Archive for the ‘Archives’ Category

Carolina Hurricanes Report (Oct. 21): Eric Staal, Cam Ward Leading Team Forward

October 22nd, 2010 No Comments

Exactly two weeks into the 2010-2011 NHL Season, the Carolina Hurricanes hold the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference Standings and the third slot in the Southeastern Division with six points on three wins and three losses. Their mediocre record is misleading, however. In fact, the ‘Canes are off to a very promising start considering that they are starting four rookies, led by a 27-year-old captain, are the fourth-youngest team in the league and have not yet played a game within a 650-mile radius of the RBC Center. Their two franchise cornerstones, center and captain Eric Staal and goaltender Cam Ward, have stepped up and taken leading roles as the Hurricanes move through a brutal opening stretch. Staal, who was held without a point in the ‘Canes two NHL Premiere games, now has three goals—one short-handed—and three assists in his last

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Carolina Hurricanes Win Both Games Against Minnesota Wild in 2010 NHL Premiere

October 9th, 2010 No Comments

The Carolina Hurricanes flew into Helsinki, Finland, with four points and a confidence-building start to the 2010-2011 NHL season in mind. And, as the back-to-back concluded Friday afternoon, they achieved exactly what they were looking for. With a 2-1 shootout victory over the Minnesota Wild to back up their 4-3 win over the Wild the day before, Carolina returns to North America leading the league in points. While it’s still a little premature to say that means much, leading the league was certainly something the ‘Canes never got to experience last season. The Hurricanes came through in Game One after holding on in the closing minutes. After Brandon Sutter scored the Hurricanes’ first goal of the season with seconds remaining in the first period, tying the game at 1-1, Anton Babchuk gave Carolina their first lead of the season just

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Carolina Hurricanes’ Signing of Patrick O’Sullivan Will Pay Huge Dividends

September 18th, 2010 No Comments

The Carolina Hurricanes added another talented member Friday to their extremely competitive upcoming training camp battle for the two remaining center positions. The team signed 25-year-old center Patrick O’Sullivan to a one-year, two-way contract. The deal will pay him $600,000 at the NHL level and just over $100,000 at the AHL level. While Carolina General Manager Jim Rutherford indicated that O’Sullivan “has the ability to reach [the 20-goal mark] again”, O’Sullivan will enter training camp next week as just another face in a talented group of prospects fighting for the position, including newly-acquired Jon Matsumoto and Riley Nash, seventh-overall draft pick Jeff Skinner, 2009 injury fill-in Patrick Dwyer, and AHL “veteran” Zac Dalpe. O’Sullivan will certainly have no guarantees of a spot. However, all the facts are pointed in the right direction for his chances not only to make the team,

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Carolina Hurricanes Team Report: Prospects Finish Third at Traverse City Tournament

September 17th, 2010 No Comments

This past week, teams of youngsters from eight franchises got their first bite of pre-preseason NHL action in the annual Traverse City Prospects Tournament. While the defending 2009 champions, the Carolina Hurricanes, failed to repeat their title, the young ‘Canes did come in with an impressive third place finish. After falling to the eventual-champion Minnesota Wild 2-1 in their opening game, Carolina recovered quickly, winning a last-second 1-0 thriller over the New York Rangers’ prospects and then finishing off the first round play with a 8-1 demolishing of Columbus. The third place game against the Tampa Bay Lightning was another exciting affair, as both teams were tied 3-3 both after the end of regulation and the end of the first four-minute 4-on-4 overtime. Then, the ‘Canes and ‘Bolts got the try out the new test theory of a 3-on-3 overtime, and

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Is Phil Kessel Ready To Make The Jump To Elite Status?

September 7th, 2010 9 Comments

When it comes to the Toronto Maple Leafs scoring, many believe it begins and ends with Phil Kessel. For the most part the observers are correct—Kessel is the Leafs main goal-scoring threat. That said, given general manager Brian Burke’s recent acquisitions (Kris Versteeg, Colby Armstrong, Clarke MacArthur, Luca Caputi) and with the all but certain addition of talented scorer Nazem Kadri to the mix, the Leafs look to have a much deeper offensive lineup heading into the 2010-11 season. In 2009-10 Kessel accounted for a total of 30 goals and 55 points—good enough to equate to a total of 14.3 percent of Toronto’s goals, which ranked him 13th overall with Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning finishing first with 51 goals or 23.9 percent of Tampa’s goals. Overall, having played a total of just 70 games of the 82-game

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Weekend Wonderings: Five-Year NHL Trends and Streaks To Think Over

August 28th, 2010 No Comments

During the NHL lockout that cancelled what would have been the 2004-2005 season, the entire rules of the game were re-evaluated and changed to make hockey an overall better sport. The biggest changes regarded adding in the offsides rule and the shootout, but plenty of other revisions were also made. In the five seasons since then, the NHL has been an utterly different game than it used to be. However, as discussed and tested in the NHL’s Development and Orientation camp last week, the league is beginning to see some more changes, and also some reversions to the pre-lockout rules, might be becoming necessary. An investigation into the factual reasons behind their suggested modifications took us into a world of calculations in determining an array of trends and streaks through the last five NHL seasons. The first thing determined was that no

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