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Guy Behind the Guy: Eighty Magical Seconds

Wednesday, 04.29.2009 / 10:18 AM ET / Tracking the Storm
By Mike Sundheim
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Guy Behind the Guy: Eighty Magical Seconds
Skip Cunningham has been around a long time and seen a lot of hockey. When you’re watching a game with a man knocking on the doorstep of 40 years in the sport, you tend to listen to what he says. With the final 10 minutes of Game 7 grinding down, those of us sitting in the coaches’ office were becoming more and more frustrated, feeling like these 10 minutes looked a lot like the final 10 minutes of Game 5, when the Devils just kept getting little bounces and Brodeur just kept shutting us down. Not looking away from the screen, Skip just said, “We’re going to get one. If we keep going like this, we’re going to get one this time.”

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And then we got one. And then we got another. And now we’re going to Boston.

What happened was not only stunning, amazing, unbelievable and all the rest of the adjectives, it was again historic. One week after Jussi Jokinen set a new playoff record with the latest game-winning goal in regulation in Stanley Cup playoff history, the sequence the Canes pulled off at the end of Game 7 again crashed the record books (Thanks to Bob Waterman and the Elias Sports Bureau for this information):

  • Staal’s goal with 32 seconds remaining was the latest game-winning goal in the third period of a seventh game in NHL history. The previous record was held by Al MacAdam of the Minnesota North Stars, who scored at 18:34 of the third period in a Game 7 win over Montreal in 1980.
  • Prior to last night, the latest a team had trailed in a Game 7 and then won in regulation was up to 8:36 of the third period. That came on April 7, 1959 in Boston, when the Bruins had a 2-1 lead against Toronto until Bob Pulford tied the game at 8:36. Gerry Ehman’s goal at 17:27 broke the tie and Toronto won the game 3-2, taking the series four games to three.

And so we move on, and prepare to leave tomorrow for Boston, to face the formidable Bruins. But last night, it wasn’t time to think about the B’s just yet. It was time to sit there and try to comprehend what we had just done. It was a classic end to a classic series, a series that was simply as close as one can possibly get. But in the end, the Canes came through in a way that had them shaking their own heads in disbelief. And enjoying the moment. “Unreal” seemed to be the operative word of the night.

On the plane coming home, I said to Kyle, “You know, we have good friends in this league who have never even been to the playoffs. And we do things like this.” And it really is hard to wrap my head around some of the things I have seen in 10 years with this franchise. Not only the two trips to the Cup Finals and the Stanley Cup championship, but all the moments that just left us shaking our heads.

The Miracle at Molson. The “Eye of the Storm” in Toronto. An overtime stunner in Detroit. The Secret Weapon’s three overtime tallies. Staal’s late game-tying goal against New Jersey in 2006. Brind’Amour’s tap-in to win Game 1 in the Finals. Ward’s stop at the end of Game 7. And now add Jokinen’s buzzer beater and the 80-second comeback in Game 7. Unreal.

Also “unreal” was our welcome home. Of course the Caniacs were there again, at 1 a.m. on a Wednesday morning. Driving along the road out of the general aviation, there were so many fans that it felt as if they would line the roads all the way to our homes.

Another special end to another magical evening.

Media Alerts: We’re plowing through a pile of requests this morning, and trying to get to what we can. At the least, we hope to have players on both The Insiders on 99.9 and David Glenn’s Show on 850 The Buzz later this afternoon. I will try to update this blog with further updates as things are confirmed.

Also, we just found out that John Forslund will be the play-by-play announcer for Versus in each of the two exclusive Versus broadcasts during our series against the Bruins (Game 2 and Game 5). So even though those games won’t be available on FS Carolinas, the Caniacs will still be hearing a familiar voice.

John Forslund will talk about last night's miraculous comeback on 99.9 The Fan at 12:12 today, and again on Hockey Night in Canada Radio on Sirius and XM this evening at 5:15.

Ray Whitney will join Jim Rome today at 2:05. The Jim Rome Show can be heard in the Raleigh market on 850 The Buzz.

Chad LaRose will call in to Adam Gold and Joe Ovies on 850 The Buzz at 9 a.m. on Thursday.

Mark Thomas and Scott Jackson of 99.9 The Fan sat down with Paul Maurice after today's media availability. That interview will air at 3:25 and again at 5:25 during The Insiders this afternoon.

Jussi Jokinen will join Nick Kypreos and Daren Millard to lead off Hockey Central today at 12:10. The show airs on the Fan 590 in Toronto and is simulcast across Canada on Sportsnet.

620 The Bull's Bomani Jones has joined the list of local media members participating in the Beard-a-thon to benefit the Carolina Hurricanes Kids 'N Community Foundation. You can see Bomani's Beard-a-thon profile page here.

Eric Staal will be David Glenn's guest today at 5:05 p.m. on 850 The Buzz.

Dennis Seidenberg will join Ron Duguay and Ken Daneyko on "Ice Breakers" on Sirius/XM Radio tonight at 7:30 p.m.  The show is available on Sirius 122 and XM 143 (Sports Nation).

99.9 The Fan will re-air Chuck Kaiton's call of last night's Game 7 tonight beginning at 7 p.m. Mike Maniscalco will add commentary to Kaiton's play-by-play of the entire history-making Hurricanes effort.

Assistant Coach Tom Rowe will make a cross-continent call for an interview with Team 1040 in Vancouver tonight at 5:10 ET.

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1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69


J. Skinner 82 28 23 -2 51
V. Rask 80 21 27 -6 48
J. Staal 82 20 28 6 48
E. Lindholm 82 11 28 -23 39
J. Faulk 64 16 21 -22 37
K. Versteeg 63 11 22 -6 33
E. Staal 63 10 23 -3 33
J. Nordstrom 71 10 14 1 24
A. Nestrasil 55 9 14 4 23
R. Nash 64 9 13 -5 22
C. Ward 23 17 10 .909 2.41
E. Lack 12 14 6 .901 2.81