Category Archives: Carolina Hurricanes

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Islanders fall 4-3 to Hurricanes as winning streak gets snapped

#UNIONDALE, N.Y. — All good things must come to an end.
For the Islanders that meant an end to their six-game winning streak on Tuesday night. Hampered by a sluggish effort, poorly timed penalties and a couple of unlucky bounces, the Islanders fell to the Carolina Hurricanes 4-3 in front of a near sellout crowd at Nassau Coliseum.
It was squandered power play in the third period with the game even at two that sent things in the wrong direction for New York. Justin Williams, who was just sprung from the penalty box with just under three minutes to play, was able to sneak a backhander behind Thomas Greiss to put Carolina ahead 3-2.
The Hurricanes added another goal just over a minute later on the power play off a wrist shot from Jaccob Slavin.

“They had a good kill. They were the better (team) on the special teams in that regard,” Anders Lee said. “As a power play, we have to know our outs. We had our outs. We just didn’t enter the way we wanted to and we didn’t really end up getting our control on our unit. The other unit had some good opportunities, but on our end it wasn’t good enough.”
The loss snapped what had been the long active winning streak in the NHL and kept the Islanders from extending a streak like that to seven games for the first time since 1989-90. It was also the Islanders first regulation loss at Nassau Coliseum since they returned to the venue in December.
The Islanders effort on Tuesday night was far better than the one they had in St. Louis on Saturday, but it was not where it should have been against a dangerous Hurricanes team.

“I thought we just mismanaged the game,” head coach Barry Trotz said. “It was on use. I didn’t think we had enough of the lines going. I thought the Nelson line was really good for us, but the rest not as good as I’d like to see…
“There are certain moments and certain events that you have to execute what is in the best interest of the group at the time knowing the score, knowing the situation and we didn’t do that today. That’s a good way to lose hockey games.”
The Islanders played a decent first period, outshooting the Hurricanes 7-5 and scoring the game’s opening goal. Brock Nelson found the back of the net off a quick wrist shot that beat Curtis McElhinney at 13:42.
The lead was short lived with Carolina responding at 15:10 thanks to a goal from Saku Maenalanen. They jumped in front with six seconds left in the first period off a goal from Greg McKegg.
The Islanders looked as though they had tied the game in the second period, but the goal was overturned because of an offside call. Devon Toews scored in the third to tie the game before the Islanders surrendered two goals.

Brock Nelson was able to score his second goal of the night to pull New York within one.
“The last two minutes of periods you have to be aware of the time and situation,” Jordan Eberle said about the late goal against in the first. “Make sure you’re making plays to not get yourself in that situation.”
The frustrating loss for the Islanders sets up an interesting scenario heading into a home-and-home with the New York Rangers beginning on Thursday. The Islanders are back on the outside looking in as far as a playoff spot goes and points in both of their upcoming games are vital.
The loss to Carolina, which is five points behind the Islanders in the standings, make them all that more important.


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Penalties, Poor Effort Early On Haunts Wild in 5-4 Overtime Loss to Carolina

There was a collective sigh of relief on Thursday night as the Minnesota Wild rallied to a 4-3 overtime victory over division rival Chicago.  While it felt good to win, the Wild certainly had their moments where they looked uninspired and slow which has been a disturbing theme early this season.  Yet, at the same time they certainly showed more urgency and determination to create scoring chances in close which is a better formula for success than simply settling for shots from the perimeter.
Minnesota is hoping to follow up that success as the Carolina Hurricanes come to town.  The Hurricanes are young, fast and appear to be re-energized under new Head Coach Rod Brind’Amour and that has pushed them atop of the Metropolitan Division.  The Wild struggled mightily against Vegas and Colorado which are two of the faster teams in the West, will they fare better against one of the faster clubs from the East?
1st Period Thoughts:  Since its ’80’s night at Xcel Energy Center I’ll stick with the theme.  The 1st period was sort of like the scene in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off when Ferris’ dad gets stuck behind an old lady driver who swerves back and forth so much he couldn’t even pass her.  Don’t remember the scene?  Let me help.

