BREAKING: The Hurricanes have recalled Brett Carson, from the Charlotte Checkers, with no further explanation. It would seem someone got sick on the way up to Newark, or a trade is imminent and they are making sure they have 6 D to put on the ice Wednesday. Here's the official release. Discuss amongst yourselves.
The Carolina Hurricanes had a much-needed 40-hour stop at home to recharge their batteries before heading out to Newark where they will take on the absurdly hot New Jersey Devils tomorrow night. The last minute surrender of a one-goal lead that resulted in an overtime loss last Tuesday was a lousy start to this 5-game string of road games. After tomorrow night, they return for four straight games at the RBC Center, the longest homestand this season.
For the re-match tomorrow night, the Canes have a couple new faces in the line-up who didn't make the trip to the Prudential Center last week. The clutch Jussi Jokinen returns, and call-up Jerome Samson will play on the 4th line, while center Ryan Carter continues to recover from a day-to-day back issue suffered last week in Philadelphia. And of course, Brett Carson seems to be slated to play as well - or not.
A quick look on what Jokinen might bring to this team
After returning from the groin injury the first time, back on January 11, Jussi Jokinen had 12 points (6 G + 6 A) in the next 9 games. He was recognized as the NHL's first star of the week January 17th. Better yet, 4 of his 6 goals came on the power play. Then, he was re-injured early in the the first game following All-Star Break, vs Boston on February 1, and has been out two weeks, missing seven more games.
Although it's an admittedly small sample, from just this past 5 weeks, the contrast in the stats are pretty stark. Overall, the Canes had a record of 5-4-0 with him in the line-up, 2-3-2 with him out. The power play went at a 21.4% success rate with him in (including his 4 PP goals) and the team's PP dropped to 16.1% with him absent. Considering that 4 of these 5 losses very close matches, decided by only one goal, Jokinen's power play acumen might have been the difference between a win instead of a loss. Add in a healthy Joni Pitkanen, and perhaps the next few one-goal games will end up in Carolina's W column.
Some other looks at these moves:
Canes Now - Jokinen back as Canes head back on road: Jussi Jokinen returned to practice today and centered the fourth line, but Canes coach Paul Maurice wasn't ruling out playing Jokinen in the top nine against the Devils. Jokinen, who has been sidelined by the recurrence of a groin injury, is the team's fourth-leading scorer (12g, 26a) despite playing just 45 games.
Some observations from Maurice on what he likes about the Charlotte Checkers' leading scorer: Samson Brings the Right Mentality - Paul Branecky, Tracking the Storm Blog One player who had a noticeable amount of jump on the Carolina Hurricanes road trip was Jerome Samson, who was playing his first game of the season.
Finally, here is Audio with Paul Maurice after practice Tuesday. Mo talks about last week's road trip, Cam Ward's work load, Erik Cole, and Cole and Eric Staal putting "a little fear" in the other team as Jeff Skinner and Tuomo Ruutu are taking some of the pressure off the top line. Worth a listen.
After the jump, some intriguing updates from 1400 Edwards Mill Road (and Detroit) as the trade deadline nears, Rod Brind`Amour in the media spotlight, plus the playoff push, prospects, and alumni making news.
News from the top on possible trades and new arrivals
As the Canes took the ice at the Rec Zone this morning, The N&O's Chip Alexander had some quotes from Canes owner Peter Karmanos, Jr up in Detroit. @icechip tweets:
- Peter Karmanos said he has authorized Jim Rutherford to "do what he needs to do to improve the team"
- Karmanos not saying Canes will be active at trade deadline but said , "We will make a move if we feel a player will help our team."
- Karmanos: "The question is who would we replace in the lineup? Another is who's available? We're trying to figure all that out.
When you add that into an item from Elliotte Friedman that Cory Lavalette discussed yesterday about the Canes having made a serious play for Mike Fisher, the potential of a significant addition to the team before the month runs out becomes a lot more real.
Where is all this loosening of the purse strings coming from? Earlier today, Bob posted this story on the TBJ report about Karmanos effort to find a larger group of smaller investors to take on a minority ownership. Here's a follow up from Canes Now - Karmanos: Canes to have local investors Karmanos said a $240 million valuation for the team was used in computing the percentage of ownership shares. In an interview during the All-Star Weekend he said an announcement on investors could come in the next three to six months, but the pace of negotiations has quickened.
