Ever notice who usually does the hardest, dirtiest work in a hockey game? It's usually the guys on the lower end of the payscale. Last night's Hurricanes game was no exception. Craig Adams dropped the gloves and got the team fired up in the 1st period. Andrew Hutchinson had a goal and an assist and played a steady game of defense. Ryan Bayda made his presence known by doing a very good job of possessing and cycling the puck and by also scoring an important goal on a rebound shot of Eric Belanger. Scott Walker got credit for his goal while standing and taking a beating in front of the net. Unheralded and relatively unknown Anton Babchuk led the defense in ice time and ended up scoring the game winner in OT. While superstar Eric Staal opened the scoring for the Canes on a nifty, nasty shot on a semi-breakaway, the little guys got the job done for the Canes after that.
From now on I will pick a "Bubba's Star" of the game, someone who I think deserves some extra credit but who normally might not get it. Last night's "Bubba's Star" is Ryan Bayda. Also a great job was done by Cam Ward, especially in the 2nd period when he was barraged by 22 shots. He made a couple of spectacular saves, especially during one 5 shot sequence. We certainly needed his best effort last night. It's amazing that a goalie can allow 4 goals but can still have a great game. Gotta love the "new" NHL!
I correctly predicted that Atlanta would start slowly, (even though they did score first on 2 whiffed shots), but they really picked it up in the 2nd and 3rd periods. The game had it's share of sloppiness and mistakes, but it was a very entertaining game that could have gone either way. It would have been nice to keep the Thrash from picking up that extra point, but we did win and it's hard to complain about that.
Last night during a break, the Canesvision crew played a spoof of the Budweiser "All American hero" commercials by playing an "unsung hero" video of the RBC parking lot attendants. I was waiting for a drowning out of boos, but I guess most people were too busy laughing and listening to react negatively to it. Maybe next time it's played! Speaking of spoofs, the Raleigh News and Observer crew put together a fake Hurricanes cartoon commercial featuring Peter Karmanos and Ric Flair mocking GEICO's funny productions. Check it out here:
The Canes hopped on a plane to Tampa after last night's win and will take on the Lightning tonight. No rest for the weary as this will be the team's 4rth back to back already this month. John Forslund told Chris Clark on 850 The Buzz this morning that Ward would remain in goal tonight. I would assume that on the 2nd of a back to back, Grahame would get the nod, especially with something to prove against his old mates. If Ward indeed starts, this would indicate very little confidence in John Grahame by coach Laviolette. Time will tell. Go Canes!