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

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Sens crush Canes 6-0, Walker loses his head

On Wednesday afternoon, I got a text message from our friend The Sliding Pokecheck. She was under the weather and offered her ticket for the Sens game to me. It all went downhill from there. It ended with the Canes taking a 6-0 beating and Scott Walker awaiting a suspension.

Ole' Crazy Eye Heatley got the Sens off and running at 1:46 with a shot from the right circle that beat Ward high on the glove side. Jason Spezza and Joe Corvo got the assists. This would turn out to be the game-winning goal.

Mike Fisher potted his eighth goal of the season at 5:24. It was a little soft, but it counts. Alfredsson and Luke Richardson assisted. He came down the left wing without really controlling the puck, but somehow he regained control of it and tucked it past Cam Ward from close range. Curiously, Ray Emery was lifted after the goal, making way for Martin Gerber. I didn't notice anything, but someone near me said they thought he had aggravated a pre-existing injury.

The goal of the night came at 19:08 of the first on a very nice individual effort by Spezza. coming down the left wing on an odd-man rush, he made a gorgeous outside-in move to make Tim Gleason and the late-arriving Craig Adams look like little boys. Randy Robitaille and Dany Heatley had the assists.

The second period got off to a bad start, but the second period as a whole was by far and away the Canes best work. They spent almost the entire period killing penalties, and they did it very well. They did a very good job keeping the Sens at bay and actually had a couple of shorthanded chances.

It started at 0:51 of the third with a tussle down on the north end of the ice. Scott Walker was called for interfering with the Sens' Swiss keeper. Mike Fisher took him to task, and the two came to blows. At the end of it all, Scott Walker made the unfortunate decision to head-butt Fisher. This got Walker the gate and will probably also get him a one game suspension. The result was a five minute power play for the Sens. Fortunately, the Canes penalty killers showed up enough to pitch a second period shutout.

Carolina was never able to get any sustained pressure going. They could barely stay on side, and in the third period it almost looked as if they were mailing it in.

Shean Donovan made it 4-0 at 8:39. Eric Staal was terrible all night long, but on this play, he was just gliding around aimlessly, looking like my paternal grandmother does at the home for Alzheimer's patients. Donovan was in the right place at the right time following a turnover deep in the Canes end and neatly beat Ward with a wrister from the low slot. Dean McAmmond had the only assist.

Dany Heatley had his second goal of the night on a breakaway at 11:53. Spezza and Gerber with the helpers.

The scoring was capped by a really bad goal. Dean McAmmond at 16:17. After a long shot from the right point was stopped by Ward, the bouncing puck found its way to the back of the net. Christopher Schubert and Brian McGratton (who has the worst haircut I've seen in a long time) got the helpers.

There was nothing good about this game. The forwards were awful. The defensemen were awful. Cam was shaky. The Canes couldn't mount any offensive pressure, or make any tape-to-tape passes, or stay on side. Conversely, every time the Sens entered the Canes zone, they had numbers. They had time and space all night long. Carolina never had time or space. Carolina's shots were low-percentage, their passes were more often in each other's skates than on their tape.

With no intent to discredit the fantastic play by the Sens, the Canes were lousy. They deserved to lose. The way they played, they could have lost to the Miami Dolphins. At the same time, the Sens deserved to win. They clearly wanted to.

Carolina will have a long day ahead of them tomorrow. Probably no bag skate, but they'll be looking at a lot of film that will be painful for them to watch. They've got a lot of questions to answer. Rod Brind'Amour is going to have to make his teammates come up with the answers. I would imagine there will be more than one "players only" meeting tomorrow, and a lot of language that would make Glen Wesley's sensitive ears bleed.

The Flames come a' calling on Friday night. I sure hope the Canes are ready.

When the Scott Walker suspension comes down, I'm guessing the Canes will recall Keith Aucoin to fill that roster spot.

The "official" three stars went to Martin Gerber (third), Jason Spezza (second) and Dany Heatley (first). Although Emery gets the win, Gerber did most of the work. It's unfortunate for him that he won't get credit for a shutout or even a win. I agree with the three stars, but just not the ordering of them. The RBH three stars:
THIRD STAR Jason Spezza, OTT --- 1 goal, 2 assists
SECOND STAR Martin Gerber, OTT --- 31 saves (including 17 in the third)
FIRST STAR Dany Heatley, OTT --- 2 goals, one assist, GWG.

For some bloggerific Sens coverage, check out the very capable Scarlett Ice

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