Tracking the Storm

Islanders and Injuries

Monday, 10.27.2008 / 9:58 AM ET / Tracking the Storm
By Paul Branecky
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Islanders and Injuries

Where to even start with Saturday’s eventful win over the Islanders?

Paul Branecky
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The Canes continued their early-season trend of somehow pulling out wins despite not playing their best hockey, allowing a franchise-record 60 shots in the 4-3 victory.  Cam Ward responded to sitting out the last two games in favor of Michael Leighton in a big way, raising his save percentage from .891 to .914 and making a clutch save on Doug Weight’s penalty shot with under a second left that would have tied the game.

Update: Just in from Elias Sports Bureau - Saturday's game was the first time since March 12, 1989 that a team has allowed 60 shots in regulation and still won.  Pittsburgh beat Chicago 6-5 despite being outshot 62-28 - extremely close to Saturday's 60-28 margin.

As great as it was to see Cam put in that performance and as encouraging it is to know that both goaltenders have gotten off to good starts, tomorrow night’s game in Montreal could get ugly if Carolina doesn’t bring a more consistent effort.  Their most complete game thus far was arguably the loss to Detroit, and the Canes will have to step up in the same way against another early favorite.

Unfortunately, Brandon Sutter and Joni Pitkanen, who were both injured on Long Island, won’t be available to help them do that.  Sutter is on his way back to Raleigh where he’ll be further evaluated after suffering a concussion courtesy of a frightening open-ice hit by Weight.  Pitkanen will be out 3-4 weeks after tearing a meniscus (Press Release).

According to the N&O, Dwight Helminen will be recalled to fill Sutter’s spot in the lineup.  Helminen, who had a good training camp with the Canes, has two goals and two assists in six games for AlbanyUpdate - now official.

While there isn’t a timetable for Sutter’s return yet, I don’t imagine it will be anytime soon.  We saw with Matt Cullen last season how long it can take to shake off the effects of something like that, and at this early point in the season and with such a young player, I don’t think it makes any sense to rush him, even with other players out with injuries.  Take your time and get well soon.

Some other thoughts:

  • The Canes had a lot of depth on defense to start the season, and they might end up having to use every bit of it.  With Pitkanen and Frank Kaberle out, Anton Babchuk and Josef Melichar are in the starting six, and Casey Borer, Bryan Rodney or Brett Carson could come up from Albany if something else occurs.

    With two regulars out, the early contributions of Dennis Seidenberg and Niclas Wallin can’t be understated.  Seidenberg played nearly half of the Islanders game (28:25) and led all participants with four blocked shots, while Wallin posted a +2 plus/minus rating and is now tied for the league lead with a +9.  Terrific work by those guys.
     
  • There’s been a lot of debate across the hockey world about the legality of open-ice hits to the head after Sutter’s injury.  If you haven’t seen it yet, GM Jim Rutherford stated his case quite strongly with TSN’s Bob McKenzie yesterday.

    It’s easy to take this position because, pardon the expression, we’ve been hit quite hard with that type of incident recently, but if the league could come up with an objective way to define and regulate that type of thing, I’d be all for it.  What about you?
     
  • Huge game by Chad LaRose, who scored his first two goals of the season and very nearly had another when a review determined his first-period effort didn’t cross the line.  The Canes will need that going forward.
     
  • I knew Josef Melichar reminded me of somebody, but I didn’t put it together until he got into games and I saw him in the helmet.  Is he the Czech Eric Lindros?  You decide.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 77 23 31 -13 54
J. Faulk 82 15 34 -19 49
E. Lindholm 81 17 22 -23 39
V. Rask 80 11 22 -14 33
J. Skinner 77 18 13 -24 31
N. Gerbe 78 10 18 -14 28
R. Nash 68 8 17 -10 25
J. Staal 46 6 18 -6 24
J. Liles 57 2 20 -9 22
J. McClement 82 7 14 -7 21
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 22 24 5 .910 2.40
A. Khudobin 8 17 6 .900 2.72