News & Notes Plus 3 Biggest Surprises in October


Well today Maurice released that Staal will be a week to week decision and no surprise he was not at practice this morning.  This will end his 349 games played streak and Wednesday will be only the second game Staal has missed in his career.  The surprise to me was that Jussi Jokinen was filling in this morning for Staal on the first line.  Don’t get me wrong Jokinen has been a big time player for the Hurricanes, but he is at best a second line center.  Cole’s best attribute is speed, which is not Jokinen’s and could cause chemistry issues.  If it was me I put Matt Cullen on the first line with Jokinen centering the second line.  Granted, I am not qualified to be a hockey coach, but if I was Maurice I would try these lines

Ruutu-Cullen-Cole

LaRose-Jokinen-Whitney

Samsonov-Brind’amour-Walker

Kostopolous-Yelle-Sutter

The final not about the Hurricanes today is that Jay Harrison cleared waivers and was assigned to Albany.   Harrison played ten of the Hurricanes first thirteen due to the injuries of Joni Pitkanen and Tim Gleason.  With Pitkanen back in the lineup and Gleason set to return on Wedensday, making Harrison expendable.

3 Biggest Surprises of October

1.    The biggest surprise without question would have to be the Colorado Avalanche.  The Avalanche were picked to be among the worst if not the worst in the NHL this season.  With the stellar goal tending of Craig Anderson, the young talent such as Matt Duchene and Ryan O’Reilly, and a couple of veterans such as Wojtek Wolski and Milan Hejduk.  The Avalanche currently sit at the top of the Western Conference with 22 points and the leagues second best record

2.  The Phoenix Coyotes are in the playoff picture with great defense and the goal tending of Ilya Bryzgalov.  The Coyotes have found a way to score just enough and the team is allowing 1.96 goals a game.  Remember this is a team in Bankruptcy and had their coach resign right before the season, which makes the Coyotes that much more impressive.

3. The third surprise is a bad one and its right here in Carolina.  The Hurricanes are off to their worst start since moving to North Carolina in 1997.  The team is 0-6-3 in their last nine.  The question everyone is wondering is if this will continue or it will begin to click.