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Tracking the Storm

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 x - NYR 76 48 21 7 231 179 103
2 x - MTL 77 47 22 8 203 174 102
3 x - TBL 78 47 24 7 250 204 101
4 PIT 76 42 23 11 210 190 95
5 NYI 77 45 27 5 235 215 95
6 WSH 77 42 25 10 227 190 94
7 DET 76 40 23 13 221 208 93
8 BOS 77 39 25 13 204 198 91
9 OTT 76 38 26 12 220 204 88
10 FLA 77 35 27 15 192 210 85
11 CBJ 76 37 35 4 210 234 78
12 PHI 76 30 29 17 198 219 77
13 NJD 77 31 33 13 170 197 75
14 CAR 76 28 37 11 176 208 67
15 TOR 77 29 42 6 201 245 64
16 BUF 76 21 47 8 148 255 50


E. Staal 71 22 28 -12 50
J. Faulk 76 15 32 -19 47
E. Lindholm 75 16 21 -20 37
J. Skinner 71 18 13 -22 31
V. Rask 74 11 20 -13 31
N. Gerbe 72 9 17 -13 26
R. Nash 68 8 17 -10 25
J. McClement 76 7 13 -5 20
J. Staal 40 4 16 -6 20
J. Liles 51 2 17 -8 19
C. Ward 20 22 5 .909 2.43
A. Khudobin 8 15 6 .904 2.60