2009 NHL Preview: Carolina Hurricanes

We’ve partnered with On Goal Analysis to bring you a team-by-team preview of the upcoming NHL season. (Just scroll down on the OGA website and hit the calendar.) Here is the preview for the Carolina Hurricanes…


* A fairly quiet summer in the Carolinas for Hurricane season. Fan-fave Erik Cole was awarded a new 2-year deal as was Chad LaRose. A bevy of contracts come due next season, so the ‘Canes obviously feel confident about the team they have assembled for Paul Maurice who took over the coaching duties midway through last season.

* 36-year old Aaron Ward came home from Boston to begin his second stint with the Hurricanes. Ward played with them from 2001-2006 and his family never left the area.

* Lackluster Patrick Eaves went the other way to Boston in the Ward trade and Frantisek Kaberle was bought out of his contract.

* Other notable additions to the team are Tom Kostopoulos, Andrew Alberts and just recently, Stephan Yelle.

* The Hurricanes wanted a slightly bigger, tougher team this season and it looks like they have accomplished this goal during the off-season while also adding some veteran leadership.

Click here to read the rest of the preview (which includes the site’s unique Playoff Qualifying Curve and fantasy information) at the On Goal Analysis site.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

Pens heading to Cup, Wings next?

The Penguins are heading back to the Stanley Cup Finals after beating the Hurricanes 4-1 on Tuesday night and sweeping the best of seven Eastern Conference Finals series. The Pens will now await the winner of the Blackhawks-Red Wings series, which Detroit currently leads 3-1.

After battling the Capitals for seven games in the semifinals, some pundits believed that the Penguins might be worn down for their series against the Canes. But Pittsburgh put those doubts to rest when it took the first two games on its home ice and then crushed the Canes 6-2 in Carolina in Game 3. Game 4 Tuesday night turned out to just be a formality as Carolina struggled offensively.

Now the Pens will wait to see if the Red Wings can finish off the Blackhawks tonight at Joe Lewis Arena. If Chicago plays as bad tonight as it did in Game 4 on Sunday, then the Stanley Cup Finals could kickoff this weekend.

Making matters worse for the Blackhawks, the Wings could get both Nicklas Lindstrom and Pavel Datsyuk back from injury tonight. Detroit coach Mike Babock won’t make a decision on their playing status until each get the opportunity to skate in pregame, but chances are both players will be on the ice tonight.

If the Wings do finish off the Hawks, they would set up a rematch of the 2008 Stanley Cup Finals, in which they beat the Penguins in six games. Some hockey fans wanted to see a new matchup, but it’s hard to beat the drama that comes from watching Sidney Crosby try to take on the juggernaut that continues to be the Detroit Red Wings.

Couch Potato Alert: 5/24

“Gentlemen, start your engines.”

These four words begin one of the grandest traditions in auto racing, as the 93rd Indianapolis 500 will take place this weekend. The Old Brickyard has been home to some memorable finishes and characters that make this one of the marquee events on the racing season.

The NBA Conference Finals are really heating up. Arguably, the four best players (LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony and Dwight Howard) in the league are fighting tooth and nail for a title. All four have shown the determination and drive needed to win a NBA crown.

All times ET…

NBA Playoffs
Fri, 8:30 PM: Orlando Magic @ Cleveland Cavaliers (TNT)
Sat, 8:30 PM: Los Angeles Lakers @ Denver Nuggets (ABC)
Sun, 8:30 PM: Cleveland Cavaliers @ Orlando Magic (TNT)

NHL Playoffs
Fri, 8 PM: Detroit Red Wings @ Chicago Blackhawks (Versus)
Sat, 7:30 PM: Pittsburgh Penguins @ Carolina Hurricanes (Versus)
Sun, 3 PM: Detroit Red Wings @ Chicago Blackhawks (NBC)

