Sunday, December 17, 2006

December 15th and 16th, 2006 - Canes vs. the Leafs AND @ the Lightning: Random Musings and Observations

- The most glaring similarities between these two games: The officials (Don't believe me? Check out
here and there), the opponents being ones the Canes should beat, said teams having dark blue as one of their colors, the games starting at 7:30 (highly unusual in the instance of the Canes/Leafs game...usually, 7:30 games at the RBC Center are reserved for Sunday nights), and both games being decided by one goal.

- Beef O'Bailey's looks like a darn good place to eat and drink.

- The only reason the Canes managed to win tonight, despite trying their darndest to give away the game in the last minute of the third? Cam Ward. I kept checking to make sure he wasn't wearing Mickey Mouse ears and sneaking in a "Here I am to save the day!!" during the more quiet moments of the game.

As a matter of fact, Cam was also the reason the Canes actually made it a game against the Leafs. If it weren't for the Wardo, the Canes, not the Ranjerks, would have been lit up like Christmas trees.

All that said, the rest of the Canes need to learn a thing or two or three from Wardo about actually playing hockey, ESPECIALLY for sixty minutes.

- Some people can complain about the officiating all they want...but folks, the Canes' struggles are their own fault, NOT Kerry Fraser and Co.'s. Fraser and all did alright in my book...I did not see a call I did not disagree with. The sad truth of the matter, especially in the Leafs game, AND REALLY, the season overall, is that the Canes have a tendency to be highly undisciplined. And to add insult to that injury, certain Canes are acting like children ice skating for the very first time AND finding out that their Christmas presents don't have batteries included. Nobody sums that up better than VinnieBagADonuts at The Score Boards...

"I do have a couple of issues with the calls they DIDN'T make, but after the Cole non-call (the right call, IMO), the Canes complicated things by whining incessantly and diving all over the place. Eric Staal spent more time falling on the ice than TinkerBell in the Disney Princess show last week. He got called for one dive, and could've easily gotten No. 2 on the final offensive zone faceoff of the night.

Carolina was stupid and lazy last night, and then compounded that problem by being whiny and arrogant. Nice work boys.

I have some advice for them. Shut up and skate. No way the Leafs belong in a run-and-gun game with us. If we just shut up and skate, like we did last year, we beat them 95 times out of 100, regardless of who officiates. Why exactly are they trying to get calls, anyhow? Aren't they like 5% lately on the PP? Shut up and skate."

Forget "Whatever It Takes" nowadays..."Shut Up and Skate" should be the new locker room slogan. Taking notes, Lavy? I sure as heck hope you are if you want to win with "the players you got in the room".

Current Music: "Something About Christmas Time" by Bryan Adams

Edit as of 3:50 PM: Many are noting how well Keith Aucoin played last night...especially in the faceoff circle...according to the Raleigh News and Observer:

With the Hurricanes struggling in the faceoff circle, he went 7-for-9 in Friday's loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Former Hurricanes captain Ron Francis was in Albany last weekend in his new player-development role and gave Aucoin a 20-minute tutorial in the faceoff circle. Those lessons paid immediate dividends. Aucoin was 3-for-4 on Saturday.

Ah...the power of Ron Francis.

Current Music as of the edit: "White Christmas" by The Drifters

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