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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Remembering Big Joe Vasicek and the goal that put the Hurricanes on the map

Posted By on Thu, Sep 8, 2011 at 10:54 AM

Wednesday morning, an airplane carrying a Russian professional hockey team crashed into the Volga River outside the city of Yaroslavl just after takeoff. Almost all of the Lokomotiv team—27 players—died in the crash, among them several familiar former NHL players including Czech forward Josef Vasicek, who played six seasons for the Carolina Hurricanes. Big Joe’s name is engraved on the Stanley Cup with the rest of the 2006 Canes. Even though Vasicek was a minor player for the Canes, he was a major part of a crucial moment for the Carolina franchise, a moment that both brought Raleigh onto the...

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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Thin ice melts in Hotlanta: Thrashers move to Winnipeg

Posted By on Wed, Jun 1, 2011 at 10:05 AM

The Atlanta Thrashers have finally stopped thrashing. Image copyright Fire Wagon Hoceky.Goaltender Kari Lehtonen looks into the future of the Atlanta Thrashers during a 2007 game. The Thrashers were sold to a Winnipeg group on Tuesday, ending 11 futile years of hockey in the Peachtree state. After 11 largely pointless years skating before a bewildered assortment of transplanted hockey fans, passionless corporate types, and empty stadium seats in the Georgia capital, the Thrashers are packing up and heading north for Winnipeg, Manitoba. Their bumbling ownership group announced the franchise sale with an insincere press release Tuesday afternoon, prompting dancing in...

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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Jeff Skinner nominated for Calder Trophy as best rookie

Posted By on Tue, Apr 19, 2011 at 1:52 PM

After a season of firsts for the Hurricanes franchise this season, Jeff Skinner may yet add another: rookie of the year. File photo by Peggy BooneThe Year of Jeff Skinner continues with a nomination for the Calder Trophy as league's best rookie, to be awarded June 22 in Las Vegas.The gifted forward, still a month shy of 19 years old, was announced Tuesday as one of the three annual nominees for the National Hockey League's Calder Trophy as the best first-year player. Two other wingers were nominated for the award as well. Logan Couture of the San Jose Sharks and...

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Sunday, April 10, 2011

Lightning spoils Canes' postseason dreams as 6-2 loss lets Rangers slip into playoffs

Posted By on Sun, Apr 10, 2011 at 1:26 AM

On Saturday, the Carolina Hurricanes' inspired run to the cusp of playoff qualification ended earlier than anticipated, as the Tampa Bay Lightning rode three first period goals and solid play from goaltender Mike Smith to a 6-2 win in Raleigh, eliminating the Hurricanes from postseason play. The New York Rangers set the stage Saturday afternoon for the Canes' final push to the playoffs with a 5-2 win over the New Jersey Devils. The win meant the Canes were in charge of their own destiny, needing two points to tie the Rangers. The tiebreaker situation would have put Carolina in...

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Saturday, April 9, 2011

Canes rout Thrashers, eye playoff clinch tonight

Posted By on Sat, Apr 9, 2011 at 11:49 AM

And the 82-game NHL season comes down to one game for the Cardiac Canes. File photo by Rob RoweCam Ward's bid for his second straight shutout was spoiled in the final minute, but the Canes didn't care as their 6-1 drubbing of the Thrashers put them on the verge of the postseason.After chewing up and spitting out an Atlanta Thrashers team that had put the Hurricanes in the driver's seat for the Eastern Conference's final playoff spot the night before by shutting out the New York Rangers, this Carolina team needs only to win their final game in Raleigh against...

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Friday, April 8, 2011

Canes control own playoff destiny as Rangers stumble

Posted By on Fri, Apr 8, 2011 at 4:18 AM

Remind me to send the Atlanta Thrashers a big fruit basket. That is, so long as the Canes beat them tonight. File photo by Peggy BooneEric Staal, seen here in an earlier game, has his playoff face on.Tear up all of yesterday’s playoff scenarios and toss them in the trash. After the New York Rangers blew their penultimate game last night 3-0 to the Atlanta Thrashers, suddenly, shockingly, the Carolina Hurricanes control their own destiny. If the Cardiac Canes win their remaining games—tonight in Atlanta and Saturday night against Tampa Bay in Raleigh—they will claim a playoff spot regardless of...

