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

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Canes raise banner, lose opener

On Wednesday night, the Canes got to raise the Sanley Cup Champions banner in a pre-game ceremony that lasted about 12 minutes or so. Some visiting Sabres fans who were understandably miffed by our display complained that it went on too long. For what it's worth to them, it could have gone on much longer than that, but the club decided to have a private party for the presentation of the rings. Ryan Miller wasn't annoyed, though.
"When you win the Cup, you can take as much time as you want," Miller said. "We were fine with it. ... We just sat around in the locker room, stretching and trying to get ready. We tried to stay focused. We could tell it was loud."

The game that followed was a good game with ebbs and flows, each team dominating the game at one time or another. Carolina came out strong, and kept all of the action in the Buffalo end for the first 10 minutes of the first period. After eight minutes, the shot count was 11-1 in favor of the Canes.

At the 9:09 mark , the Sabres got on the board with just their second shot of the game. It was sort of a pinball shot, that took a crazy bounce or two on the way in. Jason Pominville was credited with the goal, tipping it in from the left circle. Dmitri Kalinin and Teppo Numminen got the helpers. Kalinin with a wrist shot from the point set the goal in motion. I couldn't tell live, but TV replays showed that the last deflection was off Canes defenseman Glen Wesley's skate. Cam Ward didn't have a chance on it as it beat him glove side high.

At 14:42, Eric Staal knotted the game at one. He came in on a two-on-two rush and fired a shot through the Sabres defenseman and just under the crossbar. Miller didn't even see it. Ray Whitney and Cam Ward got the assists.

During a three minute Sabres penalty parade in the second period, the Canes took a 2-1 lead. Carolina was enjoying the back end of two 5-on-3 segments when Erik Cole tipped one in on the doorstep. Ray Whitney and Justin Williams got the helpers. Whitney faked a shot from the high slot and made a gorgeous diagonal pass to Colsey, who was camped out on the right side of Miller's net. Cole didn't have to do a thing, as Miller couldn't slide over in time.

The lead didn't stand very long, though. Chris Drury made it 2-2 at the 15:32 mark. Tallinder fired a long bomb from the right point, which Drury tapped in from the right side of the net. Cam Ward was moving towards the right post, and Drury snuck it in the long side, beating Ward badly. Evidently, Tallinder's shot was first deflected off Derek Roy, then Drury's pants. At any rate, it beat Ward. Roy with the first assist, Tallinder with the second.

No goals in the third period, nor in the overtime.

Just as Carolina had controlled play in the first eight minutes of the game, Buffalo controlled the flow in the closing minutes of regulation and the entire overtime. Carolina did well to make it to the shootout.

Carolina opted to shoot first, and named Ray Whitney, Eric Staal and Erik Cole as their shooters. Whitney's attempt was stopped by Miller. Danny Briere was the first Sabres shooter, and he made a really nifty hesitation move, faking right, then going left, keeping on the forehand and putting it past Ward. Staal went in with a no-frills type of shot that was easily handled by Miller. Tomas Vanek was next for the Sabres, and his unsuccessful attempt was overly fancy. Erik Cole was Carolina's last chance, but he couldn't make it happen.

Here's what a scoresheet can't tell you:

On the first Sabres goal, Canes defenseman David Tanabe made a terrible mistake in neutral ice, causing a lazy turnover, leading to the goal. He committed a really lazy holding penalty, and made a few other plays that were defensively unsound or just plain irresponsible. I'm not sure that it's a good idea to have him dressed. I'd rather see Anton Babchuk out there.

Most importantly, though, is that I was extremely impressed with the play of the Canes new defenseman Tim Gleason. He was part of that Jack Johnson deal with the Kings. Because he was a left coast player, and a defenseman, and a young one at that, I had never heard of him. He was pretty much the talk of section 112 last night, though. He made some very sound plays, made a ton of hits, and played a really smart game overall. I know it's just one game, but I'm thrilled with our end of that deal. His play was good enough to earn him third star status. I predict that I'll reprise these sentiments many times throughout the season, and I can't stress it enough, but we really like the kid.

Another thing I make note of every time we play the Sabres is that Maxim Afinogenov is an incredible skater. My Sabres fan friend and I agree that if he would quit trying to be such a fancy skater and focus more on finishing plays, he'd put up a ton of points.

Unfortunately, I'm a little pressed for time, and the only picture I've had time to work with is this one I took of Gleason. Later today, I'll work with some others and upload my banner raising photos/movies.


Tom L said...


Cole's goal looked more like he was chipping out of a sandtrap than anything. Pretty goal that. BTW, with all the Penalties in this one, you have to give props to both teams' PK units. They all looked to be in mid-season form already.


