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Monday, January 13, 2014

Winter weather brings wins to the Canes

Posted By on Mon, Jan 13, 2014 at 3:54 PM

Weird things happen on New Year’s Eve. We all have our stories. I once woke up on a stranger’s lawn in an unfamiliar town in the twilight of the next morning. You just roll with these things. Don’t ask questions; just let it play out.After losing five games in a row, the Carolina Hurricanes found themselves down 3—0 to Montreal after two periods on New Year’s Eve. For 40 minutes, they’d given their fans plenty of reasons to need drinks later. But, striking like lightning reanimating Dick Clark’s body, the Canes suddenly held a 4—3 lead just eight minutes later. They finished off...

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Saturday, December 7, 2013

Canes Report: A Sense of Urgency

Posted By on Sat, Dec 7, 2013 at 11:42 AM

Carolina Hurricanes, 13-12-5, second place in the Metropolitan Division Last week (3-1):12/1: Vancouver 3, @Carolina 212/3: Carolina 4, @Washington 112/5: Carolina 5, @Nashville 212/6: @Carolina 5, San Jose 3 This week: 12/9 @Vancouver; 12/10 @Edmonton; 12/12 @Calgary; 12/14 @Phoenix Wait… fourteen goals in three games? Second place in the division? Did someone fact-check all that? Indeed, the Canes have been scoring and winning lately, taking a crucial divisional game in Washington before hanging five goals each on a pair of Western Conference teams. A three-game win streak puts them a point ahead of the Caps and Rangers in the standings....

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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Canes ambush Flyers in overtime

Posted By on Wed, Nov 6, 2013 at 7:57 AM

PNC ARENA—The sleeper has awoken, at least for one night. In just his third game with the Carolina Hurricanes, Manny Malhotra scored an inspiring breakaway goal in overtime to down the Philadelphia Flyers, 2-1. It was the kind of stirring vindication that could rouse this team’s offense from a season-long slumber. Photograph by Chris BairdCarolina brought more jump and growl to their game, dumping the Flyers in overtime, 2-1.Dragging a five-game losing streak home from their most lopsided loss of the year to the Rangers, the Canes needed someone to step up and make a play. Malhotra delivered by checking...

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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

"Average" Canes drop third straight

Posted By on Tue, Oct 29, 2013 at 12:17 PM

PNC ARENA—The ruthlessly positive coach wasn’t feeling particularly positive. “We were light tonight. We got pushed out of the game. They played a heavier game than we did.” Photograph by Chris BairdBrett Sutter's first-period tussle with Joe Vitale failed to spark the Canes, who fell 3-1 at home to the Penguins.Kirk Muller didn’t like what he saw from his Carolina Hurricanes in a 3-1 home loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday night. In their first game back in Raleigh after a four-game road trip to allow the State Fair to take over the arena grounds, the Canes came out...

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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Canes hit the road happy to get one point from Chicago

Posted By on Wed, Oct 16, 2013 at 2:43 AM

RALEIGH, PNC ARENA—The Hurricanes made way for the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks tonight. Tomorrow they’ll make way for prizewinning cattle, pig races and anything you can put in a deep fat-fryer. Photograph by Chris Baird Cam Ward watches defenseman Jay Harrison clear Marcus Kruger from his goal crease. Chicago beat the Canes in a shootout, 3-2. The dark underbelly of your Krispy Kreme burger (other than the actual shadow beneath your growing underbelly) is that the Canes annually clear out of their barn for the duration of the North Carolina State Fair. After dropping a shootout loss to the...

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Saturday, October 5, 2013

Meet the new Canes, same as the old Canes

Posted By on Sat, Oct 5, 2013 at 9:49 AM

PNC ARENA (RALEIGH)—It’s game one of 82. This morning, when you get up and look in the bathroom mirror, and your unfulfilled dreams seem to press back at you from the other side of the glass, say, “It’s game one of 82.” No, it's not time for Caniacs to push this button. But it's tempting after the kind of deflating loss we've gotten used to.The Carolina Hurricanes opened a new season last night, and showed promising signs for much of their contest with the Detroit Red Wings, but the same failings and excuses that have haunted their last few seasons...

