I have to admit Caniacs, I’m a bit down in the dumps today. After a stressful Monday at work, I started thinking about how I deal with and relieve that stress and it occurred to me that so many times in the last year, I had the escape of a Carolina Hurricanes game. Sure playoff hockey is great, and I’m on the New York Rangers bandwagon, but I miss MY team. And there is NOTHING like sitting in the PNC Arena with a bunch of Caniacs and making some noise – am I right? The season ended only a month ago for our beloved Canes – is it possible I’ve already hit my low point? With another couple of months until they return to Raleigh, let’s hope not!
Today I’ve decided to use my blog to rehash some of my favorite memories from the 2011-12 season.
When I’m finished here, I’ll seek the professional help of YouTube videos of these great moments to help me through my Canes deprivation depression.
Justin Faulk’s First NHL Goal
Is there any better memory than your first NHL goal? I’ll never know, but I bet Justin Faulk thinks it’s pretty darn special. The rookie D-Man’s first was against the Winnipeg Jets on December 9. Unfortunately the Canes lost the game, but it was just one shining moment from this promising Canes player. Runner up to this moment, his first NHL fight against the Washington Capitals Troy Brouwer.
Brandon Sutter Records First Gordie Howe Hat Trick
Speaking of fights, one I won’t forget anytime soon is “the” fight that earned Brandon Sutter his first Gordie Howe Hat Trick (a fight, goal, and assist in one game for those who aren’t in the know). The Canes were visiting the Minnesota Wild and shortly into the first period Sutter was just trying to break up an incident between his line mates Andreas Nodl, Patrick Dwyer, and some Wild players. Minnesota’s Nate Prosser wanted to keep things going however and Sutter did not back down. The second period saw Sutter earn his helper on a Drayson Bowman goal. In the third period during 4-on-4 hockey, Sutter got a breakaway after a pass from Bowman. There is nothing prettier than a Sutter breakaway, and this one resulted in in a goal that tied the game. The Canes eventually prevailed over the Wild 5-3.
The Return of Jeff Skinner
When Jeff Skinner was concussed in December after a hit from Edmonton Oilers Andy Sutton, rumors were flying that he’d end up the next Sidney Crosby, that we might not see his return until the following season. It was at the height of the concussion wave that plagued the NHL this season. Crosby and Ranger Marc Staal had still been out for extended periods of time at that point. Philadelphia Flyers superstar Claude Giroux sustained a concussion around the same time as Skinner. When I walked in to the first Canes practice of 2012 on January 2, I’ll never forget the joy I felt seeing a yellow no contact jersey from the top of the steps. The Canes and Skinner were lucky in that he was able to return after missing 16 games.
The Canes Finally Win a Shootout, At Home, On An Eric Staal Goal, During The Last Game Of The Season!
Enough said really. It was quite possibly the most exciting way to end the last home game of the season, without going on to the playoffs. I just consider myself lucky that I got to be there to see it happen.
Thanks for listening everyone, it *sniff* really helps to have a Caniac shoulder to lean on.
Tags: Andreas Nodl Andy Sutton Brandon Sutter Carolina Hurricanes Claude Giroux Drayson Bowman Edmonton Oilers Eric Staal Gordie Howe Hat Trick Jeff Skinner Justin Faulk Marc Staal Minnesota Wild Nate Prosser New York Rangers Patrick Dwyer PNC Arena Raleigh Sidney Crosby Troy Brouwer Washington Capitals Winnipeg Jets