I watched a high energy white/red scrimmage last nightÂ in which the white team won in a shootout.Â The low point of the evening was when Justin Williams appeared to take a puck to the face and lay on the ice for a few minutes before getting up and making his way to the locker room.Â Reports say he was hit in the cheek/ear area and was sent to the hospital for x-rays.Â Â It's always scary when you see this happen andÂ hopefully Justin is okay.Â
Back to the positive notes, Harrison Reed scored the game winning shoot out goal as well as the game tying goal late in the 3rd period.Â The kid looked good out there.Â Mike Commodore was all over the ice and looks better this year than he did last, if that is possible.Â He was actually leading the rush a few times.Â He had at last one goal, maybe two, but the last one appeared to be tipped in.Â Â Â I still like Derrick Walser.Â He looked good most of the time to me and was creative in joining the offense.Â He did make a few mistakes though and lost possession a couple of times.Â Overall, he looked good to me though. Â I think he will stay up in Raleigh, at least to start the season.Â Â He was chosen to take the first shoot out spot, but missed his chance at that.
After tooting the Jason Woolley horn after my first chance to see him last week, I'm officially off that train.Â He seemed to do more skating backwards, than forwards last night.Â At least Walser was willing to take chances, I give him credit for that.Â Jason hasn't shown me any reason to offer him a contractÂ the past few times I have watched.Â Maybe the exhibition games will be different, but right now I pick Walser over either Woolley or Hulse.Â The goaltending was up and down.Â Cam Ward looked great the period he played.Â John Grahame allowed an open net goal after misplaying a puck behind the net.Â Hope he got that out of his system!Â The rest of the tending was inconsistent.Â Surprisingly Justin Peters did not play.Â I was looking forward to watching him since he had looked very good during the week and wasÂ praised by both management and local sportswriters.
The Canes released Blanchard, Chaput, Hughes, and Vojta back to the juniors.Â Blanchard impressed the most but he needs to beef up a bit and of course needs more experience.Â The rest of the group shows promise, you never know how they will develop and improve.Â It all depends upon work ethic and how much they want it.Â Right now the injury list is long, too long.Â Stillman, Kaberle, Wallin, Hutchinson, Tanabe, Wesley, and Hedican are all on the injured list.Â Does this remind anyone else of the 2002-03 season?Â (shudders at the thought).Â Well, this does give a chance to many prospects to step up and show what they've got.Â Time to see your A game if you want to make the big money boys,Â this is yourÂ chance to be a big moneymaker!
In other news, Casonblog reviews the Jack Johnson situation.Â It seems we get a daily dose of this in the papers, but it's an interesting scenario.Â One has to wonder if JR actually intends to ever sign him at this point.Â It would appear to me that the Johnson camp, (dad), will be miffed at this public attempt to trade him.Â It's hard to find fault with RutherfordÂ since he is executive of the year and all, but one has to wonder about the logic of making his feelings aboutÂ Johnson so public.Â Â We will have to see how this plays out, hopefully we will get equal value inÂ a trade.
Finally,Â I got to see the Cup the other day and what a treat!Â I touched it, then hugged it, then even worked up the courage to kiss it.Â Thank you Hurricanes for the treat!
Oops, almost forgot.Â Kudos to the ex-Canes last night as Bates Battaglia, Matt Cullen, and Mike Zigomanis each had goals for their respective teams last night.Â Cullen and Ziggy had game winners!Â Â Â Â
The Black Crowes