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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Canes battle but fall to Penguins, 5-3

Posted By on Wed, Apr 10, 2013 at 7:36 AM

PNC ARENA—The Canes were able to say that they accomplished all the points of their game plan Tuesday night. They got goals from the bottom two lines and from their defense. They didn’t flag in the second period, as has been their pattern of late. And they matched their opponent’s physicality in all three zones. But they still lost. Photo by Chris BairdAlexander Semin, seen here in an earlier tilt this season, still looked gimpy in his return against Pittsburgh after missing two games.The conference-leading Pittsburgh Penguins scored three third-period goals—including a pair in the space of 13 seconds that...

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Sunday, April 7, 2013

Fragile Canes drop seventh straight home game

Posted By on Sun, Apr 7, 2013 at 10:00 AM

PNC ARENA—In the space of 31 seconds Saturday night, the Carolina Hurricanes' season officially ended. Photo by Chris BairdEric Staal has had a great season. His team, however, has not.Left so wide open he could have paused to write a journal entry about it before he shot the puck, Derek Stepan beat Dan Ellis from the slot on an early second-period New York Rangers power play. Then, on the next shift, Ellis dallied behind his net and was pickpocketed almost apologetically by Rick Nash, who fed Ryan Callahan in front for an open-goal tap-in. Just like that, a competitive game...

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Friday, March 8, 2013

Players approve NHL realignment plan

Posted By on Fri, Mar 8, 2013 at 1:42 PM

Photo by Chris BairdCam Ward makes a save in a recent tilt with the Florida Panthers, who won't be a division rival much longer. RALEIGH—The "South-least" division looks to be coming to an end. The National Hockey League Players' Association (NHLPA) approved a league realignment plan on Wednesday that would create four divisions—two of seven teams and two of eight teams—out of the existing six divisions. The league would still comprise an eastern and a western conference. The plan, which will assuage critics of the current playoff seeding system, also includes a wild-card playoff round. Now that the NHLPA has...

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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Canes move forward without Ward

Posted By on Tue, Mar 5, 2013 at 6:52 AM

RALEIGH—Cam Ward won't be minding the Canes' net for a while. Photo by Chris BairdCam Ward went down to a knee injury shortly after this save Sunday night. He won't be back until the final days of the season.Ward suffered a third-degree sprain of the medial collateral ligament (MCL) in his left knee when teammate Justin Faulk slid into him Sunday night in Florida. The knee doesn't require surgery, but he'll miss six to eight weeks while recovering. In this lockout-shortened schedule, that means he could return sometime within the last couple weeks of the regular season that ends on...

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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Mr. Semin goes to Washington, Canes lose again

Posted By on Wed, Feb 27, 2013 at 8:10 AM

FOX SPORTS CAROLINAS (TV)—Players switch teams all the time in hockey. Free agents put themselves on the open market in droves every summer. Teams toss prospects over the fence in exchange for draft picks. At the trading deadline (on April 3, this year) it’s not uncommon for a player to change cities and then play his old team within a week. It’s the business, players say. Photo by Chris BairdAlexander Semin, seen here in an earlier tilt with Tampa Bay, couldn't make a difference against his former team Tuesday night.But these changes aren’t always run of the mill, and this...

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Friday, February 22, 2013

Ward hands one to the Jets, Canes drop second straight

Posted By on Fri, Feb 22, 2013 at 8:56 AM

PNC ARENA—Kirk Muller is a ruthlessly positive man. If you fell down the stairs, he would shout down at you, “Now you don’t have to dust.” But after last night’s 4-3 loss to the Winnipeg Jets, in which Cam Ward looked below average, Muller sounded like he was trying convince himself about his starting goaltender. Photo by Rob RoweWinnipeg had gone seven games without scoring three goals. Until they faced Cam Ward last night.“He’s a good pro. I’m sure he’s going to look at a couple of them. It probably feels like he had the opportunity to make a couple...

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Canes gel on the road to lead division

Posted By on Wed, Feb 13, 2013 at 7:27 AM

FOX SPORTS CAROLINAS (TV)—Remember grumbling about the Hurricanes a couple weeks ago? In a word, they were middling. They'd win one and then lose one, very Jekyll and Hyde. It turns out that they just needed a little trip. Photo by Chris BairdEric Staal is among the league scoring leaders after Carolina's 4-1-1 road trip.The Canes completed their season-high six-game road trip last night in New Jersey with a flourish of muscle and skill, dumping the conference-leading Devils 4-2. Carolina's 4-1-1 trip pushes then to the top of their division at the quarter turn of the lockout-shortened season, as the...