This is pretty much like how the Wild played throughout most of the period.  Slow, wayward and frustratingly ineffective.  Poor lazy passes, no cohesion just on the ice turning the puck over and spending most of the period chasing the Hurricanes’ skaters around the Minnesota zone.  Carolina was peppering Devan Dubnyk with shots.  Minnesota was so discombobulated, their main strategy was to just try to skate it across the red line, dump it in and change.  It was that bad.  Carolina would light the lamp first as an absence of puck support allowed the Hurricanes to enter the Wild zone with speed where they sent a puck on goal that Dubnyk stopped but would be pushed in off the knee of a crashing Jordan Staal.  The ‘NHL War Room’ would review the play but rule that the goal should stand since Staal wasn’t pushed into the crease.  Wild Head Coach Bruce Boudreau challenged the call on the grounds of ‘goaltender interference’ but ultimately the officials overruled the challenge and the goal would stand.  1-0 Carolina.  It was a ludicrous challenge by Boudreau who was more likely to find Al Capone‘s Vault than the ruling he was hoping for.  The physical play would intensify as Matthew Dumba hip checked Valentin Zykov hard into the boards.  Minnesota’s penchant for dishing out open ice hits would draw the ire of Carolina and Brett Pesce would go after Mikael Granlund and earn a roughing penalty in the process giving the Wild its first power play of the game.  On the man advantage, the Wild would find the back of the net as Minnesota moved the puck quickly around the perimeter to set up Jared Spurgeon for a shot from the point that Curtis McElhinney juggled which gave Charlie Coyle the chance to pounce on the rebound.  1-1 game despite the fact the Wild were being out shot 22-5.  Minnesota’s one bright spot was the performance of its penalty kill where the Wild killed off nearly a minute of 5-on-3 power play and one late just before the end of the 1st to take their tie into the 1st intermission.  It has to get better right?  I seriously don’t want to reference Howard the Duck in the 2nd period.
2nd Period Thoughts:  I know I threatened to reference Howard the Duck, but that seems like too fine of a film to compare Minnesota’s 2nd period travesty.  Maybe Weekend at Bernie‘s is a better choice since the Wild’s effort (at least from its skaters) was about as high energy as a dead body.  Minnesota had no jump and Dubnyk was forced to make some outstanding saves to keep his team in the game including a diving save to stop Justin Faulk.  The Wild would eventually start moving the puck out of the zone but couldn’t seem to handle it long enough in the offensive end to direct almost any shots on McElhinney who appeared bored out of his mind.  Like that dead corpse, the Wild continued to just chip pucks into the neutral zone where they became easy turnovers for Carolina to pounce on.  Minnesota would draw a power play late in the period as Andrei Svechnikov hooked Spurgeon.  But the power play would last a whopping 9 seconds before Jason Zucker would kill it off with an ill advised slash and then berate NHL referee Steve Kozari who slapped him with an additional 2-minutes for unsportsmanlike conduct.  The penalty proved costly as the Hurricanes swarmed all over the Wild zone before Brett Pesce redirected a Sebastian Aho shot up and over the shoulder of Dubnyk.  2-1 Carolina.  Minnesota would kill off the remainder of Zucker’s penalty but the damage had been done and the Wild ended another period in miserable fashion as they were outshot 37-8 to this point in the game.  Perhaps a telling sign of Wild fan expectations, there were no boo’s for another atrocious effort on the ice.  They’re either very easily entertained or they don’t care enough to air their frustrations.
3rd Period Thoughts:  The 3rd period was more entertaining but it was still pretty lousy as the Wild continued to see how many more slashing penalties Steve Kozari would call.  Minnesota would take the lead early in the period as a power play gave the Wild some time and space and Mikael Granlund set up Zucker for a one-timer he blasted by McElhinney.  3-2 Wild.  Unfortunately the Wild couldn’t stay out of the box as they kept taking slashing penalties.  Carolina would appear to miss on a golden chance as Aho fanned on an open net, but later in the power play he’d pounce on a big rebound given up by Dubnyk and tie it up at 3-3.  The game appeared to be destined for overtime when Mikael Granlund somehow snuck a shot by McElhinney just a fraction of a second before he hugged the post.  4-3 Wild.  Game over right?  Nope as the Wild’s penalty problems gave Carolina additional chances and they’d pull McElhinney for an extra attacker and they’d cash in as Justin Williams shoveled home his 1st goal of the season tying the game at 4 and sending it to overtime.
