Blog Entry

Destiny's child

Posted on: May 15, 2009 12:44 am
 

It's not hard to get the feeling something special is happening in Carolina these days.

Forget for a minute that this team missed the playoffs for two consecutive seasons after winning the 2006 Stanley Cup and as late as the trade deadline, seemed like a good bet to make it three in row. Or that they have knocked off the top seed in the East and another division winner to get to the conference finals. It's the way they have done it that makes it seem like the pieces are all falling into place for them.

Remember, Carolina needed a remarkable six week run to the finish line just to get to the playoffs. Then the Hurricanes came up with a miracle -- what else would you call scoring twice on Martin Brodeur in the final 80 seconds of a Game 7 -- to survive the first round. And now, Carolina has managed to overcome the Boston Bruins with a dramatic 3-2 overtime win on the road in Game 7 after blowing a 3-1 series lead. Doing it the easy way is obviously not in their DNA.

But it doesn't necessarily have to be that way when the Hurricanes are playing the way they can. Back in 2006, they called it relentless, which became the motto for a team that had a hell bent for leather approach to the game. Injuries and personnel changes forced a change in Carolina's game over the next couple of seasons, but the Hurricanes rediscovered the style toward the end of this season and have carried it into the playoffs. With the kind of speed and balanced scoring power this team has, not to mention the goaltending of Cam Ward, it makes for a very dangerous combination.

The Bruins learned that first hand throughout this series, and particularly during the overtime of tonight's finale. While the home team was taking a cautious approach at the outset of the extra session, Carolina was putting the pedal to the metal right away and trying to force the break they needed to win.

It came with less than two minutes left in the first overtime when Boston's Vezina finalist goalie Tim Thomas couldn't control the rebound off Ray Whitney's blistering slap shot. And it added insult to injury since it was Scott Walker, public enemy No. 1 to Bruins fans because he avoided a suspension last week for sucker punching Boston defenseman Aaron Ward, who batted the puck out of mid air to score the winner.

Maybe that was just fate. Or a sign of destiny.

Category: NHL
Comments

Since: Mar 4, 2008
Posted on: May 15, 2009 5:03 pm
 

Destiny's child

roll not role



Since: Oct 20, 2006
Posted on: May 15, 2009 4:14 pm
 

Destiny's child

Since I predicted the Pens and Hurricanes in the Conf finals before the playoffs started, I might as well press my luck. Penguins in 6.



Since: Aug 25, 2008
Posted on: May 15, 2009 4:02 pm
 

Destiny's child

No one who grew up in Pittsburgh would ever switch loyalties - no matter where they moved to.

Good Luck, here come Sid and Gino.



Since: Oct 8, 2007
Posted on: May 15, 2009 3:14 pm
 

Destiny's child

Wes...I have taken shots at you in the past about not giving the Hurricanes their due...but it looks like you have become one of the few voices of reason. To say that the Hurricanes are a team that has had so much luck in this decade....look at 2002 and 2006 for example with the dynamics of each team being different and the intangibles being there. What few people want to admit and wont do is give Cam Ward his due as one of the top goalies in the NHL(and I also feel like Marc Andre Fleury his Eastern Conference Finals counterpart doesnt get his recognition either).....people also dont realize how talented Ray Whitney truly is...he not Eric Staal has lead the Hurricanes in scoring the past two seasons and he might be the most underrated player in the entire NHL. Eric Staal is now showing us why he has the potential to be among the best in the game right now with names like Crosby,Malkin,Ovechkin and the like.
Why is "destinys child" not being treated like the Survivors...no pun intended that they really are. When talk about winning the Stanley Cup this year among the four final teams, no one wants to give the Hurricanes a chance in hell....Many people think that Pittsburgh is going to just come in and steamroll us.....what do we have to do to prove to people that this team is really good and will do whatever it takes to get back to win a Stanley Cup? We take out 2 division champions in New Jersey and Boston and still no love? We get no run from the national media or networks....out of 96 games played in the playoffs and regular season we have only been shown on Versus about 3 times(not counting live look ins and conclusion of game coverage). How can a team this good not be on more often....NBC will not show us at all. They think that the Hurricanes wont help their ratings.....
While you are right on relentless as a motto from 2006....the saying was "WHATEVER IT TAKES" and right now it looks like the 2009 version of the Hurricanes have picked up the tradition well.....



Since: Dec 10, 2006
Posted on: May 15, 2009 2:45 pm
 

Destiny's child

Thats funny.  I recall many Devils and B's posters saying "blah, blah in 5" or "easy series", only to see their team get taken to the wire by the Canes.  We've already gone through the #3 and #1 seeds, what makes the Pens any different?

