Ruutu dealing at Canes Casino Night

Canes Ring in February with Success On and Off the Ice

The Carolina Hurricanes ended January with downright silly success. Despite a weird schedule with two rescheduled games (thanks to Mother Nature), their 10-4-0 record was the third most successful month in franchise history. The fun rolled into February with the annual Casino Night to benefit the Kids ‘N Community Foundation. The event raised over $282,000 for the charity which set a new record for the third year in a row. In case you were living under a rock, or just want to relive the excitement, here’s a recap.

January kicked off with a thrilling overtime win against the Washington Capitals. Jeff Skinner earned a hat trick, including the overtime game-winner to defeat the Caps 4-3. The Canes went on to win three more contests, but the streak ended with the ever-pesky Columbus Blue Jackets. On January 27th, it appeared Columbus would continue their domination over Carolina. The Canes hadn’t snagged a win over the Ohio team since Dec. 15, 2005 and going into the third down 2-0 didn’t do anything to lift the hopes of Caniacs. Enter the Staal Brothers. The pair scored three goals in roughly three minutes to end the losing streak 3-2.

I’ll pause so you can celebrate all over again.

The month ended on another high note with a huge win over St. Louis. The Canes needed to play their best hockey to defeat this talented team and that is exactly what they did. Skinner scored another game-winner with Nathan Gerbe and Alexander Semin also contributed with a goal each. Anton Khudobin was the second star of the night with 27 saves. The tendy had a stellar month with ten wins in fourteen games which earned him the #1 spot in the NHL Stars of the Week!

If that wasn’t enough excitement for you, the Hurricanes welcomed February with a night of great food, cold drinks and players leading casino games. The Kids ‘N Community team did a fantastic job of organizing this important event. I was lucky enough to attend for the first time and here are some random thoughts and observations from the night’s festivities.

Manny Malhotra allowing me to have a fan freak out.

Manny Malhotra allowing me to have a fan freak out moment.

–  Manny Malhotra is the man. Seriously, what a wonderful ambassador for the team. He graciously took pictures with fans, answered questions and always asked how people were enjoying the evening. Class act.

–  Jordan Staal wins for having the most lively table. Cheers coming from the crowded craps table could be heard throughout the arena floor. Jeff Skinner’s table…not so much. I can’t tell if he is just painfully shy or just lackadaisical in his efforts with fans.

–  Caniacs can booze it up. According to Doug Warf, they set a record high bar tab. Should we consider a keg stand competition for charity next year?

–  Jay Harrison can rock a mean air guitar. I know, because I asked him to jam with me.

–  Nathan Gerbe is so fantastic. He chatted with my (also short) husband about stick length and lie. Surprisingly, he isn’t very concerned with lie. However, he does enjoy playing with a shorter stick this season.

–  Khodobin had Legos in his auction basket! He is too funny, so I told the goalie that I loved him. He said, “Ok.”

After a historical January and an entertaining start to February, the Canes face three teams before heading into the Olympic break. So, cross your fingers and throw on your lucky sweater to keep the positive momentum moving into February. The Hurricanes take on Winnipeg on Tuesday at PNC Arena.

Let’s Go Canes!

If you want to see your favorite players at Casino Night, you can check out my photos on Flickr.

I’m always happy to talk hockey, so send a tweet or two my way @CardiacCaneKP.

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Tags: Anton Khubodin Carolina Hurricanes Casino Night Jeff Skinner Jordan Staal Manny Malhotra Nathan Gerbe

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