dermatologist's dream-Bale's nose wart and Crowe's facial moles dominate the closeups. Set in Cochise County, Arizona, Christian Bale is Dan Evans, a hard-luck farming Civil War vet facing eviction from his land by a nasty overlord. He gets entangled in the capture of notorious outlaw Ben Wade, played by Russell Crowe, and commits to helping transport Wade to a prison train (the 3:10 to the Yuma Territorial Prison).

Evans signs on for $200, a sum he hopes will buy him some time to get his farm thru the spring. Evans faces daunting odds in this endeavor. He's got thugs and cowards in his posse. His running mate (Wade), a homicidal Renaissance man, and Wade's gang of butchers are just a step behind. The movie is basically the story of these two men's road to redemption.

The guy who steals the show however is Ben Foster in the role of Charlie Prince. He's an absolute psycho and fiercely loyal to his boss, Mr. Wade. When we got home, my son said, "Dad, I think that guy played the role of the boy scout in that episode of My Name is Earl." He was right, and Foster's character there was pretty whacked too. So for best performance in a psychotic role, the award goes to...Ben Foster in 3:10 to Yuma.

Since we've got a few days sans Hurricanes hockey, I suggest you all check it out. Even though this was filmed in New Mexico, the scenery in this movie shows you what the Sonoran Desert looks like...just not so much snow.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Own a Red State Update Object du Art

Ole Fred Thompson dropped out of the presidential race this week and Jackie Broyles at Red State Update needs your help to deal with the anguish. His original painting of Fred as Arthur Branch, District Attorney is up for bid on Ebay. Jackie just needs closure, so bid, bid till it hurts. The loss of a cherished man-crush is one of life's most gut-wrenching experiences. Sighhhhh, Danny Markov why have you forsaken me? The questions and comments strand alone is worth the click.

CanesCast #2 is live

This episode features no MSG and no me. In Episode #2, Dave, Andy and Bob riff on the following topics:

  • The availability of Buffalo's Brian Campbell

  • The demise of Francis Kaberle

  • Buying and selling at the deadline

  • College hockey in the Old North State

  • Why Dave's wife is screaming in the background

OBTW: These poll results (see right) are trending in a way that is making me very angry...very angry indeed! No rich Corinthian leather for you people.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Game nights as Alamo re-sets

Last night was like watching that old Alamo movie for the hundredth time. You know the outcome is gonna be bad, but somehow you stay glued. Then ole Davy Crockett shows up. Hey, maybe those Texians have a chance tonight! Now old Santa Ana is in for it. A bunch of shoeless Mexican conscripts can't beat the Duke even on his worst day. Oooh, I like it when Colonel Travis draws the line in the sand. How very Spartan of the dapper young lawyer turned warrior chieftain. When it's all over and the Duke is overwhelmed by the self-proclaimed Napoleon of the West's hordes, you sit back and say, Damn, why'd I sit thru that again? I knew what was gonna happen. This story always ends the same. Same thing with Canes games like the one last night. Substitute Kaberle, Commodore and Cole in the roles played by the Duke, Richard Widmark, and Chill Wills. Chad LaRose is this team's Chill Wills.

Naming Names

From the man who brought you Staal to Edmonton (e3), we now have Cole to Bubba (e3). For Marek Zidlicky? Pass.

Here are some names listed as players of interest to the Canes over at The Fourth Period . It's a feature they call, "Top 25 Available Players." Not sure what the threshold is for these guys to qualify as "available," but I'm sure it's pretty predictable. Team needs, contract status, lack of performance to date, etc. Let's break it down...

Marek Zidlicky-Moving Zid will give the Preds room to re-sign Ryan Suter and Shea Weber-guys they would probably much rather love long time than Marek. He's scheduled to go from $3.2 mil to $3.5 next season on a contract that extends thru the 2010 season. Big investment for a PP specialist. But hey, the Canes have had great luck with Euro PP QB's...cough cough Tverdovsky...cough Kaberle.

Jan Michael Vincent Liles - Blue Light Special version of Zidlicky. He'll make $1.4 thru this season and will become a UFA once this season is done. If he can be had on the cheap and his presence would guarantee a nightly healthy scratch on Kaberle, I'm all for it.

Brad Stuart - He's paid $3.5 mil this season and then can go UFA. I wouldn't pay $3.5 for him and I sure wouldn't want to negotiate to re-sign him for $4 mil plus. He's been shopped and packaged before and can't seem to find a home.