Overtime Thoughts:  In over time the Wild seemed to forget that the one spark they had skating-wise was Jason Zucker and Bruce Boudreau kept sending out the old veterans which was a recipe for disaster.  Zach Parise would skate the puck into the Carolina zone, turn to buy time for help and lose the puck in the process.  The Hurricanes would counter attack and before Parise could catch up, Sebastian Aho blasted a shot by Dubnyk.  5-4 Hurricanes win.
Devan Dubnyk again had a terrific night, making 52 saves in the loss.  He certainly was not to blame for tonight’s result.  He kept Minnesota in the game when they had absolutely no reason being in it at all.  The penalty kill was leaned on far too often due to poor discipline and an inability to adjust to the officials calls.  They had to kill off 9 penalties this evening.  You can’t do that and expect your goaltender to bail them out everytime.  Minnesota needs to stay out of the box and move their damn legs.
Offensively the Wild was rewarded quite a bit considering how one sided the game was from a shots perspective.  Nino Niederreiter is a turnover machine.  It is incredibly annoying watching him try to dangle and just lose pucks over and over with little idea of what he’s really trying to accomplish.  The only Wild player that seems dangerous on the majority of his shifts this season is Jason Zucker.  The rest of the team’s forwards appear sluggish and slow.
Minnesota gave up the most shots on home ice in its history with the 57 shots the Hurricanes sent on goal this evening.  The Wild didn’t deserve to even get a ‘mercy’ point and the shame is they had a pretty good chance to come away with 2 points in this one.  The Wild look old, slow and more than a few of its older forwards seem to be a shadow of what they were just a season ago.  Carolina is young and fast and again the Wild looked unable to really keep up.  Its tough to see much hope with this current squad.  Hopefully they give us reason to be less pessimistic on Monday in Nashville.
Wild Notes:
~ The Wild roster tonight was as follows: Mikko Koivu, Zach Parise, Jordan Greenway, Eric Staal, Jason Zucker, Charlie Coyle, Nino Niederreiter, Marcus Foligno, Eric Fehr, J.T. Brown, Matt Hendricks, Ryan Suter, Matthew Dumba, Jonas Brodin, Jared Spurgeon, Nick Seeler and Greg Pateryn.  Alex Stalock backed up Devan Dubnyk.  Nate Prosser was the lone healthy scratch.
~ The 3 Stars of the Game were: 1st Star Devan Dubnyk, 2nd Star Jared Spurgeon, 3rd Star Sebastian Aho
~ Attendance was 18,715 at Xcel Energy Center.
Iowa Wild Report:
Iowa 4, Texas 3 SO
Iowa is off to its best start in its history and that continued on Friday night in Des Moines.  It was a defensive battle in the opening period against these two divisional rivals.  Both the Stars’ Landon Bow and Iowa’s Andrew Hammond were sharp and the period would end in a scoreless tie.  Iowa would break the stalemate early in the 2nd as Ryan Murphy found a little space and he’d wire a shot by Bow.  1-0 Iowa.  Texas answered right back less than a minute later as Adam Mascherin tied it up.  The Stars would then take the lead a few minutes later as Gavin Bayreuther scored to make it 2-1 Texas.  Iowa would tie it back up a few minutes later as alternate captain Mike Liambas scored his 2nd goal of the season off a rebound on a Gerry Fitzgerald shot.  With the game knotted at 2-2 going into the 3rd Iowa would take the lead as Fitzgerald’s hot start to the season continued as he used his speed to wrap a shot by Bow.  3-2 Iowa.  The Stars would pour it on for the equalizer and they’d tie the game with just 9 seconds left in regulation sending the game to overtime.  In overtime Texas carried most of the play but Hammond stood tall and the game went to a shootout.  Sam Anas would be the lone skater to find the back of the net in the shootout and Iowa would skate away to its 3rd straight victory.  Hammond had 30 saves in the win.  Kyle Rau led Iowa with 5 shots on goal to go along with a helper and Anas had 4 shots of his own.
Wild Prospect Report:
G – Dereck Baribeau (Quebec, QMJHL) ~ The big goaltender made 30 saves in the Remparts’ 6-2 win over Cape Breton on Thursday night.  Baribeau is 4-3 on the season with a 2.54 goals against average and an .907% save percentage.
RW – Nick Swaney (Minnesota-Duluth, NCHC) ~ the Bulldogs survived a late-game scare from Michigan Tech as Swaney chipped in a helper in their 2-1 victory.
C – Connor Dewar (Everett, WHL) ~ The Pas, Manitoba-native had a monster game on Friday night as he had 2 goals, 2 assists and with 8 shots on goal in Everett’s 5-3 win over Edmonton.  Dewar has 6 goals, 11 points, 8 PIM’s and is a -3 in 7 games.
C – Alexander Khovanov (Moncton, QMJHL) ~ the skilled Russian lit the lamp, but he was an awful 3 of 17 on his draws as Moncton lost 6-5 in a shootout to Rouyn-Noranda on Friday.  Khovanov has 4 goals, 8 points, 14 PIM’s in 8 games.


