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

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Canes injury woes continue

Carolina was already pretty banged up when they went to Madison Square Garden on Wednesday night. When they left, they were a lot worse for the wear. Of course they lost the game, but they lost more than that. Matt Cullen and Andrew Ladd may miss games due to injuries sustained in the game.

  • Justin Williams was already out with a bad knee. Both the MCL and the ACL are shot. He's done for the season. We already knew that.
  • Chad LaRose is concussed. He skated in practice today for the first time in over a week, but wore the yellow "no contact" sweater. He won't be back in time for the Boston game.
  • Craig Adams has finished his two game suspension
  • Matt Cullen suffered a broken nose. He may or may not be concussed. The lack of news in this department doesn't fall into the "no gnus is good gnus" department. (anybody old enough to remember that?)
    Seriously, I assume that Cullen took a baseline test this morning. If he had passed the test, I think we would have heard by now. I read somewhere on a Rangers site that TSN.ca is reporting that he is NOT concussed, but I haven't been able to find any such article. No news is bad news.
  • Andrew Ladd may or may not have a broken orbital bone after he got clobbered by Sean Avery. I can't find any mention of this other than in blog comment sections, so I'll reserve that with a grain or two of salt.
    This suggests that Colin Campbell isn't interested in Orr (not surprised) or Avery. Avery's transgression, however, is bunched in with those that carry a mandatory one game suspension. Nothing further will be levied on him. Meh.

  • Williams and LaRose are definitely out. Cullen is probably out. If Ladd indeed has a broken orbital bone, he'll be out for a while. Two top six guys and two third line guys. When Williams went down, the rallying cry was "Time for Ladd to step up. Time for LaRose to play an increased role." Now they're both out. It's a fantastic opportunity for Brandon Nolan to stay on the team and prove his worth. We should expect to see Ryan Bayda get the call-up from Albany. Maybe Keith Aucoin too.

    Whether it's freak accident (Williams) or the result of marginal play, other teams are definitely taking liberties with Carolina. What makes it worse is that they know they can. Carolina is going through a horrible power play slump, so other teams can rough us up at will with confidence that Carolina won't score on the power play. They also know that Carolina isn't going to send anyone out to "clean matters up". It's a well-known fact that they have a "no fighting" rule, and even if they wanted to fight, Brandon Nolan is the only one who could even remotely strike fear in anyone's heart. This isn't the "new NHL" anymore, where skilled players are protected by the rules. Luke Decock said it best today:
    Like it or not, the NHL is once again relying on frontier justice. And the Hurricanes look like the Quakers in the wagon train.

    To remedy that, Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford is indicating that he's shopping around for an enforcer. The holiday roster freeze will thaw out at midnight tonight, and Carolina will look for free agents who might fall under the umbrella of "enforcer with skill". Good luck with that. Rachel Carter of the N&O has the story on that, which can be summed up with JR's quote:
    “So, we continue to look at things. I think the one area, and we've talked about this the first half of the season, but it becomes more obvious now — is maybe an enforcer.
    It seems like every week one of our guys is getting hit pretty hard and getting hurt, so we may try to look a little harder at that....
    There's been guys come available that are tough guys, but probably not at the level we're looking for, so we're still going to look for one of those top guys.”

    This will have to come on the free agency market. Carolina doesn't have any healthy players to use for trade bait.

    The Canes will be home on Friday against the Bruins. I can only count ten healthy forwards. Brind'Amour, Whitney, Cole, Staal, Stillman, Hamilton, Walker, Adams, Nolan, Letowski. There are seven healthy defensemen, but that leaves them one player shy of a full roster.
    Someone has to get called up.
    At midnight.

    Don't expect the "enforcer" move to come on Friday, but definitely expect Ryan Bayda to be wearing #18 against the Bs.

    There is continued rumbling about making a move for a puck-moving defenseman. That will have to come via trade, which means we have to wait for people to get healthy.
    Any ideas?


    Anonymous said...

    Just found your blog today. Like your angle. I, too, am becoming very concerned about the violence in the NHL and the targeting going on w/the Canes. It's truly sick and ruins the game. I'm very worried about Cullen and all the guys w/injuries, esp. to the head. It's very sad that we need an "enforcer" to protect our guys, but until rules change, what can we do? It would be great to focus on replacing some of our injured talent, rather than hiring bullies whose job is to hurt rather than to score. Sorry to the traditionalists, but I think hockey needs to grow up like other ML sports and no longer tolerate fighting. Major consequences should occur, as well as for penalties leading to game ejections. What the hell is a 1-game suspension to a guy making $1M or more a year? That's a joke. I love the game, but I don't love the violence. Is it worth broken bones, concussions, injuries that will last for the rest of these guys' lives? Sending up a prayer for change. Peace out.

    Mike D. said...

    Yeah, you know, if Avery doesn't draw some kind of suspension for his behavior last night, then I'll lose a lot of respect for the league and officials. CrAdams draws a two game suspension for a high stick (that was charged only a minor penalty by the people WHO ACTUALLY WITNESSED IT). And Avery gets nothing for clearly breaking a rule that carries a mandatory suspension.

    It sucks. All year, it seems that Carolina has been officiated against, meaning we get a lot of bad calls coming our way. Tripp Tracy has observed this too. Game after game he makes sideways references to the "uneven officiating," which is a polite way to say unfair calls. Every time this team plays with even an ounce of aggression--doing the good stuff like making hard hits and fighting for the puck--we get slapped with an interference call. I saw this in two Tampa games, on 11/14 and 12/6. And don't even get me started about those diving calls in the Florida game.

    So I'm not sure what message the league is trying send us, whether it's superstars like Avery will get a pass or that the league simply doesn't want us in the playoffs this year.

    Billynj1 said...

    Hey D.Lee, I was the first anonymous post on yesterday's story. Anyway, it was a good read, but I have to tell you that all this talk about Avery is getting old. He is what he is. He hits hard, plays hard and unfortunately he talks hard as well. I know that most fans outside Rangerland would agree that he should be punished, but as much as he was a crazyman in the last game he did nothing that hasn't happened in thousands of games. Players fight and if you drop gloves and charge someone you may get hit. If you notice on the video the first few seconds of the "fight", Ladd was not being held and Avery threw the first punch after Ladd grabbed his Jersey. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rB3LgpSAQWI

    It is clear as day.

    Anyway, great blog, keep it up. All the best to Cullen and Ladd for thier injuries.

    Kevin said...

    Yeah, I'm old enough to remember the Great Space Coaster. Me and you, D-Lee.

    Are there really people who still defend Avery? He's the kind of guy who is hated by fans of every team but the one he is on.

    Anonymous said...

    Yes, it was sad to see someone on here defend Avery. He broke a bone in Ladd's face!!! I don't support Ladd starting it w/him either, but when he is throwing cheap shots at practically everybody the whole game, and the refs are ignoring it, Ladd was simply making a statement. Knock it off!!! Sorry, but the only superstardom Avery has is Sucker Punch King.

    Anonymous said...

    Oh, another thing I observed while watching the game was the foul swear words "f--- you" etc. Avery was clearly yelling after the call on him before he walked off. That's a lot of class and what I sure love my kids to see while watching the game together. Men will be men, but boys will be boys. Some players are boys in men's bodies and need to grow the H up. Peace out.


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