Gm82 @Phi: Led by Brock McGinn and Bryan Bickell Canes somehow top Saturday in 4-3 shootout win

Gm82 @Phi: Led by Brock McGinn and Bryan Bickell Canes somehow top Saturday in 4-3 shootout win

After a tremendous home finale on Saturday that saw the Hurricanes fall short on the scoreboard in a 5-4 shootout loss but still offer up a night to remember honoring Bryan Bickell, Sunday on the road figured to be a quieter finale and departure from the 2016-17 season. But somehow the team managed to top even Saturday when Bryan Bickell scored starting the shootout and helped push the Canes to a 4-3 shootout win. If you want to feel good about NHL hockey, check out the video on the team’s web sit that shows Bryan Bickell scoring to start the shoot out and then the team surrounding him a few minutes later after Brock McGinn scored in the shootout to notch the win. The summer is unfortunately going to be another long one, but short of making the playoffs, this weekend could not be topped in terms of a feel-good send off.   Short recap of Hurricanes 4-3 shootout win over the Flyers Whereas many a Hurricanes win of late has featured the Jeff Skinner show offensively, Sunday night in Philadelphia was all about Brock McGinn. He finished top shelf after a nice keep in on the forecheck and pass from Derek Ryan in the first period and then again in the third period on a nifty deflection of a Noah Hanifin shot/pass from the point. He put the puck in the net for the third time as the final shooter in the shootout sending the Hurricanes rallying around Bryan Bickell. The in total was a back and forth affair that also saw Sebastian Aho close out the season...
Gm81 Vs. StL: Bryan Bickell day, hockey as family and then a hockey game — in that order

Gm81 Vs. StL: Bryan Bickell day, hockey as family and then a hockey game — in that order

“Bickell Brave” Especially after a lackluster effort and loss on Thursday night against the New York Islanders, Saturday was slated to be a ho-hum home finale as the Carolina Hurricanes quietly rode off into the sunset for the 2016-17 season. On Saturday morning, Bryan and Amanda Bickell participated in Walk MS which was held at PNC Arena. Bryan spoke at the event, and Amanda and Bryan walked in the event. Bryan Bickell’s Walk MS donation page is HERE. No doubt that was going to be an emotional event anyway, but then it blew up to another level when the Carolina Hurricanes players, coaches and staff arrived wearing “Bickell Brave” shirts in support of their teammate. Afterward, Byan Bickell officially announced that he would be retiring from the NHL after the final 2 games of the 2016-17 season. The team did a tremendous job covering today’s events, so I will stop short and point you to a couple great reads/watches: Michael Smith at CarolinaHurricanes.com wrote about Walk MS and the surprise by Bryan Bickell’s teammates. The videos are must-watch and tear jerkers at the highest level. Not surprisingly, the team announced that Bryan Bickell had been selected as the 2016-17 winner of the Steve Chiasson award given annually to the player that best exemplifies determination and dedication while proving to be an inspiration to his teammates through his performance and approach to the game. Finally, Kurt Dusterburg from NHL.com  followed up mid-afternoon with an article that Bryan Bickell would be retiring from the NHL after the final 2 games of the 2016-17 NHL season. As far as the game, Bickell...
Gm80 Vs. NYI: Canes shut it down early and lose 3-0 to the Islanders

Gm80 Vs. NYI: Canes shut it down early and lose 3-0 to the Islanders

With the Hurricanes 3-0 loss to the New York Islanders on Thursday night in Raleigh, the Canes assured themselves at least the #12 slot for the upcoming NHL draft and draft lottery. They also either stayed behind or fell behind the Flyers and the Jets which could push the Hurricanes as high as #10 in the draft pecking order. Bryan Bickell also returned to the ice at PNC Arena for the first time since being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis on November 11. And that is the extent of the good news from Thursday’s match up against the Islanders.   Recap of Hurricanes 3-0 loss to the New York Islanders The Hurricanes started slow and Eddie Lack possibly even slower. Brock Nelson put the Islanders on the score board while people were still finding their seats only 1:27 into the first period, and Scott Mayfield followed it up only 3:12 later. The first goal happened when Noah Hanifin went lackadaisically to a puck on the end wall, lost it despite being there first and then mostly watched as the puck moved quickly to the front of the net and through a mess in front and past Lack. The second goal happened when Lack spit out 1 of the many rebounds he allowed early, and it found Mayfield parked in front of the net without a Canes defender to stop him. He quickly deposited the puck in the net to get the Isles off and running at 2-0. The Hurricanes never really recovered. The Isles had the ice tilted for much of the first period, but the Hurricanes survived the rest...
Gm79 @Min: Canes fall 5-3 to Wild in game with many story lines