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Game Preview: Minnesota Wild vs. Carolina Hurricanes 10/13/18 @ 7:00PM CST at Xcel Energy Center

Minnesota Wild (1-1-1)  3pts  7th in the Central
2.0 Goals For Per Game
2.7 Goals Against Per Game
0% Power Play
81.8% Penalty Kill
Top 5 Scorers:
1. #16 Jason Zucker ~ 2G 1A = 3pts
2. #11 Zach Parise ~ 1G 2A = 3pts
3. #20 Ryan Suter ~ 1G 2A = 3pts
4. #12 Eric Staal ~ 1G 2A = 3pts
5. #24 Matthew Dumba ~ 1G 0A = 1pt
Top 3 PIM’s:
1. #17 Marcus Foligno ~ 5 PIM’s
2. #9 Mikko Koivu ~ 2 PIM’s
3. #29 Greg Pateryn ~ 2 PIM’s
Top Goaltenders:
1. #40 Devan Dubnyk (1-1-1)  1.93GAA  .945%SP
2. #32 Alex Stalock N/A
 
 
Vs.
 
 
Carolina Hurricanes (3-0-1)  7pts  1st in the Metropolitan
4.3 Goals For Per Game
2.8 Goals Against Per Game
10% Power Play
71.4% Penalty Kill
Top 5 Scorers:
1. #20 Sebastian Aho ~ 2G 4A = 6pts
2. #79 Michael Ferland ~ 2G 3A = 5pts
3. #11 Jordan Staal ~ 3G 2A = 5pts
4. #37 Andrei Svechnikov ~ 2G 2A = 4pts
5. #14 Justin Williams ~ 0G 4A = 4pts
Top 3 PIM’s:
1. #44 Calvin de Haan ~ 4 PIM’s
2. #79 Michael Ferland ~ 4 PIM’s
3. #14 Justin Williams ~ 4 PIM’s
Top Goaltenders:
1. #34 Petr Mrazek (1-0-1)  3.53GAA  .841%SP
2. #35 Curtis McElhinney (2-0-0)  2.00  .930%SP
Lines:
Carolina Hurricanes
Ferland~Aho~Teravainen
Foegele~Jo. Staal~Williams
McGinn~Necas~DiGiuseppe
Martinook~Wallmark~Svechnikov
Slavin~Hamilton
de Haan~Faulk
Fleury~Pesce
Mrazek
McElhinney
Minnesota Wild
Zucker~Staal~Eriksson Ek
Parise~Koivu~Granlund
Niederreiter~Greenway~Coyle
Foligno~Fehr~Brown
Suter~Dumba
Brodin~Spurgeon
Seeler~Pateryn
Dubnyk
Stalock
Welcome (back) to the 1980s.
Depending on the age of those reading this, the 1980s can mean many things. You may have been old enough to be raising a family of your own. Or, you were in elementary school, high school, or college. And then there are those of you who weren’t even born yet. For myself, when the decade started, I was 3 going on 4, and most of the decade was spent in elementary school. For those of us old enough to remember the decade, it was about the fashions (some of it pretty questionable) and the music. There are some classic albums that came out during the decade, I think of Thriller by Michael Jackson and Purple Rain by Minnesota’s own native son, Prince. Along with the music of the 1980s came the birth of music videos and in particular MTV on cable television. It brought our musicians into our homes on a regular basis, which if you lived in the middle of no where, were hundreds of miles away from one of the major cities where bands made tour stops, you could finally see them perform. Sure, it wasn’t live, but it was one step closer to seeing your favorite singer or band. While the song I think best defines the 1980s as a whole was written in 1979, it was the song and video that christened MTV’s debut. I give you the Buggles’ Video Killed the Radio Star. 

