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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 WSH 53 40 9 4 175 120 84
2 FLA 55 32 17 6 153 127 70
3 NYR 55 31 18 6 157 140 68
4 DET 55 28 18 9 138 134 65
5 NYI 53 29 18 6 150 131 64
6 TBL 54 30 20 4 144 130 64
7 BOS 54 29 19 6 159 148 64
8 PIT 54 28 19 7 139 136 63
9 NJD 55 27 21 7 122 123 61
10 CAR 55 24 21 10 131 143 58
11 MTL 56 27 25 4 151 151 58
12 PHI 53 24 20 9 127 138 57
13 OTT 56 25 25 6 157 173 56
14 BUF 56 22 28 6 131 155 50
15 CBJ 56 22 28 6 140 173 50
16 TOR 53 19 25 9 122 149 47


J. Faulk 54 15 19 -13 34
J. Skinner 55 19 12 -3 31
V. Rask 53 12 19 0 31
J. Staal 55 12 19 7 31
K. Versteeg 54 10 21 1 31
E. Staal 55 9 21 1 30
E. Lindholm 55 8 16 -9 24
A. Nestrasil 48 8 12 0 20
J. Nordstrom 44 5 10 2 15
R. Hainsey 55 3 11 -12 14
C. Ward 15 11 7 .909 2.34
E. Lack 9 10 3 .901 2.74
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