Not many really good options eh? Cole might bring a solid return, but to get the top defensemen this team needs, I think JR is going to have to find a club desperate for the speed and physicality that Erik might/could bring.

In the end analysis, one or two new bodies won't guarantee a change for the better in team culture. Those left still have to have a lot more fire in their bellies than they do now. I wish the Canes were playing like Texians at the Alamo right now instead of like the French at ___________(pick your conflict).

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

CanesCast is a go

Check out yer boy and pals Andy of Hurricanes Insider and Bob of Canes Country in our first foray into podcasting. We're calling it CanesCast. We talk Erik Cole trade rumors, the recent play of Eric Staal, there's a strange "beeep" right at the beginning that seems to cover up one of Bob's profanity-laced tirades, and Andy introduces a brand new word to the English language. The first one to tell me what "interform" means gets a free one-year subscription to CasonBlog All Access, 24-7, Inside and Out Premium Service.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Andy Sutton is a Succubus

Awhile back, I was watching an NYI/ATL tilt and was surprised at the extent to which Andy Sutton was booed by the ATL faithful every time he touched the puck. It was Prongeresque. I posted a query over at Southeast Shootout asking why the venom for the former Thrash. Matt Gunning of Do Thrashers Have Large Talons, pointed me to a post in his archives featuring the image in this post. I thought it appropriate to share Matt's rendition of Sutton on a day when Andy pretty much cost his club any chance to win in OT with a stupid crosscheck in front of the Islanders' goal.

Nice comeback Canes. Lady luck was good to the boys from down south as well.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Erik Cole Rumors

Bruce Garrioch via Spector:

It's believed the Hurricanes would like Ottawa D Joe Corvo or W Antoine Vermette, but Rutherford hasn't been willing to move W Erik Cole. The Hurricanes want Vermette to help improve their penalty-killing unit. Giving up Cole would be a tough sell, but talk won't go away that Rutherford could also move him to Columbus for W David Vyborny.

Cole is on a $4 mil per contract thru next season. I love Erik Cole when he's at 100%, but his style of play puts him in harm's way, and then on the IR for extended periods. Erik Cole doesn't just tweak a groin, he breaks a leg...or his neck. From everything I've heard, Erik is a great teammate and a solid citizen. That being said, his trade value will probably never be higher than it is right now.  

If Erik is the silver bullet JR needs to use to remake this club, I'd hate to see him go for a PK specialist (Vermette) or a puck-moving blueliner with a propensity to to turn the puck over (Corvo). Vyborny affordable ($2.2 mil) and a free agent after this season, so JR would have to bid for the guy in the off season if he wants to keep him. Would JR want to spend Cole money for a winger who's not the same caliber of player? Not straight up, but maybe as part of a package.

Now I'm just a simple cave man lawyer, but I think the Cole card should only be played to bring in a physical defenseman who just happens to also have solid offensive instincts-not the other way around. If JR is talking deal with Ottawa, I think Chris Phillips name needs to be part of the discussion.  If he's talking to Columbus, Rusty Klesla should be on the table. I still hold out hope that Francios Beauchemin could be had, but I think the Ducks are back and that d-corps is pretty set. The re--appearance of Teemu Selanne is the only thing that might turn that roster over at this point in the season.

I'm about done with the Andrew Ladd experience. If he does retain some draft pedigree panache, I wouldn't mind seeing him moved at the deadline. Cory Stillman and Mike Commodore would probably command decent value right at the deadline. JR will probably lose both in the off season if he doesn't make a deal in the coming weeks. I'd be OK with moving any of the aforementioned. Whatever unfolds in the coming weeks, there is little doubt the October, 2008 Carolina Hurricanes will look very different. 





Friday, January 18, 2008

Canes media group piles on Kaberle


Wake me up before you go, go


This text from the bottom of the game-night preview on carolinahurricanes.com:

Edmonton hasn't been to Raleigh in the regular season since a 1-all tie there Nov. 11, 2001. The Oilers lost three of four games at Carolina during the 2006 Cup finals, including a 3-1 defeat in Game 7 as Ward made 22 saves and Frantisek Kaberle scored the game-winning goal.

Kaberle has no goals and 10 assists in 46 games this season.

