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

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Holy Kaberle, Batman!

Frantisek Kaberle returned to action for the Canes Tuesday night against the Habs after missing the first 55 games recovering from shoulder surgery. All along, when people have asked me "What's wrong with the Canes?", I've been answering with any number of excuses, but mostly I say that the injuries have killed the Canes. More specifically, the injuries to the blueline and most specifically to Frantisek Kaberle have been the biggest problem.

On Tuesday, Kaberle returned and helped the Canes snap a four game losing streak. Hopefully, this will be the impetus for the team to get back on track and return to something resembling "form".

A lot of good things happened in that game. Most importantly was that the Canes won 2-1 in regulation. Atlanta lost in overtime to the Sabres, so the Canes gained one point on the division leader.

A very close second in the "good things" race was that Carolina was two for three on the power play. THAT IS NOT A MISPRINT! I don't want to jump to conclusions, but Frantisek Kaberle was a very important power play quarterback last season. Between his injury and Aaron Ward's departure, the Canes were missing more than just reliable defensemen. They were missing defensemen who actually know how to run a power play. This season, the power play has been mediocre on a good day and horrible most of the time. The "jumping to conclusion" part is that tonight, Kaberle was on the ice for both power play goals and he in fact scored the game winner. I tend to think that this is not coincidence. He was also on the ice for the Montréal goal. Since power play goals for don't affect one's +/-, this means that his rating for the night (read: season) is a very misleading -1.

Since I don't have Center Ice, and I didn't feel like going to a bar, I listened to ChuckandtheletterK via web radio. I love to hear him pronounce CAB-er-luh and co-VOLL-yev. Good times. Point is, I don't have any visual reference. I just know what ChuckandtheletterK said and what the scoresheet says. I can't give much of a thorough recap, but I think the awarding of the "official" three stars was a sham. They went to Christopher Higgins (third), Cam Ward (second) and Justin Williams (first).

I'm glad that Viva scored, and Chuck K made it sound like a beaut, but I can't see how he's the first star. For that matter, from what I heard, I can't agree with any of those.

Eric Staal made a nice play to create the first goal, and he could be given a star. Rod Brind'Amour helped on both Carolina goals, so he should get one no doubt. Cam Ward made some nice stops, but none that sounded spectacular. At the end of the day, he only faced 26 shots. Unless you pitch a shutout, stopping 25 shots isn't the stuff of "stars of the game" material. Higgins? Please. He didn't do anything. The way Chuck K told it, David Aebischer was very good, but with the goal, it's hard not to award Kovalev, who was all over the place. Since Frankie got the game winner, it's impossible to give the first star to anyone else.

Anyway, the RBH three stars (based on the radio call and the scoresheet)
THIRD STAR Rod Brind'Amour, CAR -- 2 assists
SECOND STAR Alex Kovalev, MON -- goal
FIRST STAR Frantisek Kaberle, CAR -- GWG

The Canes are now on a one game tear and Frantisek Kaberle has a two game goal streak going, dating back to game 7 of the SCF last June. They will be in Boston on Thursday night with a chance to avenge their ugly loss last Saturday.

Maybe Avi Tanabe can just stay in the Fleet Center BankNorth Gardens when the game's over and Brad Boyes can take his chair on the team plane back to Raleigh. Wishful thinking, I know.

Puck drop will be 7:00 on Thursday.


magnolia_mer said...

How do you pronounce Kaberle's real first name? Everyone always says "Frank" or "Frankie."

d-lee said...

Mer, it's pronounced FRAN-tuh-seck.

I don't like the American "Frankie", so I rarely use it. Under the same principal, I refuse to call Tampa's Vaclav (VOT-slav) Prospal "Vinny".


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