Only if Malkin wakes up from his Valium coma would I agree to Pen's in 6, otherwise, we'll prob. see another game 7 thriller.




Since: Nov 26, 2006
Posted on: May 15, 2009 12:22 pm
 

Destiny's child

Go PENS!



Since: Jun 1, 2007
Posted on: May 15, 2009 10:33 am
 

Destiny's child

Indeed - the combination of Eric Staal and Cam Ward seems to be playoff perfection. At the same time, the way Sid just played against Washington proves that he is on a mission to avenge last year's loss to the RedWings, so the Penguins will be extremely hard to beat.

The key to this series, and for the Hurricanes success is the answer to this question: Is Eric Staal a top five player in the NHL, alongside Crosby, Ovehkin, Malkin, and Datsyuk?  In some ways, he has to be even better because he has to take on two of these guys in this round...




Since: Jan 15, 2008
Posted on: May 15, 2009 9:49 am
 

Destiny's child

I really hate the "team of ... wait for it ... DESTINY!" articles.  You know what?  There are 3 other teams still alive that all think they too are "teams of destiny."  One of them is right.

If the Hurricanes can muster a forecheck and put together a plan of attack that's better than dump-and-chase, they will win.  I find it a great irony that Carolina's defense, led by Cam Ward, is already seen as the difference maker, yet the team's biggest asset is its ability to outscore opponents.  It's a very balanced attack across the top 3 lines, with offensive-defenseman jumping in.  Pittsburgh doesn't have that.  If they get into a situation where they have to trade goals with Carolina, they'll lose. 

Keys to the series:
Penguins: Fleury has to be better.  If he gets rattled, dunzo.  Grudge match: Orpik is still due one broken neck as payback for his cheap shot on Erik Cole in 2005-06.  Get 'im, Scotty!
Hurricanes: Clear your own zone and get Staal and Whitney scoring again.  Erik Cole has been the best backchecking forward for Carolina, but some offense would be nice from him, too.

Go Canes!



Since: Sep 19, 2006
Posted on: May 15, 2009 9:43 am
 

Destiny's child

 As a Penguins fan, I gotta be honest and say I have a HEALTHY amount of respect for the Hurricanes. I was watching all the teams playing as they prepared for the playoffs, and right before the season ended I was praying we didn't match up agains Carolina.  Ward was impregnable, and the team was playing on a mission - clearly the hottest team on the ice.

Now - at this stage of the playoffs, the good news for me is that Ward is still great, but not invicible, and the team actually isn't performing quite at the level they were in the last 3 weeks of the season (which is only saying they aren't playing perfect, which shouldn't make any convictions about success).  That means they are beatable - where before I wasn't sure they were.  They still went through the #3 and #1 Seeds in the East - and in dramatic fashion. No team that does that can be taken lightly - period. Luck plays a factor sure - but the same can be said for all the winners - "Great teams make their own luck".

On the other side of the Ice, the Penguins have simply taken care of business and actually adjusted to their opponents as they have gone - that has been the difference.  Against the Caps, they played aggressive team defense and puck control - the Caps changed nothing and lost.  Game 7 was a woodshed treatment that allowed a goalie to get a bit carefree and give up a "gimme", but it had no real impact on the outcome.  I really like what I have seen from the Pens and HOW they have won.

All that said - this is gonna be a GREAT series.  I want the Penguins to win in 6, game 7's are rough to watch for me (I will be recovering from Surgery - don't wanna heart attack with it).  But that is a desire, and by no means a prediction. I would go in saying the teams are evenly matched and can go either way.

Besides - as an Old school Penguins fan, I can't hate on the Hurricanes.  Francis was your Captain for a few years, and we have to give Ronnie the props for him helping us lift the Cup.

Go Pens!  Gonna be fun to watch!



Since: Aug 19, 2006
Posted on: May 15, 2009 9:42 am
 

Even Match Up!!!

TAZ,

Much more well thought out response than most already.  The Canes have a certain spark about them and though Crosby and Malkin are scoring machines there is little doubt that this will not go the distance.  The Canes have taken 1 out of the first 2 games in the last series from the home team and look for that to happen again.  I like the speed of the Canes and I believe that the defense has definately stepped it up a notch in the playoffs.

The Canes need to keep Kaberle in the mix and bench Babchuk who looked like a deer in the headlights in Game 6 versus Boston.  With the series not starting until Monday that gives the Canes a bit of time to get back home and lick their wounds - Brindamour took a puck to the head while on the bench last night and opened a pretty deep gash on him.  The Canes will adjust and I believe this will go 6 or 7 but to the Canes not the Pens.


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