For Minnesota hockey fans, the 1980s weren’t exactly something to write home about. With the exception of the Minnesota North Stars making the Stanley Cup Finals in 1981, there wasn’t much to write home about. Now mind you, in that decade they missed the playoffs only two seasons, 1986-87 and 1987-88. However, let’s keep in mind you had to be really horrible to not make the playoffs back then. Don’t believe me, just look at their record in the 1990-91 season where they also lost in the Stanley Cup Finals. Many of those appearance were ended in the first or second round. With the exception of the Cup final season of 1980-81, they only made it past the second round in the 1983-84 season. And of course the 1980s took us into the 1990s which led to the ultimate demise of the North Stars. But with that in mind, the Minnesota Wild have decided to host a 1980s themed game today. For those of you heading to the game today, you will be gifted with a “puzzle cube” or as you better know them, a Rubik’s cube. So pull out your hair band wigs, your Aquanet, and your leg warmers. Perhaps certain slower players should don some leg warmers to keep their legs a bit more limber. With the age and slowness of this team, it certainly wouldn’t hurt.
I know there are plenty of people out there who are still riding high on Thursday night’s win against Chicago. Yes, it felt good to get the first win of the season, but let’s not pat ourselves on the back and start planning the parade route because we beat Chicago. That was a Chicago team that missed the playoffs last season altogether and are also not the same Chicago teams that won the Stanley Cup. This Chicago team is a mere shadow of its former greatness. Sure, they still have Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane, but even they’re getting older. However, Chicago’s fourth line certainly had more pep than Minnesota’s, yet that could be addressed by calling up players like Kyle Rau and Justin Kloos from Iowa. No, this isn’t a ploy to get more “one of us” players on the team. It’s simply that they have far more speed than say Marcus Foligno, Eric Fehr, and J.T. Brown. The NHL has become a league of speed, but for whatever reason, the Minnesota Wild haven’t gotten that memo (or they’ve chosen to ignore it). On many nights, it feels like the only spark of speed this team has is Jason Zucker. It’s going to be a long season if we have to rely on one player to sprint up the ice to try and create something. 
Today’s opponent, the Carolina Hurricanes are looking pretty good out of the starting gate. They’re boasting a 3-0-1 record, which compared to the Wild’s 1-1-1 record, it’s certainly much better. The test will be whether or not the Hurricanes can continue on that pace, or at least a respectable one. Not only are the Hurricanes playing well, this is actually their best start to the season in team history, since they’ve been in Raleigh. The only season the franchise posted a better start was in the 1995-96 season when they were still the Hartford Whalers. I’ll admit, I’m not a big fan of the afternoon game, as I feel they often don’t bode well for the Wild. But perhaps it’s the kind of “out of the ordinary” kind of game that will help get this team out of their funk. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think it will be enough to start them on a long winning streak, but this team has become rather monotonous that maybe they need something different. Eric Staal’s brother Jordan Staal like his team, is off to a good start as well. In five games played, Jordan has 3 goals and two assists. But the first step in trying to build on Thursday night’s win is to not spot your opponent two goals relatively early in the game. When you’re struggling, you can’t afford to give goals to the opposition and then have to dig yourself out of your self-dug hole. Sure, it can create some drama and a good byline for the writers, but I’d rather not have to watch the continual need for rallies night after night.
So as we relish in the decade of the youth of many of use, and we sign along to Video Killed the Radio Star, I have to think, wouldn’t it be nice if it was RADIO that killed the video star. Like many fans, I know for sure I much prefer Bob Kurtz and Tom Reid doing the game on the radio over Anthony LaPanta and Mike Greenlay on television. One can dream, because to quote another 80s class “sweet dreams are made of this.”


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