This was written up for the blog by Esbee and we love her forever for this.
After missing the playoffs in the 2009-2010 season, this past year was supposed to showcase a youth movement as the new direction for the team. But the guys from the AHL Charlotte Checkers were rarely called up unless it was due to injuries on the Canes. They got little playing time and didn’t have much to show for their efforts. Our entire youth movement turned out to be Jeff Skinner.
No one expected us to get as far as we did last season and we made a desperate run for the playoffs down the stretch. We finished 9th in the Eastern Conference causing Eric Staal to finish behind pesky brother Marc as the Blueshirts took 8th. All we had to do to make getting to the playoffs even mathematically possible was to beat the Tampa Bay Lightning in the second half of a back to back series in our last home game. Yeah. Those guys are sort of good. I guess we could have played better the entire season instead of coming alive in January.
Last year we needed defensemen and now we have blue liners up the ying yang. We need a forward(s) to replace Erik Cole. Season goals include fixing the abysmal power play, making the playoffs and keeping Cam Ward from having to use a wheelchair and retire at 27.
Proudest moments of the season were our boy Skinny winning the Calder and hosting the All Star Game, showing the world that Raleigh IS a hockey town.
General Manager - Jim “Pimphand” Rutherford
Coach – Paul “Coach Mo” Maurice
Team Captain – Eric Staal. King of all Staals.
Player(s) everyone should love – Calder Award Winning, 19 year old wunderkind Jeff Skinner. Not liking Jeff Skinner is like not liking kittens, puppies and sunshine. Aside from possessing cheek pinching cuteness, he was our second highest goal scorer last season with 31, only trailing Captain Eric Staal by two. The boy can play fer shure. And he’s humble about it.
Cam Ward – The netminder plays approximately 342.7 games in an 82 game season and is always cool as a cucumber. When he hasn’t been ridden like a pack mule by our coaches he is a puck stopping macheen! A macheen I tell ya!
Player we don’t love – We don’t really have any hate-worthy guys on the squad but blue liner Joni Pitkanen frustrates the hell out of fans. He tends to wander off to a special place known as "Joni Land" where instead of cycling the puck he appears to be daydreaming of riding unicorns through the lollipop forest.
Who they got – Brian Boucher, Alexei Ponikovarosky, Tomas Kaberle (WTF?), Anthony Stewart, Tim Brent
Who they lost – Erik Cole (my hockey husband), Joe Corvo
Located at - The RBC Center in Raleigh, NC because nothing says “Southern” like the Royal Bank of Canada! We are definitely loud and proud.
Hotness level (On a scale of 1-10) - 8
My personal calculation went down a bit this season with the loss of my hockey husband Erik Cole but we still have what makes a tasty half of a Staal sandwich in Eric. That’s 6’4” of hot Thunder Bay Man Meat.
Skinny provides hotness for the teen set and dirty old ladies* and Cam Ward is also very cuddle worthy. Ladies who met him at Casino Night report he smells very nice too.
I am planning on enjoying some Brian Boucher this season. Hello Mighty Boosh.
Our hotness level is weighted by the presence of Tuomo Ruutu, the man whose crooked smile could melt an iceberg. Ruuty’s Finnish and I granted extra points for Team Suomi, because Finland kicks hockey ass. We just need to work on Ruuty’s hair and wardrobe when he’s in street clothes. (Bless his heart.)
Brandon Sutter is a doll but he needs a few hot meals before I can consider him hot. Tim Gleason? Ruggedly handsome. Young buck Anthony Stewart has helped bolster our attractiveness for the new season and has given us some diversity. But the hot quotient may go through the ceiling with the addition of Tim Brent. Remind me to send Brian Burke a Christmas card.
* The author is rumored to be old enough to be Jeff Skinner’s mom (SHUT UP) so that’s just creepy. But she totally understands the Skinny love. She also personally adores Chad LaRose but figured that might stir up a shit storm if she included him. He’s hilarious (funny gets me EVERY time) and has the most amazing blue eyes I have ever seen. She also has no idea why she is talking about herself in the 3rd person.