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Friday, January 25, 2013

Hat trick for the captain; Canes win their first of the year

Posted By on Fri, Jan 25, 2013 at 7:22 AM

PNC ARENA—The first time the little boy threw the hat, it barely left his hand. The second time, held aloft by his dad, he bounced it off the top of the glass and it fell back in his arms. Finally he threw harder and got it onto the ice. Third time’s a charm. Just ask Eric Staal. Photo by Chris BairdEric Staal's 13th career hat trick paced the Canes to a 6-3 win over Buffalo, their first win of the season.The Carolina captain’s empty-net goal capped a hat trick, pacing the Hurricanes to a 6-3 win over the visiting Buffalo...

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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Why did the Canes hear boos? It's the lockout, stupid

Posted By on Wed, Jan 23, 2013 at 7:55 AM

PNC ARENA—In 1944, the poet William Carlos Williams published a crucial book called “The Wedge.” Wartime conservation had shut down his regular publisher, New Directions, so the tiny Cummington Press brought it out in an edition of 380, which was all the paper they could get their mitts on during the war. Williams’ famed preface opens with a blunt acknowledgement of the international—and individual—situation: “The War is the first and only thing in the world today.” Photo by Chris BairdJeff Skinner shoveled in the Canes' only goal in a frustrating 4-1 loss to Tampa in the Canes' home opener.This sentence...

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Sunday, January 20, 2013

Canes look rusty in season-opening loss to Panthers

Posted By on Sun, Jan 20, 2013 at 10:56 AM

FSN CAROLINAS (TV)—We waited through a four-month lockout for this? The Carolina Hurricanes opened the shortened 2013 season with a whimper, surrendering four first-period goals in a 5-1 loss to the Florida Panthers. Mercifully, this was Florida’s home opener, so Canes fans didn’t have to pay for tickets to see their team’s meager display. Photo by Alex ManessEric Staal was rusty in a 5-1 season-opening loss in Florida.Caniacs do have to dish out cash for Carolina’s home opener on Tuesday, as the Tampa Bay Lightning visit Raleigh. Tampa hung six goals on the Washington Capitals in their opening victory Saturday...

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Monday, January 7, 2013

Caniacs rejoice! Hockey's back!

Posted By on Mon, Jan 7, 2013 at 6:37 AM

RALEIGH—Caniacs will be smiling today. After 113 days, the National Hockey League lockout is over. Photo by Rob RoweCam Ward and the Carolina Hurricanes will return to the ice now that the lockout is over.Sunday brought that happy news as well as an unfamiliar sight to PNC Arena. Men in red and black uniforms, on ice skates, were already slinging a puck around. The Carolina Hurricanes' American Hockey League affiliate Charlotte Checkers coincidentally played a long-scheduled game in Raleigh, defeating the Norfolk Admirals 3-1. The first-place Checkers took the ice just hours after NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and NHL Players'...

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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Carolina pays its Calder Kid

Posted By on Wed, Aug 8, 2012 at 5:54 PM

Does Cheerwine come in champagne bottles? File photo by Peggy BooneJeff Skinner, seen exulting two seasons ago during a game against the New York IslandersThe Carolina Hurricanes locked up another component of the team’s core by inking 20-year-old forward Jeff Skinner to a six-year contract extension. The deal keeps the gifted scorer in the red and black for the next seven years since it begins after his current deal expires in spring of 2013. It also shows a hockey franchise making every effort to run with the big boys. The 2010-2011 Calder Trophy winner will pocket $4,350,000 in the 2013-14...

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Friday, July 27, 2012

Mercurial retrograde? Hurricanes ink Alexander Semin to one-year deal

Posted By on Fri, Jul 27, 2012 at 8:43 AM

You often encounter the word "mercurial" in the world of sports. Sports journalists slap the adjective in front of the names of inconsistent players. Mercurial athletes tantalize you with second-to-none play in one moment and devastate you by vanishing into oblivion the next. They're more than streaky; they're hair-losingly maddening. And they tend to wear out their welcome. Wikimedia CommonsWhy the long face, Alexander Semin? The Carolina Hurricanes are giving you a second chance.The Canes have just signed such a player. The Russian winger Alexander Semin, who sniped 197 goals in seven seasons with the Washington Capitals, scrawled his name...

