Well, that 7-1 backside buffing from the Carolina Hurricanes tonight was about as many laughs as having Joni Pitkanen sneer, fart in your general direction and then stub out a cigar in your eye, now wasn’t it?
By the time Andrew Cogliano finished getting his busted lip, courtesy of a high-stick by Pitkanen stitched, the Edmonton Oilers were down 4-0 in another decidedly forgettable return to Raleigh, where they watched the Hurricanes hoist the Stanley Cup in June 2006.
You knew it was going to be a tough night when both referees missed Pitkanen combing Cogliano in the yap. Instead of a four-minute power play, the Oilers get fingered for a minor in the same sequence and the Hurricanes scored with the man advantage.
Of course, it didn’t help that Nikolai Khabibulin couldn’t stop a beach ball as he gave up four goals on eight shots in less than eight minutes before Tom Renney gave him the hook in favour of Devan Dubnyk.
Things can only get better Thursday in Detroit, no?
WHAT I SAW
- Lament Cogliano’s lack of finish, but give him credit for getting sewn up and playing his bag off the rest of the night. The sequence where Cogliano broke in, fed Ryan Whitney in the slot for a chance that didn’t result in a shot and then had a couple of cracks at Cam Ward was pretty much the epitome of the way it’s going for him. I’ll take Cogliano’s kind of try any time, and people who mock efforts like this one because the results aren’t coming for the kid right now couldn’t find a clue with a map and a flashlight.
- Ryan Jones suckered the referees into calling a high-sticking penalty on Jay Harrison in the second period and it’s the kind of fake-job that’ll come back to bite him when the zebras see the replay. Harrison didn’t even make contact with Jones, but he flinched and milked it like he’d taken shaft in the mush. That’s showing up the refs and they don’t forget that kind of thing — and, no, it’s not OK because of the missed call on Pitkanen.
- Taylor Hall or Jordan Eberle are favourites for the Calder Trophy? Weren’t they stapled to the pine for most of the third period as Carolina’s Jeff Skinner, the youngest player in the NHL, wheeled and dealed on the way to a three-point night?
- Does pushing the puck the last six inches across the goal line for the Oilers only goal make you believe Dustin Penner had a good night?
BY THE NUMBERS
- With his goal and two assists, Skinner, drafted seventh overall by Carolina, has scored 6-9-15 this season.
- Eric Staal had eight shots on Khabibulin and Dubnyk, but no goals to go with four assists.
- Carolina had 42 shots. They came in averaging 31.9 a game.
- Sam Gagner was minus-4. Tom Gilbert was minus-3.
- Hall played just 8:47. Eberle played 11:04.
— Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.