The Carolina Hurricanes are looking to end 2012-13 on a high note. It had been exactly six weeks since the Canes won a second consecutive game, but their 4-3 shootout win over the Islanders at PNC Arena gave the team two victories in a row with just two games remaining on the schedule. Here's a closer look at Tuesday’s win.
1. I'm not trying to beat a dead horse, but if Dan Ellis wants to come back he should be Carolina's backup goaltender in 2013-14. Ellis was great Tuesday despite allowing three goals — none of which he was at lone fault for — and earning his sixth win of the season. The question then becomes is the team willing to spend about a combined $1.5 million ($525,000 for Peters’ guaranteed contract, plus $800,000 to $1 million for Ellis) on its secondary netminder.
2. If Minnesota, Columbus and Winnipeg all find their way into the postseason, Carolina would be one of just four teams that has not made the playoffs the past four seasons, and would be the only Eastern Conference team with that distinction. Calgary, Dallas and Edmonton have also failed to qualify in each of the past four campaigns.
3. Bobby Sanguinetti's limited ice time (6:36 Tuesday) wouldn't be that big of a deal if he wasn't sitting on the bench in favor of Marc-Andre Bergeron, a playoff race rental who will likely wind down his Hurricanes career in two games. Both players are unrestricted free agents, but GM Jim Rutherford has already expressed an interest in improving his defense. With Ryan Murphy poised to be another offense-first blueliner battling for ice time, the like-minded Sanguinetti and Bergeron look like the odd men out.
Number To Know
Chad LaRose — His stat line doesn't read as such — no points, minus-1 — but LaRose arguably had his best game of the season Tuesday. He finished the game tied for the team high in shot attempts (seven) with three on goal, plus added three hits and seemed to have more bounce in his step that he has all season.
Nicolas Blanchard — Blanchard had a goal on his stick a couple times and couldn't finish either off his first pro tally. You can live with that from a fourth line grinder/fighter. But five recorded giveaways in less than 11 minutes of ice time? Yech.
The Carolina Hurricanes sent reinforcements to the Charlotte Checkers Tuesday, and also offered up a bit of buzz in recalling the youngest Staal brother. Both Tim Wallace and Riley Nash were reassigned to Charlotte Tuesday, while Jared Staal was recalled and will make his NHL debut Thursday in the Canes’ home finale vs. the Rangers.
According to the N&O's Chip Alexander, coach Kirk Muller said Jared will line up with brother Jordan on Carolina’s second line. But I certainly wouldn't rule out a starting forward line of Thrice Staal.
The fourth Staal brother, Marc, plays for the visiting Rangers but has been out since early March after being struck in the face with a puck.
Here are the releases from the team.
‘CANES REASSIGN NASH, WALLACE TO CHARLOTTE
Forwards will join Carolina’s AHL affiliate for Calder Cup playoffs
RALEIGH, NC – Jim Rutherford, President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has reassigned center Riley Nash and forward Tim Wallace to the Charlotte Checkers of the American Hockey League (AHL). Both players will rejoin the Checkers as they open their Western Conference Quarterfinals series on Friday at Oklahoma City.
Nash, 23, has posted NHL career highs this season with four goals, five assists (9 points) and 32 games played. With Charlotte, the Consort, Alb., native set AHL career highs in assists (24) and points (37), and ranked fourth in assists and fifth in scoring among team skaters, despite playing in just 51 of the team’s 76 regular-season games. Nash (6’1", 191 lbs.) is in his third full professional season after a three-year collegiate career at Cornell. The Hurricanes acquired Nash from Edmonton via trade on June 26, 2010.
Wallace, 28, scored one goal and earned one assist (2 points) in 26 NHL regular-season games with Carolina this season. The Anchorage, AK, native also scored nine goals and earned 13 assists (22 points) in 47 AHL games this season with Charlotte. Wallace (6’1", 207 lbs.) joined the Hurricanes organization as a free agent on July 19, 2012.
‘CANES TO RECALL JARED STAAL FROM CHARLOTTE
Youngest Staal brother expected to make NHL debut on Thursday
RALEIGH, NC – Jim Rutherford, President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team will recall right wing Jared Staal from the Charlotte Checkers of the American Hockey League (AHL). Earlier today, center Riley Nash and forward Tim Wallace were reassigned to the Checkers, who begin the Calder Cup Playoffs with Game 1 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in Oklahoma City on Friday.
Staal, 22, has appeared in 52 games with Charlotte this season, posting four goals, three assists (7 points) and 25 penalty minutes. The Thunder Bay, Ont., native is in his fifth professional season, and has totaled 18 points and 49 penalty minutes in 119 career AHL games with San Antonio, Providence and Charlotte. Staal (6’4", 200 lbs.) was selected by the Phoenix Coyotes in the second round, 49th overall, of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. The Hurricanes acquired Staal on May 13, 2010, in exchange for a fifth-round pick in the 2010 Entry Draft. He is the younger brother of Hurricanes centers Eric Staal and Jordan Staal, and has yet to make his NHL debut.