Canes' GM Rutherford familiar with deadline deals - 2011 Trade Deadline Carolina GM Jim Rutherford likes the look of his team, but he's no stranger to building a Stanley Cup squad with a big move at the trade deadline.
And another member of the Caniac Nation arrived in Detroit last Sunday night. The proud Pappa even blogged about the news: Creation of Life is the Greatest Achievement of All - Karmanos Unplugged Danialle and I are thrilled to announce the arrival of Spiros (Spirit) Maximus (the Greatest) at 11:48 p.m. Sunday. Mom, Dad, baby and brothers Soc and Leo are over-the-moon happy.
Learning what it feels like to be Jeff Skinner.
Brind`Amour Conference call with media from Tuesday afternoon [17 minutes]
Rod Brind`Amour on XM Home Ice Audio from Tuesday morning, [11:27 ]
Paul Branecky is doing a five part series of articles on Brind`Amour leading up to the ceremony Friday night.
Part 1: Brind'Amour: The Trade - Carolina has come a long way as a hockey market. When it was still getting started, even one of its greatest ambassadors needed convincing.
Part 2: Brind'Amour: The 2002 Playoff Run- For Rod Brind’Amour, the unprecedented success of 2002 was the first step the organization took towards becoming a competitive team and market.
Video from local news
One-on-One: Rod Brind'Amour - News14.com Rod Brind'Amour has played 20 seasons in the National Hockey League. He was drafted by the St. Louis Blues in 1988. He had a wonderful run as a Philadelphia Flyer, owns an iron man streak of playing 484 straight games as a Flyer and of course the Stanley Cup and two Selke Awards as a member of the Carolina Hurricanes.
Extended interview: Rod Brind'Amour - Video from WRALSportsFan.com WRAL's Jeff Gravley sat down with former Hurricanes captain Rod Brind'Amour prior to having his jersey retired Friday night.
Some thoughts and highlights from the road trip
Cardiac Canes re-emerge on the road | Indy Weekly: Triangle Offense When you go on a road trip, you've got to simplify your game. Keep your shifts short, dump the puck, and skate off for a line change. Stay disciplined on defense. Work your system and hope that you'll be in a position to win the game at the end. The Hurricanes can play this way for, oh, about 58 minutes. Then all hell breaks loose
YouTube - Braydon Coburn roughs up Jeff Skinner, an unhappy Skinner retaliates (HD) Hockeymom asks that you please take this in the spirit intended as the Flyers announcers make some very predictable comments about our rookie who clearly has impressed them - and they didn't like it. And it's a view of Skinner you might like to see.
The Playoff Race [and the subsequent demands put on contending teams' top players]
This story shot when the Canes were in Toronto a couple weeks ago but still seems relevant: The Hockey News: VIDEO: Carolina Hurricanes playoff hopes rest on the shoulders of goalie Cam Ward
There is little doubt the Carolina Hurricanes would not be in the playoff hunt without the stellar play of former Conn Smythe and Stanley Cup winner Cam Ward. Posting the best save percentage of his career and emanating calm confidence, the 26-year-old is leading the Carolina charge. THN's Ryan Dixon caught up with the former Conn Smythe Trophy winner.
Red Light " Posts Too much Miller Time for the Sabres? " Ryan Miller has played 31 consecutive games for the Sabres and that’s a lot for any goalie. In those 31, he’s 18-9-3, but has a 2.85 goals-against average and a sub par .909 save percentage. And after Miller surrendered seven goals to the Islanders on Sunday, one naturally wonders if Lindy Ruff, justifiably regarded as one of the game’s better coaches, has worn out the star netminder.
Mentally tough Rangers 'headed' in right direction - NYPOST.com When John Tortorella referred to the Rangers' "grit'' following yesterday's 5-3 victory at the Garden over the Penguins, the coach specifically pointed to his club's "mental grit.''
Those crazy Capitals and other Southeast Division developments
Something is awry in the usual ebullient smugness among the Capitals' faithful. In fact, they're starting to sound as disenchanted as Leafs' fans.
This morning I am trying to imagine the slogan of resolve and defiance and unity Capitals’ players will brandish on team-issued t-shirts at the start of training camp in September. They are quite good at looking tough and determined, via fashion, and of expressing steely-eyed determination after abject failure. Out on the ice, it’s a different matter altogether.