DrFrankLives said...

DL - I saw you in 112, but never made it down to say hello. My wife forgot to bring my camera when we met at the arena, so I'm looking forward to seeing your pictures.

Think they'll make Gleason sweaters?

Amanda said...

I actually didn't mean that the whole thing was too long, just the raising of the banner. THAT had to take 12 minutes alone... and give me a break. I sat through the whole thing, actually I STOOD through the whole thing and was respectful... and that was after I got heckeled the entire way to the arena.

Amanda said...

Oh and I thought that the arena looked empty at times, but what's your take on not selling out that very important game? How are you feeling about your fellow Caniacs?

Bubba said...

Not sold out? What game were you at?

AcidQueen said...

Gotta love them Buffalo Trollers--they only come out when their team wins, and scurry back under their rocks when their team loses.

The RBC was sold out--I saw a boatload of people milling about the Priority Lounges and the Deck during the game rather than in their seats. But far be it for me, a hockey ignoramus in North Cackalacky, to disagree with the all-knowing SlugsFan. /rolleyes

Chris said...

I don't know where this "not sold out" rumor started, but it's pretty damn silly.

DrFrankLives said...

Also, the cup was in the North end from halfway through period one to halfway through period 3, and there were lines around the RBC to see it.

DrFrankLives said...


please feel free to stay home next game. That's one empty seat I wouldn't mind seeing.

You weren't the skinny, split-end infested drunk chick in the blue and gold who was in Section 110, were you? Pretty free with that finger of yours, aren't you?

Chris said...

Attendance: 18,840 (100.6% full)

d-lee said...

Dr Frank... take it easy. Amanda is actually a friend of mine. We get along despite the fact that she likes Buffalo. It's not her fault, though. She's from western New York. And no, the girl you saw in 110 wasn't Amanda. She was in 112.

On the other hand, thank you for making that important point about where the "empty seats" were. The Cup was indeed on display, and those folks who were clearly in their seats at the start of the game had gone to stand in line to view (but not pose with) OUR trophy.

Amanda! said...

Thank you for sticking up for me David. No thanks to
your fellow Canes fans. Oops! I heard a rumor that
wasn't true! My sincerest apologies. However, even if
people were moving about during the game to see the
trophies... you have to wonder about the loads of
people that left before overtime. Hello hockey fans?
Dr. Frank, I do appreciate the idea that since you saw
one drunk female Sabres fan that it must have been me.
It is a known fact that women don't generally follow
sports, so it was a good assumption on your part.
Since I'm a Sabres fan, it's also an easy assumption
that I must have been drunk. For all of the crap you
guys give Sabres fans... I didn't receive an all too
warm welcome as I, a SINGLE FEMALE WALKING ALONE, was
heckeled the entire way into the arena because of the
sweater I was wearing. Y'all surely do know how to
show some class. Actually I shouldn't make the same
generalization that everyone likes to make about
Sabres fans since everyone knows that generalizing is
a BAD idea. As for Dr. Frank, I'll never sit home when
my boys are playing in the area, so you might as well
get over it. To acidqueen... if you know anything
about Buffalo, which you apparently don't, we don't
scurry anywhere. Our city has loved our team for
thirty-six years through thick and thin. We know what
it's like to win and lose, and almost lose our team...
and we haven't disappeared. Sorry. I have no problem
with people jumping on the slam Buffalo bandwagon, it
wouldn't be the first time. Slam away, and stay CLASSY!

AcidQueen said...

if you know anything
about Buffalo, which you apparently don't, we don't
scurry anywhere.

No? Where were you when the Sabres LOST in Game 7 of the ECF?

Please take your time before answering, and do consider your answer carefully.

Tom L said...


Love ya, hun, but you of all people should not be cautioning people about commenting before thinking.

There's that lil thang of pots and kettles.


AcidQueen said...

Separate issue, d00d. There's popping off in anger, and then there's only coming out to run le smack when your team wins.

Amanda said...

I don't even think I was running all that much smack, but ok. Maybe if you look back, or even knew me at all... I don't come out just when my team wins. I am from BUFFALO. Do you know of a little team called the Bills? There are maaaaany times when the Buffalo team doesn't win, and we're all still around was my point. Sorry if you didn't understand that. Thanks Tom. I appreciate the people who actually know me sticking up for me against the people who are just getting angry. It's going to be a long season :o)

DrFrankLives said...

Yeah, I guess it isn;t fair to say that Buffalonians scurry away from defeat. That's pretty much the history of the city - defeat. Presidential Assassinations, polluted great lakes, a decimated economy, and a former population base that claims more current residents of other states now than Buffalo.

So, I guess you can say they're used to it.

AcidQueen said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


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