GOALIE JOHN GRAHAME | Up from Albany, in net Tuesday?
With consecutive wins for the first time in more than a month and only the second time since a four-wins-in-five-games stretch to start off November, it appears that the Carolina Hurricanes may have rebounded from the trough they’ve stagnated in for two months. A decisive 7-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers at home on Friday and Monday’s 3-2 matinee comeback overtime win over the Islanders in New York have put the team back in the playoff picture and takes – for a moment, anyway – the finger off the panic button.
Poise and consistency were the hallmarks of the two victories. More healthy than they’ve been in nearly two months and certainly more confident (albeit with lots of fragility), the Canes will try to keep the upswing ticking with the second half of the home-and-home against the Islanders Tuesday at the RBC Center in Raleigh. Game time is 7 p.m.
John Grahame, relegated to the minors after several poor performances as Cam Ward’s backup in net, was recalled by the team Monday after clearing re-entry waivers and could see action in Tuesday’s back half of a back-to-back meeting with the Islanders, with Ward having played Monday. Michael Leighton, solid (but not spectacular) in his three appearances for the Hurricanes, was reassigned to Albany of the American Hockey League to make room for Grahame.
In his seven games for the River Rats at Albany, Grahame posted a 4-3-0 record with a 3.04 goals-against average and a .912 save percentage. It’s a much better trend than he showed in his 13 games with the big club this season before his temporary demotion. Grahame was 4-6-1 with a 3.83 goals-against average and an .875 save percentage – the latter two numbers among the worst in the league – in those game. Leighton was 1-1-0 with a 2.66 goals-against average and a save percentage of .897 during his call-up.