Carolina Hurricanes at Boston Bruins
Goals: Anthony Stewart (Carolina), Joni Pitkanen (Carolina), Rich Peverley (Boston), Eric Staal (Carolina), Tuomo Ruutu (Carolina)
Goalies: Cam Ward (.971%), Tuukka Rask (.826%)
We definitely need to focus on the good things here first. Here’s a good thing: we quite nearly scored right off the first faceoff. If we keep applying this pressure first thing, it will pay off eventually.
Also, Rich Peverley scored on the power play after we were down 2-0 for a while. I also saw some improvement in the penalty kill too. (However, once we were forced to spend pretty much all of the third period on the PK, it got much more difficult.)
Mark Mowers, a Man of the Day honoree born right here in Decatur, has a new job! He provides commentary for NESN during the intermissions now! It was cool to see him.
The aggressiveness during the second period–I have to admit, I liked seeing it. We hadn’t had much in the way of fighting yet this season. Anyway, I feel like Zdeno Chara may have gotten into it to send a message: c’mon team, let’s get some fire in our veins! As for Tuukka Rask leaving the crease, he only did it to prevent an odd-man situation and he told the press that his talk with Cam Ward consisted of him asking what was going on. Later on, it was amusing to see Chris Kelly take on Brett Suter because of this:
We continue to have issues with defense. That first Carolina goal was all about defensive failure. We’re struggling without Adam McQuaid (get better soon, Mullet!) and then there was that hit on Joe Corvo during the first period that caused him to have trouble getting up, though he skated off unassisted and returned for the rest of the game. But seriously, our defense just needs to get better. I sound like a broken record, I know.
Prepare for the largest section of this post.
I don’t know who Jeff Skinner thinks he is trying to tango with both Chara and Andrew Ference, but if you rattle their cages, they’re going to give you an answer you might not like.
However, that’s a mere blip compared to the complete refereeing implosion that happened soon after Perv scored his goal. Just when I felt like the game’s momentum was shifting our way, that we were really going to take this one, all of a sudden everything went totally topsy-turvy. Although it takes players from both teams to get into fights, every single penalty after 11 minutes in the third was given to a Boston player. In fact, in total the Bs had 72 penalty minutes (only second to the 90 penalty minutes in February’s famous tilt against Montreal) while Carolina had a mere 22. The home team was on three different 5-on-3s, allowing Carolina two easy goals. Three of Boston’s biggest guys–Chara, Milan Lucic and Brad Marchand–were sent off with 10-minute misconducts. (Again, it takes two to tango, but I didn’t see any punishments at all for Carolina and the penalty sheet does not reflect any.) In fact, after Lucic was sent off, someone else was ejected after he shook his head in disapproval and began to talk to the referees.
Shawn Thornton served a penalty because disgruntled fans threw drinks on the ice, which I’m not fond of myself. I can see why some people might feel upset and frustrated at the sudden sea change of the game, but what a waste of drinks, which are not cheap in arenas! By the end of the game, it was just a terrible mess. I have no idea what happened. Frustration just kept bubbling up and up and up, buoyed along by terrible refereeing (this is apparently not just a Boston problem tonight; an Islanders friend of mine, not Vicky though, reported strange refereeing in a recent game of theirs) and it created a final score that had fans shocked and voicing their disapproval. Later comments by Ward about Rask and Chara only fueled the fire. (Source for the comments)
On Rask: “I’m not gonna waste my time with Tuukka Rask.”
On Chara: “The guy’s 8 feet tall, and he’s jumping a player. That doesn’t translate as being very tough in my eyes… I’m emotional just like everybody else. When you see that happening to your own players, you wanna … you know, I had some choice words, too, but it is what it is.”
1. Oh, Ward, trust me, Tuukka can be pretty worth your time if you want to go. Need I mention the milkcrate incident? Or the time he checked a guy on the Worcester Sharks while leaving at the end of a game?
2. Wait, Chara is tall? This is brand new information. Pardon my sarcasm. Chara wasn’t “jumping” a player; he was responding to a guy who was clearly desirous of physical action since he then continued to throw punches at Big Z. I guess we were watching different games or something.
Let’s just hope the team can use this experience to strengthen their winning resolve.
vs. Toronto Maple Leafs
Thursday, October 20
I may watch this one later at night instead of live. It’s the night before I leave for Boston for five days and I want to spend quality time with Mom before I go. Speaking of, I have some posts planned for while I’m there since our hotel has wifi. Wait and see!