Gm79 @Min: Canes fall 5-3 to Wild in game with many story lines

Tuesday night’s match up between the Carolina Hurricanes and Minnesota Wild on Tuesday featured a handful of huge stories. After a layoff and then an extended stay in the AHL after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, Bryan Bickell made his return to the NHL. Michael Smith from the team website wrote a nice article about his return. Eric Staal as honored in a wonderful pregame ceremony for reaching 1,000 games in the NHL. Michael Smith who had a busy game day also wrote a nice article that chronicled Eric Staal’s career with a number of highlight dates Jeff Skinner came into the game needing only 1 goal to set a career high. I recently included him in an article that listed Hurricanes players chasing career highs and season milestones. And Andrew Poturalski became the sixth player to make his NHL debut for the Carolina Hurricanes in the 2016-17 season. I wrote about Poturalski, his 2016-17 season pre-debut and what he needs to do to make an impression. And after all of that there was actually a hockey game to be played.   Recap of Hurricanes 5-3 loss to the Minnesota Wild As if there was not enough excitement already, the game very quickly morphed into Canes/Isles with loose coverage and goals aplenty. The scoring started appropriately enough with Eric Staal collecting an assist on a Zach Parise goal when Teuvo Teravainen lost a puck on the end wall, and the Wild made 2 quick passes before defensemen Klas Dahlbeck and Justin Faulk could sort things out and tie up bodies. The Hurricanes struck back when Jaccob Slavin made a...
Gm78 @Pit: Canes try unsuccessfully to rebound quickly against the Penguins

Gm78 @Pit: Canes try unsuccessfully to rebound quickly against the Penguins

After a tough loss on Saturday night, the Hurricanes took to the ice only about 19 hours later in Pittsburgh, hoping to rebound. With Boston winning again in the afternoon, the combination of 2 Bruins wins and a Hurricanes loss in a span of barely over 24 hours had to have the Hurrianes’ hope waning. The Hurricanes put forward a respectable but not spectacular effort, and that was not enough to beat the Penguins who pulled out a 3-2 victory.   Recap from Hurricanes 3-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins The Hurricanes ‘started on time’ to use Bill Peters’ parlance. The first 5 minutes were incredibly disjointed with a number of stoppages and face-offs. I would not say that the Hurricanes were dominant, but they were the better team early. The Pens did not put a shot on net until 7:26 into the game. But the Penguins struck first on the power play. The Pens seemed to have done their homework on beating the Hurricanes ability to stack up and deny at the offensive blue line. Jaccob Slavin was beaten at the blue line basically creating an odd man rush. Brett Pesce who was in the middle of the ice did not seem to sort out who was where and did nothing to take away the passing lane to the far side where Derek Ryan was beaten by his man to the far post. When the puck zipped past Pesce and in front of Ryan, it was an easy goal. I am not sure how many days of practice Eddie Lack missed after his injury last Monday, but he...
Gm77 Vs. Dal: Tremendous streak and fun day end in 3-0 heartbreak loss to Stars

Gm77 Vs. Dal: Tremendous streak and fun day end in 3-0 heartbreak loss to Stars

The ending obviously not what fans wanted, but Saturday still represented a tremendous reminder of what hockey goodness is in Raleigh, North Carolina. The spring weather was perfect for extended tailgating as was the post-Daylight Saving Time clock change on the calendar. And by virtue of a magnificent 13-game run, the Hurricanes were playing a game with something at stake. Saturday was as close to the real thing as we have seen in 8 years. And despite the end result, the day was glorious. We are clearly at the point in the year where results are really all that matter. Any kind of win would have been a good one. Any kind of loss was not good enough. So the Hurricanes 3-0 loss (that was really 1-0 with 2 empty-netters) was in the “not good enough” category obviously. Many are ready to call 2016-17 over. With Boston and Toronto both winning today, the season definitely took a huge step in that direction when Carolina lost. But as long as Canes fans held out hope this long, I think it wise to at least watch Sunday play out. The Bruins have a tough afternoon bout with the Blackhawks. If they lose before the Hurricanes play tomorrow night, the door cracks back open just a tiny bit and sets up another must-win game for the Hurricanes in Pittsburgh tomorrow night.   Recap of Hurricanes 3-0 loss to the Dallas Stars The first period of Saturday’s game was 1 of the lowest we have seen in terms of shot events. Total shots (on and off net) were only about 10 each and...