In their third game in four nights, the Carolina Hurricanes notched another victory in their home barn this time over the Winnipeg Jets. Both teams came out strong in the first, and the period had a pretty quick tempo. Only 3:55 into the period, Jeff Skinner got the Canes on the board. Skinner headed up the left side of the ice and attempted to make a pass to Zac Dalpe waiting in front of the net. The pass was deflected off the skate of Ron Hainsey which turned out to be a blessing in disguise. It bounced right back to Skinner and he was able to sneak the puck in the left side of the net on Chris Mason. Hearing “SKINNER!” after the goal horn was music to the ears of many Caniacs including this one. Skinner would not go it alone in scoring in the first. Almost nine and a half minutes in, Tim Brent and Anthony Stewart battled a Jets defender on the boards for the puck. Getting the puck to Stewart, Brent sprinted off towards the goal where Stewart shoveled it back to him and he popped it in past Mason. While this goal may not have been as flashy as Skinner’s it was a great play starting with the battle and turned out to be the game winner. The clubs went to the locker rooms and Winnipeg had nothing to show for their six shots on Cam Ward.
Second verse same as the first? In this case no. The Canes came out in the second looking a bit disorganized and frankly tired. Not having their legs was not totally unexpected though with the number of games they had just played and a Sunday morning practice under their belts after the loss on Long Island. They managed to hold off the Jets from scoring until the 13:47 mark. Tobias Enstrom, heading down the left, made a swift pass to Kyle Wellwood who shoveled it in going down to one knee. Cam Ward said “yes” and the score was 2-1.
The Jets got a point on the scoreboard, but the Hurricanes came out of the period with another wounded warrior. Chad LaRose, just back from an upper-body injury, had been steadily shoring up the fourth line but was accidentally cut by a skate near the end of a play at the beginning of the period. He skated off with little to no weight on his right leg and trainer Pete Friessen headed to the locker room behind him. He did not return to the match. Coach Muller has optimistically stated that he thinks he will be back after the All Star break.
The third period became a defensive battle for the men in red as Cam Ward faced fourteen Winnipeg shots and the Canes only registered a measly two. Despite some frantic play by both sides in the period, there were no more goals to be scored and the Canes enter the All Star break coming off a win. Hopefully this will allow some good rest and healing time for the battered and bruised and the rest of the guys can refuel their tanks.
Observations from the RBC Center:
- Eric Staal once again played like a beast. Going into the third he was 11-1 in the faceoff circle. He battled defensively and worked extra shifts after LaRose was injured. He was 67% in the circle for the night.
- Justin Faulk continues to accumulate believers as he makes great plays and logs big minutes. Last night he worked a solid 25:42 and delivered some monster hits!
- I love Jeff Skinner’s game but I would have liked to have seen Tim Brent get a star for his goal. It may not have looked as flashy but it was the game winner and looked pretty darned good from my vantage point since the battle on the boards happened right in front of me. Share the love please.
- I have to take a moment to comment on fans doing “the wave” in the arena. Really Caniacs? I was very disappointed in this. It’s not just that I think it’s silly and gives others material with which to make fun of our “non-traditional market.” My main beef with the wave is, when you do it OTHER PEOPLE CAN’T SEE THE ACTUAL GAME. Sorry to scream there Caniacs. But I had to. I have a feeling Miss Hockey Manners has some thoughts on this topic.
- As always, Michael Smith, Web Producer with the Hurricanes, has put together some great post-game notes. I recommend checking them out for some good information from the game.
- If Tobias Enstrom is 5’10” I am Erin Andrews.
Enjoy the All Star break Caniacs! And don’t forget to root on our very own Justin Faulk who will be representing the rookies in Ottawa! If nothing else, I hope he at least wins the “Best Flow” competition!
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Topics: 2012 NHL All Star Game, 2012 NHL All Star Rookies, Anthony Stewart, Chad LaRose, Chris Mason, Hockey Ettiquette, Jeff Skinner, Justin Faulk, Kyle Wellwood, Ron Hainsey, Tim Brent, Winnipeg Jets, Zac Dalpe