Tidbits — Jan. 30

After last night's late tally to give Carolina a 3-2 win, Eric Staal now has six game-winning goals. That trails just three players: Patrick Marleau (eight), Michael Ryder and Derek Roy (both with six). Defenseman Joe Corvo still leads all blueliners in GWGs with four.

  • Even though he went without a shot last night, Corvo is still tied for fifth in the NHL in shots by defensemen with 129 and his eight goals tied for 10th.
  • Chad LaRose's momentum-swinging shorthanded goal last night was the team's first on the season and LaRose's fourth in his NHL career. That ties him for sixth all-time in Hurricanes history with Keith Primeau. Rod Brind'Amour is first all-time with nine, followed by Kevyn Adams (eight), Erik Cole (seven) and current teammates Justin Williams and Staal (six each). It was also LaRose's 11th goal, which ties the career high he set last season.
  • Cam Ward got his 100th NHL victory last night, just 30 shy of the franchise record 130 wins Arturs Irbe got with the team. Ward has done it in 195 appearances, while Irbe got his wins in 309. Kevin Weekes is next in line with 39 Canes wins in 119 games played.
  • Anton Babchuk moved into sole possession of 17th all-time in games played by a Carolina defensemen, playing in his 114th game last night for the Canes. He broke a tie with Hall-of-Famer Paul Coffey, who played for Carolina from 1998-2000.
  • Staal's next shot on goal will move him into a tie for second all-time in Hurricanes history. He moved one ahead Brind'Amour last night by outshooting the Carolina captain five to one against Tampa Bay. He now has 1,251 shots, one behind long-time Cane Sami Kapanen. Jeff O'Neill is first with 1,461.
  • The Canes have fallen to 26th in the NHL in goals per game, averaging 2.5 per game. Their 2.88 goal-against average is 18th.
  • Want a good team to compare to Carolina? Try the Phoenix Coyotes, who the Canes will visit next weekend. The teams have identical records (24-21-5) similar goals for (Phoenix 129, Carolina 126) and goals against (Phoenix 148, Carolina 147). More, you say? The Coyotes power play is 29th in the league at 13.6 percent, while Carolina is 26th at 15.2. Their penalty killing isn't much better. The Canes are 23rd at 78.7 percent, and Phoenix is 19th at 80.1. I guess the biggest question is: How are each of these teams in the playoff hunt? The answer is their goalies. Ward is 19-15-3 with a 2.57 GAA and .912 save percentage, while Ilya Bryzgalov is 18-17-4 with a 2.83 GAA and .911 save percentage. While those numbers aren't Vezina-worthy, they are among the best by the league's workhorse goalies. Among those "workhorse" guys, only Niklas Backstrom (23-15-2, 2.19 GAA, .927 S%) has the type of numbers that would garner some Vezina consideration. You can see those numbers here.
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