Tonight's win against Ottawa puts the Hurricanes at 89 points and almost guarantees a playoff spot (barring a total meltdown of course.)
With two more points and a strong feeling around the team, the Hurricanes could be poised to make an impact in the playoffs this season. Strong individual efforts, combined with team members making a commitment to each other, has propelled this team to where everyone thought they would be two years ago. Tuomo Ruutu has provided a spark and intensity that this team has lacked since 06, and not enough can be said about what the return of Erik Cole did for this team.
On Tonight's game:
It was an ugly one in Raleigh, with the first two periods played very conservatively, and even though I thought Ottawa controlled the majority of the play through two, Carolina had the majority of the shots. Then the third period came around, and the game started.
Eric Staal came in and dangled his way through two defensemen, and deposited the puck…right into the post. Fortunately for everyone trying to watch this game, it woke everyone on both benches up. After some intense play and the teams trading goals and chances, the Hurricanes began taking the game over. Ottawa started opening up, and the Hurricanes speed worked well towards getting the transition game going. Speed led to powerplays, which led to Anton Babchuk putting the puck in the net and giving the Canes their first lead of the game.
At this point, desperation mode kicked in and the Senators really started poring it on. It looked as though they might have been on the verge of evening the score, when Tuomo Ruutu stepped up with a HUGE hit that KO'ed Christoph Schubert, seemingly sucking the life out of the Sens. From that point on, all they had to do was hang on, and the Hurricanes came away with their ninth consecutive home victory, giving them a 9-1-2 record in the month of March.
Now the Hurricanes have a few days off before heading to New Jersey for one of only two road games left on the season. Have fun scoreboard watching Canes fans, because your team controls their own destiny, and all that's left to determine, is who do they face in the first round?
About the Author
Written by Chris Cote
Originally from Cadillac, Saskatchewan, I've been a Hurricanes/Whalers fan for as long as anyone can remember. I have completed two years of Journalism studies from the University of Regina and love to write...