This "doctored" score sheet of last night's anemic loss in Glendale Arizona is well worth the click: Enough of This Already Box Score | Capitals Outsider If there's anything good that came out of Monday's 3-2 loss it's that the Capitals outshot Phoenix 31-18. Yes, folks, we've resorted to celebrating shot count.
Caps Fall to Coyotes, 3-2, on Valentine’s Day - They're looking to anyone who can offer insight on what's wrong.
After scoring on the power play late in the second period, Ray Whitney was selected for Versus’ intermission interview. He had some interesting things to say about the Capitals new style of play: "After playing against them the last five years in Carolina, eight, six times a year. It’s a totally different team. They still have the same skill level but you can tell they’ve made a conscious effort to play smarter defensively. Not really what I was expecting out of them but they’re certainly doing a good job of it. This is kind of our style of play. We’re kind of comfortable with it. To see them doing that is surprising, but I think they’re on to something. I think that’s what’s going to, as a group, maybe take them up to that next level."
Southeast Division Watch (February 14) | ProHockeyTalk - looks at the week ahead for all 5 teams in the Division.
A similar team-by-team overview, with a tad more snark, from the Bolts increasingly energized SBN blog: The Southeast This Week - Raw Charge.
This just happened down in Atlanta, and is relevant while we're talking about how expensive it will be sign a top defenseman like,....just say..as an example.... maybe.... Joni Pitkanen this summer? Byfuglien breaks bank: 5-year, $26 million extension with Atlanta - Puck Daddy. Around the twitter verse I'm hearing Shea Weber and Duncan Keith are feeling pretty good right now.
Brian Dumoulin (2nd round pick 2009)
Beanpot Final Highlights Video - NHL VideoCenter Boston College's 7-6 victory over Northeastern in the Beanpot Final where sophomore defensman Brian Dumoulin contributed 3 assists including a beauty of a cross ice pass to tournament MVP Chris Kreider for the Game Winning Goal in Overtime. Dumoulin wears #2, in white.
Here's a link to a more lengthy highlight video VIDEO: 2011 Beanpot Tournament Championship Game Highlights - BC Interruption.
More on Dumoulin as the leading defenseman, both for his stay at home play and his puck-moving ability at the top-ranked team in College Hockey. He turned 19 last September. College Hockey News: Defense Never Rests for BC A hallmark of BC blue liners in the program’s decade-long demonstration of dominance has been their ability to make their goaltender’s job easy
Danny Biega (3rd round pick 2010)
Remember this name who wowed everyone with his strength and conditioning when he was at prospects camp in July? As another sophomore defenseman in the Beanpot tournament, Biega led his team with a goal and 2 assists in an incredible upset over Boston University yesterday.
- Crimson Men's Hockey Rallies to 5-4 Beanpot Win Against No. 14 BU: Harvard Athletics - GoCrimson.com
- Which led me to this from 2 weeks ago: Biega Hat Trick Highlights Weekend Split | The Harvard Crimson. Sophomore defenseman known for the hard checks are not usually potting hat tricks, are they?
- Which led me to this profile of the three Biega brothers from a year ago. If they don't sound like a Montreal version of the Staal family, than Jeff Skinner is Ozzy Osbourne. Biega brothers make Harvard Crimson hockey a family affair - ESPN Boston The Biega brothers have Harvard thinking upset at the upcoming Beanpot.
Ray Whitney was the 2nd star of the night for his contributions in the Phoenix Coyotes win over the Caps last night. Red-hot Whitney getting better with age in Phoenix - NHL.com - In The Spotlight
I was frustrated with how I was feeling, how I was playing and it bubbled over and Tip and I had a talk about it. I got a little ornery at times and he was pretty honest about his opinion was," Whitney said, grinning a bit at the recollection. "I was frustrated with the injury, I was used to having more ice time and used to getting better results. "It was a good talk. I needed it. From there, he's given me the opportunity to play a little more and I've given him a reason to."
Canucks lose yet another defensemen - NHL Hot Stove: Andrew Alberts – broken wrist vs. St. Louis 2/14/11. Twitter reports are that this will require surgery and he will not return before the post-season.
Flames versus Avalanche - Feb 14 '11 - NHL VideoCenter. Anton Babchuk 's shot from the left point gives him another power play goal as the Calgary Flames destroyed the Colorado Avalanche in Denver last night.
We'll certainly be watching announcements closely to see when the other shoe drops on the Carson call up. Stay close.