A Carolina Hurricanes blog with occasional news about the rest of the NHL.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

The kid's alright!

The kid came through tonight. No, not ""The Kid". I'm talking about Cameron Ward. He had to start tonight because of the injury to Martin Gerber, and he helped the Canes to a 3-2 victory over the Penguinsthat went to shootout. Lots of folks were really scared, but I think he played a terrific game. His puck anticipation was tremendous, and he seemed really poised. Not at all what you expect to see out of a rookie in his very first start. He was called on to make some really key stops, and he answered the bell almost every time. He gave up two goals on powerplay situations, and other than that, he was nothing short of great.

The Canes got off to an early 2-0 lead in the first. There was no scoring in the second, and the Pens rallied for two late in the third to send it to the extra frame. No scoring in overtime, so we advanced to our first regular season shootout. Stillman scored on the first shot of the shootout, and that was all we needed. Ward made a nice stop on SuperMario, and watched as Sergei Gonchar Ziggy Palffy went wide of the net. With the Canes up 1-0, the Pens last hope was The Kid, who was stopped cold by our new favorite guy.

For the Canes scoring, Eric Staal put on a show to get the first goal, beating Gonchar in open ice and flipping a pass towards the net. The pass deflected off of Josef Melichar's skate, then his stick, and went five hole on Sebastian Caron. Caron was starting in favor of Jocelyn Thibault, who was terrible on Wednesday night.

Our second goal was a thing of beauty. Cory Stillman streaked out of the penalty box to meet a LOOOOONG breakaway pass from Rod Brind'Amour. Deke, deke, deke, deke, then he pulled it across the mouth of the goal and tapped it into the open net. It looked like that Pavel Datsyuk goal from 2003-04.

The two Pittsburgh goals were power plays. Ryan Malone came in unassisted after a funny bounce and Ziggy Palffy came in with helpers from "The Kid" and Richard Jackman on a four-on-three powerplay.

Obviously, we're all happy that the Canes won and that Staal scored again, and that Stillman scored, and that we got some great D by Mikey Commodore. However, we're not happy that the Canes couldn't execute on the powerplay and that they sort of fell asleep in the second and third periods. We had a chance to really put the game away, but didn't play aggressively enough. I hope we can find a way to overcome that.

With Ray Whitney on the IR, we were forced to use a defenseman as a forward again tonight. This time, we put Andrew Hutchinson out on the fourth line. In 5:57 of ice time, he was unable to get an assist on either goal. He is still sitting on zero points.

On my way to the game, I encountered some terrible traffic because of heavy rain and a huge wreck on the interstate. Authorities said that between 30 and 40 vehicles were involved in the wreck. That mess was in the west-bound lanes, while I was headed east. All lanes of westbound traffic were closed. Meanwhile, in the eastbound lanes of traffic, at the same mile marker, a Winnebego had stalled in the center line and caught fire. I was really scared that it might explode as I was driving past it, but it didn't and I guess they eventually got it under control. That was only taking up one lane of travel. At any rate, my original ETA at the arena was 2 hours prior to puck drop, but I got there with only about 15 minutes to spare.

That wasn't the only drama, either. Just before the game began, some crazy woman who hadn't planned things out very well wanted someone to swap tickets with her so she could sit near some friends. Her seat was two entire sections and five rows further back than mine. She wouldn't accept "No, sorry" as an answer. She wouldn't accept "No, I'm not doing it because this is the specific seat I selected for my season tickets, and your seat sucks" as an answer. Fortunately, before I had to get really nasty, her husband convinced her to quit trying.

I really like the young couple that sits next to me, but I miss the couple that sat behind me last season. They stayed in their same seats, and I moved forward two rows, so I don't "hang out" with them any more.

Overall, the home opener was a big success.

2 comments:

Jes GÅ‘lbez said...

Hmm, in 6 minutes of ice time, Hutchinson had 5 minutes of Power Play time. He really is a specialist.

Really, it's dumb to bring him into the game so cold. I hope Lavio trusts him enough to give him some real ice time. I won't be making hot dogs if he's playing 6 minutes a game ;)

d-lee said...

Well, in defense of that, he was pressed into service as a forward last night. He's actually a defenseman.
He'll see more ice time as a dman once we get Whitney in the lineup.

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