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Thursday, April 7, 2011

Canes not done yet, dump Red Wings 3-0

Posted By on Thu, Apr 7, 2011 at 1:58 AM

RBC CENTER, RALEIGH—If they can just get in, then anything can happen. File photo by Peggy BooneJeff Skinner's 30th goal paced the Canes in a 3-0 shutout of Detroit. Skinner, seen here in an earlier game with the Islanders, is the seventh youngest to hit the plateau in the history of the game.That's the best way to sum up the air of desperate determination in the Carolina Hurricanes locker room after the team shut out the Detroit Red Wings 3-0 on Wednesday night, keeping themselves within striking distance of the Eastern Conference's last playoff spot with just a pair of...

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Sunday, April 3, 2011

Canes edge closer to playoff line with comeback win on Long Island

Posted By on Sun, Apr 3, 2011 at 6:17 AM

FSN SOUTH (TV)—It was the kind of goal that Cam Ward just doesn't give up. File photo by Peggy BooneJussi Jokinen started the scoring on Long Island last night for the Canes, who defeated the Islanders 4-2.Jesse Joensuu's quick wrist shot beat the Hurricanes' goaltender blocker side midway through the first period, setting off a period and a half of dominant play that saw the New York Islanders repeatedly storm the Carolina end and shake the confidence of the visitors. But Ward only yielded a John Tavares goal in the second period, and the Hurricanes dug deep in the third...

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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Canes shatter Habs 6-2; Sabres also win

Posted By on Thu, Mar 31, 2011 at 7:27 AM

RBC CENTER, RALEIGH—Whether or not the Hurricanes make the playoffs this season, this will be known as the season Jeff Skinner came to Raleigh. Photo by D. L. AndersonTuomo Ruutu shattered two sections of glass in Carolina's 6-2 rout of Montreal.The rookie’s pair of first-period goals—giving him 29 on the year thus far—paced Carolina to a 6-2 rout of the Montreal Canadiens Wednesday night as the Canes kept the pressure on the bottom of the playoff bracket. Carolina’s other talented rookie, Jamie McBain, added a pair of goals of his own, and Joni Pitkanen and Cory Stillman also tallied as...

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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Canes top Caps in SO; Sabres fall

Posted By on Wed, Mar 30, 2011 at 10:26 AM

FSN SOUTH (TV)—Down a goal, and with their playoff chances hanging in the balance, the Hurricanes took the ice for the third period in Washington last night needing someone to step up and make a play. File photo by Peggy BooneSkinner, winner, chicken dinner! The rookie's third period goal and shootout tally keyed the Canes' 3-2 win in Washington to brighten playoff hopes for another day.Enter Jeff Skinner. The rookie’s seeing-eye shot through a puck-sized gap between Caps netminder Semyon Varlamov and the near post set up Carolina’s 3-2 shootout victory. Combined with Buffalo’s regulation loss to Toronto, the Canes...

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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Canes take flickering playoff hopes to DC

Posted By on Tue, Mar 29, 2011 at 8:11 AM

Five points back, seven games remaining. This is what the Carolina Hurricanes' season has come to. File photo by Peggy BooneJeff Skinner, seen here earlier this year against the Islanders, has raised his game in recent weeks. Will it be enough to push the Canes into the playoffs?If the Canes can't string together a quartet of victories this week, then it will be time for retrospection on a season that fell just short of the playoffs. But if Carolina can win two sets of back-to-back games, which would match its longest winning streak of this up-and-down season, then the team...

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Canes keep pace in East with comeback win over Sens

Posted By on Wed, Mar 23, 2011 at 4:00 AM

RBC CENTER, RALEIGH—How many times do you hit the snooze button before you get up in the morning? File photo by Rob RoweCam Ward's 36 saves allowed Carolina to overcome another slow start and beat the Ottawa Senators 4-3 on Tuesday night.The Hurricanes hit the button twice, falling behind the Ottawa Senators 2-0 and continuing their season-long trend of slow starts, before roaring back for a 4-3 win thanks to a pair of goals from Chad LaRose and an impressive 36-save performance from Cam Ward. Tuomo Ruutu and LaRose provided the wake-up call, scoring to tie the game within a...

