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

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Canes bury Devils in game one

On Saturday afternoon, the Hurricanes completely annihilated New Jersey in the first game of the second round. The scoreboard showed 6-0, and even though Carolina had some lucky bounces, it wasn't even that close.

This was a highly anticipated matchup. The Devils, hitherto winners of 15 straight, going up against the Canes, who had won four straight after dropping the first two games to Montréal.

It was also special for Carolina's upstart goaltentder, Cam Ward. Martin Brodeur was always Ward's hero as a child, and he was getting the chance to go toe-to-toe with him on a big stage in front of a national TV audience.

It was also supposed to be special for Martin Brodeur, who turned 34 years old today.

Cam Ward, Ray Whitney, and the rest of the Canes came out to wish Brodeur a very unhappy birthday, and eventually chased him from the game with seven minutes to go after surrendering six goals.

This was a very solid performance on all levels. The defense was outstanding. There were few if any lapses, and they made sure that Wardo didn't have to stand on his head. Sure, he made some spectacular saves, but the D corps made his job a lot easier today.

Special teams were completely awesome. The Canes fought off three consecutive power plays in the second, including a brief two man disadvantage. On the flipside, Carolina converted a staggering five of eight power play chances.

Special teams clicked, defense really clicked, Wardo clicked, the forwards clicked. Everything fell into place. The way they played reminded me of the way they played in October, and again in January, when they were hotter than Lucifer's oven.

There were several multi-point nights, but Ray Whitney was the only multiple goal scorer. Both of his tallies were the result of good bounces, but they were completely legit, and were ultimately the product of good playmaking. His efforts were rewarded with the game's first star. Wardo was second, and Eric Staal was third.

There is no chance that the rest of the series will go like that. The Devils were rustier than the lugnuts on a '57 Ford (to borrow from Dan Rather), and might have missed the morning skate because of the 2:00 puck drop. While the Canes played a very solid game, the Devils were definitely off their game. I expect them to be more like themselves on Monday.

Even though there were a handful of empty seats, the crowd was great today, and I'm lucky to have been a part of it.

As a side note, there was a fight between Mikey "Robe" Commodore and Cam Janssen with about 8:00 to play in the game. Early in the fight, Commy got his left hand entangled with Janssen's helmet, and he was pretty much stuck with it. Unlike Darcy Tucker, though, he had the presence of mind to not strike his combatant with the helmet. You could tell he was being very careful to only throw short jabs with the left, which he was clutching Janssen with the whole time. Commodore wasn't able to get rid of the helmet until well after the fight was over.

Still, though, what had to be the coolest thing of all is that they played "Brass Bonanza" during the pre-game stuff. I've heard the organist play bits of it before, but I think this was the first time they've played the song over the PA. It was great. The folks in Hartford still get all emotionally misty-eyed just thinking about that song, and I think it was a nice touch to pay homage to our roots. "Brass Bonanza", of course, was the theme song written exclusively for the Hartford Whalers. You can hear the song in it's 2:43 glory by clicking here. You can enjoy a :31 version of the song by clicking here. You can also enjoy the song by dragging out your EA Sports NHL94 for your Sega Genesis to enjoy the 16 bit versions of Robert Kron and Pat Verbeek lighting the lamp for the Whale. I highly recommend a visit to Brassbonanza.com for all sorts of stuff related to the Whalers. Obviously, the main focus is the legendary song, but there's lots of other cool stuff there as well. Make sure you listen to the radio call of the "infamous fight" while you're there.

Game two of the Canes-Devils series will be Monday night. Puck drop will be 7:30, and the came will be broadcast on OLN.


Bill Purdy said...

I anticipated a 2-0 Canes victory. Did not anticipate this, the BEST defensive effort I've seen from this team all year. Dunno if they can keep it up in game 2, but I will say this: our boys are looking as good as they have all year -- better than they have without Erik Cole.

That may just be the dumbest Comment anyone has ever posted here. Go ahead. Have at me. I am a happy happy fan tonight. I won't feel you wrath...

Tom L said...


Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the smackdown your 'Canes laid on the Devils yesterday. I'm so sick and tired of the deification of Brodeur, Madden, Elias, and Lamiorillo it's not funny.

Teams that get blown out like that do not win playoff series...they never recover. Let me be the first to congratulate you on appearing in the Conference Finals. :)

I look forward to the matchup... heh.


d-lee said...

Jeez, Tom. Either you were too busy paying attention to other stuff (like the Sabres), or you already forgot. Carolina actually got blown out 6-1 in game one of their series with the Habs. They recovered, I'd say.

As much as I hope you're right, I'm pretty sure the Devils will recover. This should be a hard-fought series no matter who emerges.

And as long as you're patting me (the Canes) on the back, I should do the same for you. It gets old hearing about how incredibly invincible the Sens are.

Tom L said...


Ever heard the expression, "exception that proves the rule?"


Good win tonight as well. Canes and Sabres have more heart than OTT and NJ, which is why they'll win... as long s Tim Connolly returns.



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