LaRose earning a big payday with postseason play
Posted May 3, 2009
Updated May 4, 2009
Chad LaRose is one of several unrestricted free agents the Hurricanes will have to look at when their season finally ends. When they do sit down with his agent to talk dollars and cents, they will need to be prepared to offer some serious bucks.
LaRose, a pesky yet skilled forward, has made the transition from gritty forechecker to potential game-changer in his fourth NHL season, an evolution that was on full display in Carolina’s game two win in Boston Sunday night.
With the Canes holding a slim 1-0 second-period lead after Joe Corvo’s first goal of the postseason, it was LaRose who nearly single-handedly manufactured his team’s second tally.
After stealing an attempted pass from Zdeno Chara, Boston’s 6-foot-9 hulk of a blue-liner, the Canes’ 5-10 winger outraced everyone to the puck and eventually found Matt Cullen for a short-handed goal that meant more than just a two-goal advantage.
"It was just a good play by [LaRose]," Cullen said, giving all of the credit to the man who earned the primary assist. "He poked it by him and he had a good chance himself and then he made a nice play to set me up – I just kind of banged it in."
LaRose’s hustle was another blow to an already struggling Boston power play, and another spark for a Canes team that doesn’t need many to get on a roll.
"That is not out of the ordinary for him and for what he's done for our team this year," head coach Paul Maurice said after the win. "He is a very fit man, and he brings a lot of jump and energy. When he gets on that puck, he won't come off it. It's important to have enough of those guys on your team, because when he's doing that on the ice, it just fires your bench up and they love to see that effort and that work ethic. I'm glad that in the playoffs that he's getting some numbers and some points because he's been a very good player for our team."
Only a controversial call with less than a second left in the game’s middle stanza kept number 59 from his second point of the night – one that could have buried the Bruins altogether.
After an eight-minute review, the NHL’s judges in Toronto ruled that a LaRose wrister that appeared to beat Tim Thomas with .2 seconds left in the period (ironically the same amount of time left as there was when Jussi Jokinen beat Martin Brodeur for the game-winner in game four of the Devils’ series) didn’t cross the goal-line entirely.
A number of broadcasters, from radio, to television, to print, disagreed with the ruling after seeing the replays, but the play stood as called and the teams headed to the dressing rooms with the Canes only holding a two-goal advantage.
Nevertheless, it was LaRose in the middle of it all, like he was all of game two on Sunday and like he has been throughout the 2009 playoffs.
The 2009 regular season saw the Fraser, Mich., native light more lamps (19 goals) than he had in his first three years combined (18).
If he maintains the level he’s playing at in the 2009 postseason, where he’s recorded eight points in just nine games, his bank account will be lighting up just as quickly.