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

T-minus 10 games: Canes aim desperation at Senators tonight

Posted By on Tue, Mar 22, 2011 at 8:42 AM

Many clichés describe the Carolina Hurricanes' situation with 10 games remaining in the regular season. It's crunch time. There's no tomorrow. Every game's a must-win game. Their backs are against the wall. There's no crying in hockey. Photo by D. L. AndersonTuomo Ruutu has been trying to amp the Canes by throwing hits on his first shift. It hasn't worked.Well, maybe not that last one. However you describe it, the Hurricanes have to win practically all of their remaining games, and get a bit of help from the teams ahead of them, to make the NHL playoffs this year. Tonight...

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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Pitkanen's OT winner lifts Canes over Isles

Posted By on Sat, Mar 19, 2011 at 7:33 AM

RBC CENTER, RALEIGH—The "Cardiac" Canes won this game in their locker room during the second intermission. Photo by Peggy BooneJeff Skinner netted the game's first goal to buoy the Hurricanes. Carolina beat the New York Islanders 3-2 in OT.Whatever was said, and whoever said it, a different team came down the tunnel Friday night for the final twenty minutes of regulation, turning a 2-1 deficit into a 3-2 overtime victory over a stalwart New York Islanders squad that's nonetheless ignoring the fact that they're just playing out the string. Unlikely hero Joni Pitkanen slapped the winner into the far corner...

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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Canes down Sabres 1-0 in tense contest

Posted By on Wed, Mar 16, 2011 at 6:26 AM

FSN SOUTH (TV)—They didn’t have to have this one, but they had to have this one. Photo by D. L. AndersonErik Cole, seen here against the New York Rangers earlier this season, had several breakaway chances against the Buffalo Sabres.The Carolina Hurricanes bookended their four-game losing streak with a 1-0 win over the host Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday. Brandon Sutter scored the only goal and Cam Ward saved all 40 shots that he faced, accomplishing his 15th career shutout. Consequently, the Eastern Conference standings shifted, as all but one of the teams in seventh through twelfth were in action. Combined...

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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Canes have no margin for error after lost weekend

Posted By on Tue, Mar 15, 2011 at 12:34 AM

The question has been asked all season long: Are the Carolina Hurricanes a playoff team? We may have the answer in the next few days. File photo by Peggy BooneCaptain Eric Staal had seven shots against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday, but no goals.After dropping back to back one-goal games this past weekend in Washington and to Columbus in Raleigh, the Canes are on the outside looking in, and their pursuers are closer to them than they are to the teams ahead. Currently occupying the ninth spot in the Eastern Conference, the Canes trail the seventh-place Buffalo Sabres and...

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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Thrashers stifle Canes in overtime

Posted By on Thu, Mar 10, 2011 at 7:18 AM

RBC CENTER, RALEIGH—The Hurricanes had more than one opponent tonight—the Atlanta Thrashers and the league schedule-makers who gave them four nights off this late in the season. Photo by D. L. AndersonJeff Skinner, seen here earlier this year against the Rangers, seemed effective running a late power play from the half-wall against the Thrashers Wednesday night.After a slow start, Carolina fought back to overcome an early deficit but fell in overtime 3-2 and remain on the outside looking into the playoff bracket. Tim Stapleton finished off a 2-on-1 rush the other way off a well-directed rebound of a Jussi Jokinen...

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Friday, March 4, 2011

Canes down Sabres in overtime thriller

Posted By on Fri, Mar 4, 2011 at 8:33 AM

RBC CENTER, RALEIGH—The Carolina Hurricanes won their first playoff game Thursday night, with 17 games still remaining in the regular season. File photo by Rob RoweJoni Pitkanen set up Jamie McBain or the overtime winner as Carolina's defensemen continued to jump into play.Okay, it wasn’t actually a playoff game, but it sure felt like it. Jamie McBain scored a half-minute into overtime to finish a 3-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres. Cam Ward made 27 saves, the Canes’ penalty killers snuffed five power plays, and Chad LaRose and Jiri Tlusty scored in regulation. Steve Montador and Brad Boyes had the...

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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Canes bid farewell to Samsonov by beating his new team

Posted By on Wed, Mar 2, 2011 at 1:00 AM

RBC CENTER, RALEIGH—Sergei Samsonov looked sad. File photo by Rob RoweCam Ward made the spectacular look mundane in a 2-1 win over the Florida Panthers on Tuesday.At 9:50, he stood in the visiting locker room, unshowered, among Florida Panthers teammates he might not yet know the names of, in front of a whiteboard reading "Bus 10:00." That bus would take him away from the RBC Center for the foreseeable future, as the Panthers—to whom Samsonov was traded for defenseman Bryan Allen barely 24 hours before—do not play the Hurricanes for the remainder of this season. After Carolina downed his new...