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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Canes acquire Jordan Staal on draft day

Posted By on Sat, Jun 23, 2012 at 6:24 AM

Cue up Sly and the Family Stone, Canes marketers. It's a Staal family affair in Raleigh. In the league's biggest deal on the first day of the draft in Pittsburgh, Carolina acquired center Jordan Staal from the Penguins for center Brandon Sutter, minor league defenseman Brian Dumolin, and the eighth overall pick. First and foremost, Carolina makes one of its franchise cornerstones happy. Jordan is the third Staal in the organization now. Younger brother Jared plays for the Canes' American Hockey League affiliate in Charlotte. Given how dreary a year captain Eric had this past season, when the locker room...

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Friday, June 22, 2012

Will Staal have a stall next to Staal?

Posted By on Fri, Jun 22, 2012 at 5:00 AM

Even though the Triangle is finally getting its full summer swelter on, and the only ice on your mind has beer bottles nestled down into it, it's time to talk hockey. As the National Hockey League entry draft begins on Friday night in Pittsburgh, trade rumors are flying and the Carolina Hurricanes are right in the thick of them. Scorers are in play and deals seem imminent. Caniacs, keep your sports radio on at the pool or beach this weekend. Wikimedia CommonsCould Jordan Staal become a Carolina Hurricane today? Maybe. Definitely maybe.First, to backtrack for a moment, general manager Jim...

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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Hockey playoffs becoming violent farce

Posted By on Wed, Apr 18, 2012 at 6:10 PM

It’s safe to say that I’m thankful the Carolina Hurricanes didn’t make the playoffs this season. In fact, that’s about the only thing that’s safe about the National Hockey League right now. Coming home after a poetry reading last night—the fire and brimstone fury of Amiri Baraka—I flipped on the television to catch whatever first-round playoff action might be on. The eight opening series of the Stanley Cup tournament are the bounty that every hockey fan has been anticipating for months. Regardless of the match-ups, you tune in because this is what hockey is all about. The quest for the...

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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Why you should catch a Canes game this weekend

Posted By on Thu, Mar 29, 2012 at 6:03 PM

RALEIGH, NC—When a team is mathematically eliminated from the National Hockey League playoffs, newspapers put a lower-case “e” in front of the team’s name in the NHL standings. The Carolina Hurricanes don’t have their “e” yet, but somewhere a typesetter has taken it out of the drawer and polished its leaden face. The scarlet letter might be Hurricanes red, but there's still some hockey to be played this year.It’s just a matter of hours before the Canes join the Hester Prynne Division that has been accumulating members over the last week. Despite the fact that Carolina has posted one of...

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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Canes won't go away, drop Panthers for fourth straight win

Posted By on Thu, Mar 22, 2012 at 4:02 AM

PNC ARENA, RALEIGH—I am skilled, as it turns out, at avoiding jinxes. In order to snap my team out of a bad stretch of play in a game, I can sense just when to change clothing or turn my jersey inside-out. To fend off a favorite player’s injury in his first game back after a long concussion absence, I recently ate a hard-boiled egg while doing a handstand, knowing that such an absurd act would prompt the hockey gods to protect his noggin from further harm. Photo by D.L. AndersonCalm and confident, Cam Ward just missed a shutout against the...

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Monday, January 30, 2012

After All-Star break, Canes look to the future

Posted By on Mon, Jan 30, 2012 at 3:20 PM

Before you click away elsewhere, take a quick look at the Carolina Hurricanes’ roster. And, as you read it, refresh the page a few times. Chances are fair that it might change before your eyes. The trade deadline approacheth. Photo by Peggy BooneTuomo Ruutu, seen here in a December game versus Buffalo, might not be a Cane much longer.One name will stay for certain. Earlier today, blueliner Tim Gleason inked a four-year contract extension for the Canes—essentially inheriting the terms and dollars that went off the books when flop-tacular Tomas Kaberle was catapulted to Montreal in early December. Another name...

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