With the close of voting on September 16, the 2nd round of the Canes and Coffee Summer Event 2015 is completed. Left standing in the NCAA tourney-style bracket event are 16 Canes greats who will face off in the days leading up to start of REAL HOCKEY…FINALLY!
Tentative plan is to start the Sweet 16 voting mid-day Friday if we can get our ducks in a row by then. The quick preview for those 8 games with links for player bios is below.
The 2nd half of the Round of 32 games for the ‘Cup Core’ regional saw Rod Brind’Amour handily defeat Mark Recchi. As I asked on Twitter, it would be interesting to see that matchup on more even turf on a Flyers’ site. While Mark Recchi’s contribution to the greatest accomplishment in Canes history is appreciated, his short stay obviously did not allow him to carve out the same place in Canes history as legend Rod Brind’Amour.
Powered by the digital 7th man (Twitter), #13 seed, Mike Commodore pulled off another stunning upset. He has now disposed of Canes greats Cory Stillman (#4 seed) and Matt Cullen (#5 seed), neither of whom are on Twitter, in consecutive rounds. Once he rallied his army on Twitter he surged ahead quickly to win either at the buzzer or possibly a little bit after it. Sadly, the early end of the Canes and Coffee web site could be driven by a bracket-related law suit driven by the combination of a legal team and replay official working on Matt Cullen’s behalf to determine exactly how many of Commodore’s late votes should have counted. Interesting and maybe scary is that Mike Commodore next faces Rod Brind’Amour who seems unbeatable but also is not active on Twitter.
Can we get a neighbor, friend or relative to drag #17 out onto Twitter to defend his good name in the all-important Canes and Coffee Summer Event 2015?
The 2nd round in the ‘Cup Core’ regional also saw Justin Williams defeat fan favorite Niclas Wallin and Erik Cole eliminate Chad LaRose.
The ‘Current Generation’ bracket saw arguably the most significant upset of a championship contender thus far when Justin Faulk narrowly defeated Cam Ward. I am not privy to people’s reasons why they voted how they did, but for me the matchup seemed to force a choice between voting for the Canes success in the past or its hope for the future. I believe that if we do this event again for the 10-year anniversary of Canes and Coffee that Justin Faulk could be a contender to win the entire event. But he has yet to play in a single Canes playoff game and was pitted against the player who was right in the middle of 2 great playoff runs and won the Conn Smyth when the Canes accomplished the ultimate in hockey.
Faulk will face Jeff Skinner who beat former line mate Tuomo Ruutu. In the other half of the ‘Current Generation’ Eric Staal easily avoided Cam Ward’s fate in a matchup against another emerging star in Elias Lindholm, and Tim Gleason narrowly defeated another great recent defenseman in Joni Pitkanen.
The Sweet 16 is now set:
Founding Fathers regional
Unsung Heroes regional
Cup Core regional
Rod Brind’Amour (1) battles Mike Commodore (13) in a matchup that pits Canes elite greatness against Canes everyman greatness in the form of fun and the digital age. This should be interesting to watch.
In the other Sweet 16 matchup Erik Cole (2) lines up against Justin Williams (3). This battle matches Brind’Amour’s right wings from 2002 (Cole) and 2006 (Williams) against each other for the right to play Brind’Amour next. Oh the drama.
Current Generation regional