There was much fanfare surrounding the season opener last night, but in the end, the fans left the building thinking that they had just seen the Hurricanes of 2006-07. The Hurricanes forced overtime and emerged with one standings point, but like last season, they left with a loss on their hands.
This post will be bare-bones. A more detailed one will come later.
Early on, the Canes looked pretty good. There were some good hits, some good aggressive play, some good pressure, and even a first strike goal.
At 3:37, Erik "Hab Killa" Cole re-directed a one-time blast from Eric Staal near the top of the right circle. It was a power play goal (!). Officially, Cole from Staal and Walker at 3:37.
The Habs knotted it up at 13:01. Mark Streit from Alexei Kovalev and Andrei Markov on the power play.
In the first, the Canes had several good chances go by the wayside. Ray Whitney missed a yawning net, they hit a few posts, and on a few occasios, Cristobal Huet made spectacular saves.
No scoring in the second, but the Canes blew a golden opportunity at about 17:00 when the Habs made a sloppy change. The Canes ended up with a three-on-one break and couldn't convert the opportunity. This is what I would later refer to as the "Chad LaRose syndrome". Failure to finish.
9:31 of the third, Saku Koivu put the visitors ahead after Nic Wallin had been sent of for tripping. He went hard to the net and tapped one in from the low slot. Officially Koivu from Markov on the power play.
Bret Hedican rifled one in from the blue line at 12:48 to buoy the Canes hopes. Justin "Viva" Williams and Rod Brind'Amour with the assists. It was the only even strength goal of the game for either team.
Early in the overtime frame, Nic Wallin was again sent away on a cross-checking call. The Habs got what they needed out of their captain when Koivu scored the game-winner at 1:05 of the extra frame. Chris Higgins and Michael Ryder got the assists.
The "official" three stars went to Hedican (3), Cam Ward (2) and Koivu (1). I don't think this does justice to the way Huet played. The RBH three stars went:
THIRD STAR: Erik Cole, CAR. --- 1 goal
SECOND STAR: Cristobal Huet, MTL
FIRST STAR: Saku Koivu, MTL --- 2 goals, GWG
I'll have to go back and check the history, but it seems like Koivu has been what Cole is to the Habs: kryptonite. He certainly was on Wednesday.
During the first intermission, I had the opportunity to finally meet some of my fellow bloggers. It was a short meeting, but it was great to finally meet these good folks.
More on everything later. For now, work.
4 years ago