Sat, 4:10 PM: Philadelphia Phillies @ New York Yankees (FOX)
Sun., 1:30 PM: New York Mets @ Boston Red Sox (TBS)
Sun., 8 PM: Milwaukee Brewers @ Minnesota Twins (ESPN)

Auto Racing
Sun, 1 PM: The 93rd Indianapolis 500 @ Indianapolis Motor Speedway (ABC)

Sun, 5 AM: The French Open (ESPN2)

Couch Potato Alert: 5/8

The plot thickens in the ever changing world of the NBA playoffs, and several scenarios could play out this weekend. Will KG play or not? Celtic management has repeatedly stated that Kevin Garnett will not see action in this playoff season. Okay, then why hasn’t he had surgery to repair the knee and begin rehab for next season? Please Kobe, don’t let Ron Artest crawl inside your head because he will do damage. Just play your game and get ready for the inevitable showdown with King James in the Finals.

All times ET…

NBA Playoffs
Fri, 7 PM: Boston Celtics @ Orlando Magic (ESPN)
Fri, 9:30 PM: Los Angeles Lakers @ Houston Rockets (ESPN)
Sat, 5 PM: Denver Nuggets @ Dallas Mavericks (ESPN)
Sat, 8 PM: Cleveland Cavaliers @ Atlanta Hawks (ABC)
Sun, 3:30 PM: Los Angeles Lakers @ Houston Rockets (ABC)
Sun, 8 PM: Boston Celtics @ Orlando Magic (TNT)

NHL Playoffs
Fri, 7 PM: Washington Capitals @ Pittsburgh Penguins (Versus)
Sat, 7 PM: Pittsburgh Penguins @ Washington Capitals (Versus)
Sun, 7:30 PM: Carolina Hurricanes @ Boston Bruins (Versus)

Sat, 3:40 PM: Tampa Bay Rays @ Boston Red Sox (Fox)
Sun., 12:30 PM: Atlanta Braves @ Philadelphia Phillies (TBS)
Sun., 8 PM: Tampa Bay Rays @ Boston Red Sox (ESPN)

Couch Potato Alert: 5/1

The NBA and NHL playoffs are heating up, as the Boston Celtics/Chicago Bulls series could go down as maybe the best first round series ever. The Detroit Red Wings will again battle the Anaheim Ducks, who have defeated them in consecutive playoff series. They defeated the Red Wings in the 2003 Western Conference quarterfinals, it marked the first time since 1952 that a defending Stanley Cup champion was knocked out in the first round of the playoffs.

All times ET…

NBA Playoffs
Fri, 8 PM: Atlanta Hawks @ Miami Heat (ESPN)
Sat, 8 PM: Chicago Bulls @ Boston Celtics (TNT)
Sun, 1 PM: Miami Heat @ Atlanta Hawks* if necessary (ABC)
Sun, 3:30 PM: Dallas Mavericks @ Denver Nuggets (ABC)

NHL Playoffs
Fri, 7 PM: Anaheim Ducks @ Detroit Red Wings (Versus)
Sat, 1PM: Pittsburgh Penguins @ Washington Capitals (NBC)
Sat, 9 PM: Chicago Blackhawks @ Vancouver Canucks (Versus)
Sun, 2 PM: Anaheim Ducks @ Detroit Red Wings (NBC)
Sun, 7:30 PM: Carolina Hurricanes @ Boston Bruins (Versus)

Sat, 3:40 PM: New York Mets @ Philadelphia Phillies (Fox)
Sun., 1:30 PM: Boston Red Sox @ Tampa Bay Rays (TBS)
Sun., 8 PM: Chicago White Sox @ Texas Rangers (ESPN)

Sat, 9 PM: Ricky Hatton vs. Manny Pacquiao for the world junior welterweight title from Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Garden Arena (HBO PPV)

Horse Racing
Sat, 4 PM: Kentucky Derby from Churchill Downs in Louisville, KY.(NBC)

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