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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Canes swap Samsonov at trade deadline

Posted By on Tue, Mar 1, 2011 at 8:17 AM

The Carolina Hurricanes beefed up their defense for the playoff run Monday, acquiring blueliner Bryan Allen from the Florida Panthers. Winger Sergei Samsonov was sent to the Panthers, for whom he will play against his old teammates when they visit the Canes on Tuesday. File photo by Rob RoweSergei Samsonov was sent to the Florida Panthers at the trade deadline for defender Bryan Allen.“Bryan is a good addition to our defense,” said general manager Jim Rutherford in a team statement. “He has great character and experience and will add size and grit to our team.” Allen has another year left...

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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Canes beat Penguins, fall to Habs

Posted By on Sun, Feb 27, 2011 at 10:04 AM

There is no equivalent in hockey to baseball's closer, but Hurricanes fans wish there were. File photo by Peggy BooneEric Staal missed Saturday's game after a high, hard hit from the Penguins' Matt Niskanen as the Canes split games this weekend.Carolina split back-to-back games this weekend, handling the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-1 in Raleigh on Friday night before losing 4-3 on a late power-play goal by the Canadiens in Montreal on Saturday. The inability to get a tied game into overtime to at least secure a point in Montreal dissipated some of the good vibes from a complete team victory over...

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Friday, February 25, 2011

Canes reacquire Cory Stillman as trade deadline approaches

Posted By on Fri, Feb 25, 2011 at 9:38 AM

RALEIGH—The Hurricanes improved their pool of forwards on Thursday, bringing left winger Cory Stillman back into the fold from the Florida Panthers. And they might not be done yet. Logo courtesy NHLWho wears this logo for the rest of the season will be determined by the trade deadline Monday afternoon.Stillman, who Canes fans remember as a key contributor on the 2006 Stanley Cup champion team, notched seven goals and sixteen assists this year in 44 games in Miami. He's 38 years old now, but speed has not been a part of his game, and his skills still fit Paul Maurice's...

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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Rangers tie Canes late, win in shootout

Posted By on Wed, Feb 23, 2011 at 7:45 AM

RBC CENTER, RALEIGH—The St. Baldrick's Foundation shaved the heads of over one hundred fans before Tuesday's game between the Hurricanes and the Rangers to raise money for childhood cancer research. There's no official count yet of how many more fans tore their hair out after the game. File photo by Peggy BooneEric Staal felled his brother Marc with a crushing hit in the second period, but the Rangers downed the Canes in a shootout, 4-3.Carolina let another late lead vanish, squandering two 3-on-1 rushes down the stretch that could have put the game away in regulation. Instead, Wojtek Wolski tied...

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Saturday, February 19, 2011

Brindy's big night inspires Canes to beat Flyers

Posted By on Sat, Feb 19, 2011 at 1:49 PM

RBC CENTER, RALEIGH—Rod Brind’Amour brought the crowd to their feet to honor his brilliant, gutsy career. A bit later, Erik Cole did the same with a brilliant, gutsy goal. WikiMedia CommonsRod Brind'Amour's number 17 will never be worn in Carolina again.Was Bates Battaglia anywhere in the building, perchance? Brind’Amour’s number 17, newly installed in the RBC Center rafters, inspired the Carolina Hurricanes to play an exceptional game, beating the Eastern Conference-leading Philadelphia Flyers 3-2 before a larger-than-capacity crowd that nearly brought the banner back down when Cole scored the winner with just three minutes remaining. In 2002, when the Hurricanes...

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Friday, February 18, 2011

Brind'Amour's number to be raised to the rafters tonight

Posted By on Fri, Feb 18, 2011 at 6:17 AM

RALEIGH—Rod Brind'Amour didn't want to leave Philadelphia. But now he will always be remembered as a Carolina Hurricane. WikiMedia CommonsRod Brind'Amour, appearing here before a game in 2009, will see his number 17 raised to the RBC Center rafters Friday night.The Canes retire Brindy's number 17 tonight in an hour-long ceremony before hosting the Flyers, the team with which he spent more than eight seasons before being traded to Carolina for Keith Primeau in 2000. Disinclined to talk about himself in that way that so many Canadian players from small towns are, the former team captain nonetheless found words to...

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