A lot of things went right for the Hurricanes last night, and as one of only two games in the NHL Friday, the local boys received far more attention than usual around the League for their total domination of the Florida Panthersat the RBC Center last night.
I appreciated Harwood's observation that the Canes had already turned their focus to the next game even before they hung up their skates last night. That's why they make the big bucks. Luckily, as fans and observers, we can savor the highly entertaining win a wee bit longer. Here is a sampling of stories to enjoy before we also must turn our attention to Tampa Bay this evening:
Turnovers doom Panthers as Hurricanes capitalize early and often in romp - ESPN Also from ESPN.com, their hockey desk uses a "it's so complex it must be objective" formula to name Jokinen, Ruutu, and Cullen as 3 of the top 5 players of the night. Now can they at least get some new headshots?
Friday's 3 Stars: Jokinen, Ward lead 'Canes rout of Panthers - Puck Daddy
Canes Crush 'Cats- NHL.com NHL GameCenter Recap - Jussi Jokinen had a goal and two assists leading the Hurricanes to a dominating 7-2 victory over the Panthers Friday night in Carolina. Lots of video highlights of the goals.
Mike Maniscalco give his Breakdown: Canes hammer Panthers 7-2 - WRALSportsFan.com Twelve different Canes found their way on the stat sheet in the victory. The local press who saw the game live named Matt Cullen, Jussi Jokinen and Niclas Wallinas the 3 stars of the night. Yes - Wallin. Congrats Nikki - well deserved! (Did I mention it's a contract year for him too?)
Here's the News&Observers' Chip Alexander with a re-cap in the print edition this morning; Canes Leave No Doubt
And this positive analysis from Mike Morreale at NHL.com prior to the game: Hurricanes are confident things will blow their way - NHL Insider
A few more stories from our American League prospects in Albany and across the NHL to follow:
The Albany Riverrats made a great turn-around from a tough loss Tuesday getting a resounding win over Portland last night as Harwood highlighted. Here's what they are saying about Boychuk, Sutter and all those very-talented kids who, eager to make the jump to Raleigh, are doing all they can to earn the call-up to the big show:
NHL.com: Boychuk Looking for Albany Impact - With junior hockey behind him Zach Boychuk is embarking on his first pro season, hoping to be an impact player with the Hurricanes' AHL team.
Power play clicks for River Rats - The Record (Troy NY) - Local paper's recap of Friday night's game.
The Rats also have a the second of back-to-back games tonight with the professional debut of exciting young goalie Mike Murphy as the story of the game. QUESTION: How long has it been since the Raleigh fans closely followed the 'rats box score in the Live Game thread of a Cane's game?
Looking beyond the Hurricanes' franchise:
Here's one we can all relate to: Detroit Red Wings forward Johan Franzen out 4 months with torn ACL - ESPN
First came this story from Thursday's 5-4 win by the Penguins over arch-rival the Flyers: Biting? Really? Another bizarre chapter added to the Pittsburgh Penguins-Philadelphia Flyers rivalry - ESPN . Then the follow-up, later yesterday: TSN - Scott Hartnell not suspended due to lack of evidence on biting charge from the Pen's Kris Letang. Apparently the camera phone photo the Pens submitted as proof didn't have a enough meg's.
TSN reports on Fleury's new book "Playing with Fire" After an unsuccessful attempt at a comeback at the age of 41 this summer, Theo Fleury reveals what has long been suspected and goes a fair way to explain his complex and difficult hockey career.
Will Lucic live up to his contract? - From The Rink James Mirtle's story on how Boston's big season last year left them with a lot of tough decisions under the salary cap, and this was one of the toughest. And unless he starts shooting the puck an awful lot more, 21-year old Milan Lucic will have a hard time living up to those dollar figures — at least in the goal department.
And on the lighter side:
Playing right into my hypothesis that "nothing lasts forever" check out this blog post from Canadian Hockey-junkie supplier TSN Duthie: Premature Evaluation: An Embarrassing Problem Yes, we sports fans suffer from the embarrassing medical condition known as Premature Evaluation (PE). One week into the NHL season and we residents of Hockeynation are already pretty sure of a few things.
Remembering the fun we all had this summer as we played the role of Laptop GM, Puck Daddy gives us some background on the website that made it simple to understand the big picture. How Cap Geek turned salary pains into puckhead amusement - Puck Daddy The Cap Geek, Matthew Wuest, a freelance hockey journalist has this to say about the upside of the NHL Salary Cap: "I think it's important for there to be a level playing field between the teams. I think that's where you really get to see who is a good general manager and who isn't," he said. "If there's some limit, you get some real gauge of who manages a team and who's just buying a team." Sounds to me like we've got another insightful summary of our very own Jim Rutherford.
Follow up to the Miracle Speech: The Nashville Predators asked the Tennessee 5-year old to offer up some inspiration to his hometown team with this re-make, filmed in the Pred's locker room this week.
Last - another one of those "lists" that I only just discovered, originally published in August. 30 Dirty Players in 30 Days. The Carolina Hurricanes Looking at the whole NHL team-by-team, this poor blogger really was stymied as he combed the Canes archives to find just one dirty player in the history of the Raleigh team. Nice comments on why he wouldn't name Scott Walker to open.