Was that last line even necessary? "..and he's still not beating his wife..." Strikes me as Canes media group's way of saying, "Kaberle....Kaberle....YOU SUCK!" Bad run this season for the Andrew Ridgeley of the NHL. Come on Frankie, pull the trigger on something, a hit, a wrister, a slapper, even a decent outlet pass. Last night our boy passed up in a shot in the first period from the top of the left circle, on the PP, with a clear shooting lane, and with a comrade parked in front of Gerbs. He went on to double-clutch on a slapper from the blueline later in the PP and it got blocked. See the Cialis and Ho narrative in the post below.

In other news, Casey Borer was sent back to Albany today. If Nic Wallin comes back tonight the Canes will finally have a fully staffed worst defensive corps in the NHL!!!

It's Canes v. Oil in The Winter Flaccid



Just to rub it in one last time.







Memories, like the corners of my mind. Misty water-colored memories of the way we were...


Babs, circa 1970



Canes v Oil in the Winter Flaccid. Two struggling teams facing a very tough road to a playoff berth. Shells of their former selves. Bitter Oil fans with an angst that only burning more of Chris Pronger's rental furniture can cure. Canes fans "celebrating" two really good seasons out of an entire decade in the Old North State.


C/B No Spin Zone Talking Points for tonight's game.

1. Scratch Frankie Kaberle tonight and send him and some high-end-Ho off for a weekend on a hilltop with two bathtubs and a big jar of Cialis.


2. Lavvy should send any Cane who makes a lazy pass across the defensive zone directly to the Rec Zone to begin bag skating.


3. Make Bret Hedican play without a stick since he only used his last night to hook people.


4. Send Emmet Tracy to that same marathon bag skate session the second he offers his excuse de jour. Make him skate holding a cinder block if the excuse is, "Ooooh, the Canes just ran into a hot goalie tonight."

Some of the best bloggers in the biz are Oil-Fans. Check out their stuff as we approach the Flaccid:

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Uncle Coach Brian?

Frances-Get yer soft little euro-ass off my ice!!!
JR warmed up the bus yesterday, and then promptly threw Craig Adams under it today. So who's next? Yeah, I know this guy has a ranch in Red Deer and he's coaching his brother's team. Might be nice to consider a former Jack Adams award winner with a mean streak if somebody is told by his boss that he really needs to resign so he can spend more time with his family.

So, would Brandon call him Coach Sutter or Uncle Brian? How might Cam Ward respond to Sutterworld part deux?

General Savage Would Know How to Fix These Hurricanes

Private Kaberle Report to "The Leper Colony"
Around this time in 2006, the buzz around the league was that the Hurricanes clubhouse was the place to be. Roddy and Lavvy's boys were a band of brothers. They had each other's back and held each other accountable. When JR brought in both Doug Weight and Mark Recchi, they both said as much. Adam Gold's interview with JR yesterday, the video on Canes Vision right now and now Luke's piece on Lord Stanley's Blog today lead me to believe that the first move in the mid-season makeover of this club will be another firing. Firing Trevor Letowski or Craig Adams won't change much. I for one think Trevor's been one of the few to play with real passion on a consistent basis.

In both interviews, JR points to poor work ethic over three full periods, lingering post-Cup complacency and bad clubhouse mojo as principle reasons for concern. That's not a problem trading for a puck-moving defenseman can solve. Face it folks, John-Michael Liles is not going to be the savior of this season. When JR says that even when the club wins something doesn't feel right, he's talking about a bad mojo that only strong leadership can solve. In baseball, the grim reaper always takes out the manager first. In the Gold interview, he made a point of indicating that nobody was safe from the reaper, except maybe Eric Staal - who if we are to believe one prognosticator, will soon be moved to Edmonton - is bulletproof.

The Canes have no games this Saturday and Sunday. I think Coach Lavvy needs to curl up in the Lazy Boy this weekend with a good movie. I suggest Twelve O'Clock High starring Gregory Peck. Playing the role of General Frank Savage, Peck is tasked with turning around a failing B-17 bomber wing in WWII. Starting with the gate guard at the base, Savage immediately starts kicking ass and taking names. From day one, he aggressively works to change the culture of the unit. He pushes the concept of "maximum effort," refusing to settle for any effort today that isn't demonstrably better than the one of yesterday. One of the key things he does is put all his underachievers and malcontents on a bird he designates, The Leper Colony. Those sent down to the crew The Leper Colony have to work their way out.

