2019 Calder Cup Preview: Charlotte Checkers vs. Chicago Wolves

The 2019 American Hockey League’s Calder Cup Finals start on Saturday (schedule here). The Charlotte Checkers, who are affiliated with the Carolina Hurricanes, take on the Chicago Wolves, the AHL affiliate of the Las Vegas Golden Knights. AHL teams only play against teams within their conference during the regular season, so this is the first time this year that the Checkers will take on the Wolves. 

Jim Howard, Puck Junk’s resident “Caniac,” and Sal Barry, who has followed the Chicago Wolves the past 25 years, give their insight as to which team will win. Either way, it won’t be a sweep. 

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Blake’s Takes: Conference Finals and the World Championships

The might be the best time of the year to be a hockey fan. We are in the midst of the Conference Finals and the World Championships have started. I dive deep into both tournaments and bring back my award predictions.

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Year of the Pig, Part III: The Postseason

Part III in the recap of the 2018-19 Carolina Hurricanes’ season & run to the Conference Finals. But will there be a Part IV? 

Note: Be sure to read Part 1 and Part 2 first. 

In the Hurricanes first postseason game in a decade they fared OK, but played like a team that was still in the regular season, while a far more experienced Washington squad played “playoff hockey.” Andrei Svechnikov, being a rookie, didn’t know they were suppose to lose, and put up two goals to make the Canes look good. Game 2 ended tighter, but novice play in OT put them down 0-2 in the series. Another rookie, Warren Foegele, started to make a name for himself here (besides being the thief that stole all the E’s out of Petr Mrazek’s name).

Game 3 was in Raleigh, the first game in a generation of new fans. Continue reading “Year of the Pig, Part III: The Postseason”

Year of the Pig, Part II: Regular Season

Part II in a three-part retrospective on the
Carolina Hurricanes’ 2018-19 season. 

NOTE: Read Part I first if you haven’t done so already. 

Where was I? Oh yes, the vastly retooled Carolina Hurricanes began their pre-season with a bang, topping the powerhouse Lightning twice, the Stanley Cup Champion Capitals twice (to be fair, they were probably still drunk), and Western Conference BBQ rival Preds once and to a OT loss; outscoring their opponents 28 to 13!

Many of us longer-suffering fans were cautious because we’d seen decent preseason teams trip on the door step to the regular season, Continue reading “Year of the Pig, Part II: Regular Season”

Year of the Pig, Part I: The Offseason

Jim “Not the Goalie” Howard recaps the Carolina Hurricanes’ 2018-19 season — in three parts!

Last year, Tom Dundon became the new majority owner of the Carolina Hurricanes. Shortly after he stepped in, the hockey world sat up and took notice of the irreverent moves that he made. Let’s take a look at what happened since then and how it has impacted the Hurricanes’ organization this season. 

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Blake’s Takes: Gold Medals & Game 7s

Every week in the Spring is another big week in hockey. This week, we saw a bunch of jerks move on to the conference finals and a prospect finesse his way into a contract. The World Championships are also starting this week and one country is particularly stacked. I also highlight a few potential additions to the Triple Gold Club.

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Zero-Game Goalies: Daniel Altshuller

Photo by Jamie Kellner
[Photo Credit: Jamie Kellner]

We’re starting a new, semi-regular feature on Puck Junk called “Zero-Game Goalies,” where we take a look at hockey goalies who got an NHL trading card, but never played in an NHL game. This phenomenon occurs when a goalie gets called up from the minors to be the backup goalie for an NHL team, but never sets foot on the ice during the game. Just being on the bench as a backup qualifies a goalie for inclusion in a set of NHL trading cards, so from time to time you come across a trading card of such a goalie and ask, “Who is this guy?” 

Today’s zero-game goalie is Daniel Altshuller, who was a backup for the Carolina Hurricanes. 

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This Bunch of Jerks Know How to Make a Buck!

They say that Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Or at least that’s what Paul McCartney says before he plays “Wonderwall” at his concert. Sometimes just getting someone to talk about you and recognize your existence is flattery in and of itself. This is what the Carolina Hurricanes (and more importantly their fans) found out as they were finishing up yet another home win on Saturday night against the Dallas Stars.

Don Cherry, a man who has ignored hockey below the Mason Dixon line for so long that couldn’t find North Carolina on a map if you handed him a map of NORTH CAROLINA, decided to call out the Hurricanes on his weakly weekly segment, “Coaches Corner.” Continue reading “This Bunch of Jerks Know How to Make a Buck!”

The 10 Biggest Hockey Stories of 2017-18

By Sal Barry, Kyle Scully, Blake Isaacs & Jim Howard

Before we fully turn our attention to the season that lies ahead, here is a look back at the biggest hockey stories of the 2017-18 season.

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