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

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Canes win 4-3 in shootout, extend streak to 8 games

By defeating the host Flyers in shootout fashion, the Hurricanes extended their winning streak to eight games and their lead in the Southeast division to an astounding 16 points. Without some of our best defensemen.

Mikey Commodore is being called "day-to-day" with the upper thigh contusion. Glen Wesley is on the road to recovery, and is doing some light skating with the team. AWard is gonna be a while. The rag-tag bunch did a really good job. Nic Wallin has been good, Frantisek Kaberle has been outstanding, and Bret Hedican is playing with the Brind'Amour-esque youthful vigor of a man ten years his younger.

Not much went on in the first frame. The Flyers recorded eight shots on goal while the Canes only could put forth two despite a pair of power play chances in the first. Rookie Jeff Carter got things going for the Flyers when he potted his eleventh goal at 12:37 of the second. He broke in with a long pass from Chris Therien, and easily beat Gerbs blocker side on the shot. Kaberle fell down on the play, but Carter had him beat anyway. Secondary assist from Freddy Meyer IV. That would be the only scoring of the period.

In the third, though, things got hectic.

Kim Johnsson gave the Bullies a two goal cushion at 3:19 of the third after a Bret Hedican turnover in the Carolina zone. Michal Handzus corralled the puck and centered it to Johnsson in the slot.

That two goal lead, however, was short-lived. Matt Cullen got his 16th goal of the season at 3:40, after skating end-to-end with the puck. The Johnsson goal was still being announced by the PA guy, and it looked kind of like he caught Nittymaki by surprise with the shot from the slot. Danny "Harry Potter" Richmond got his first NHL point with an assist on the play.

AT 6:15, it was Freddy Meyer giving the Flyers their second two-goal cushion of the game with a wrister from the point. Brian Savage and Sami Kapinen assisted. By the way, Freddy Meyer IV has scored three goals this season. Two of them have been against Carolina.

Oleg Tverdovsky scored only his second goal of the season at 8:01 to narrow the gap. Eric Staal had just forced a turnover deep in the Flyers zone and Tevvy put it in from the slot, thanks to a screen set up by Erik Cole. Staal's assist on the play was his 31st, giving him 60 points.

Erik Cole tied the game at 16:02 when he broke in all alone and beat Nittymaki high glove side. Cole has proven to be quite effective on the breakaway this season.

No scoring for the rest of the third. Very few chances in the OT period. Philly got two shots, and Carolina just one.

For the shootout, Carolina selected Ray Whitney, Matt Cullen and Eric Staal.
Philly selected Mike Richards, Michal Handzus and Simon Gagne.

Whitney scored, five hole.
Richards went top shelf.
Cullen scored blocker side.
Handzus scored top shelf.
Staal was stopped.
Gagne missed the net.

On to the fourth round:
Brind'Amour went off the post and in glove side.
Jeff Carter's five-hole attempt was easily stopped.

I don't hate the shootout, but I do hate that Rod Brind'Amour doesn't get credit for the game-winning goal. You know, for fantasy purposes.

Up next, a home date with the Islanders on Thursday.

1 comment:

Bill Purdy said...

Sure it's fun to watch, but the shootout just doesn't sit right with me because of the phantom "bonus point" that materializes when the teams (or, at least, those selected to shoot) skate into that fifth frame. That suggests a game that goes into a shootout is 50% more valuable (standings-wise) than a game decided in regulation.

It just isn't.

I realize the league wants a standings point algorithm that is easy to calculate for the casual fan looking at GP-W-L-OTL records for their team in the local paper. Suggesting three points for a victory in regulation OR overtime, and a 2-1 split of those same three points for a shootout doesn't make that logic any simpler (it suggests a W-L-SOW-SOL layout, but (to me, anyway) it makes a hell of a lot more sense in terms of rewarding the participating teams.

Nice interview in Behind the Jersey, btw. I'm serious about that beer.


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