So if JR shows Adams and/or Letowski the door, I say Lavvy should make the fourth line the Cane's version of the Leper Colony and put Kaberle, or whomever is the top blueline under-achiever at that time, up front and let them only play as a forward on the fourth line until they earn their way back to the regular defensive rotation.

UPDATE: Adams to the Blackhawks for an underachiever Chicago will need to unload in the future.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Samsonov's first goal as a Cane?

Dee plane boss! Dee plane!
Yeah, he comes cheap, but here are my quick takes on the Canes signing of Sergei Samsonov:
1. Zero goals in 41 games. That's Zeppelin caliber floating.

2. LaRose 5'10", Walker 5'10', Letowski 5'10", Whitney 5'10", Aucoin 5'9", and now Samsonov 5'8". Does Eklund have an e4 on Muggsy Bogues to Carolina?

3. Are the Canes in danger of becoming the Wirtz family's dumping ground for disenchanted Bolsheviks? That whole Anton Babchuk thing worked out real well.

4. If Danny Markov were a Cane, he would kick Samsonov's sulking little ass at the first sign of a pout. Have I beaten that dead horse into dust yet?

And Jan Michael Vincent as rumored in a deal coming with Avalanche for a pick? Great. I'd like to see JR extend this 5'10" or smaller thing to the blueline. Look on the bright side Caniacs. If the Canes miss the playoffs again this spring, they still might have a shot at doing Stonehenge with a Spinal Tap.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Friday Funny with Red State Update

" New Hampshire hates Jesus!"
-Dunlap, 2008
I admit it. I'm a political junkie. I don't inject much of it into this blog largely because edgy and sarcastic takes on hockey rarely invite the death threats you get from offering political analysis. I know I'm at least a couple of months behind on most media trends, so forgive me if you all already know about Jackie, Dunlap and Red State Update. I think most folks discovered the boys when one of their UTube questions made it to the CNN Democratic Debate. I missed that media extravaganza. Must have been watching Full House reruns that night. Anyway, I discovered the boys from Murfreesboro just yesterday. Spent around an hour last night going thru dozens of these "updates," and laughed so hard on the "Gays Hate Obama" episode that I started crying.

I dig the fact that the boys are equal-opportunity comedic grenade throwers. They make fun of old and disinterested Fred Thompson with as much vigor as they do cute little John Edwards. To me, popular left-wing radio and TV pundits come across as hyper-caffeinated, snotty and perpetually angry. Right-wingers, with the exception of Rush and Dennis Miller, are dogmatic and paranoid about Hillary. Jackie and Dunlap offer refreshingly stereotypical southern man takes to the national political discourse.

Today they recap the Iowa Caucususses. Here are some other episodes I found particularly savory:

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Adieu Johnny Grahame

We got us a good old fashioned goalie controversy brewing!

Ladies and gentlemen. In this corner, in the black breezers, please welcome the pride of Petrolia, Ontario, Mr. Michael Leighton. The best goalie in the AHL makes his return to the show-probably tomorrow night in the ATL. I wonder if Ward will handle taking a back seat to Leighton with as much class as Grahame.

The Canes waived John Grahame. JR might have tried to shop Grahame and his 44 goals allowed in 13 games. Talk about dealing from a position of weakness. Like to see him end up in Denver. Grahame survived a Napalming by Coach Torts. He'll survive this setback as well. Good luck John. I'll miss your mask.

Lets hope Leighton will step in and shut the door on the cheapies Cam Ward has been giving up. I think this move probably fixes very little, unless something happens on the blueline. The Canes are still playing matador defense. C/B calls for more Borer and less Seidenberg.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Fatal Attraction Redoux at the RBC?

This Glenn Close stalker-chick to throw out first boiled bunny?


New year, new blood in the lineup tonight. Casey Borer dons the sightless eye vs. Koval-MacKilt and the Thrash. Here's some talent analysis from Hockeysfuture.com:

He also has the ability to make good outlet passes. He is solid positionally and his skating is good. He sees the ice and follows plays very well. He is good in one-on-one situations and can contain opposing players quite well. His play along the boards is also quite good. Borer doesn’t shy away from the physical play and can deliver solid checks.

Found an article on College Hockey News on Casey from 2005 that includes this line:

"When Casey's on his game, he's a big, steady horse back on the blue line," SCSU assistant coach Fred Harbinson said. "One his best attributes is that he is a big puck-moving defenseman."


If the kid lives up to the billing, this might be a nice mid-season addition to the Canes blueline. I like this move much more than the Wade Brookbank call-up.