It's time for a show of character among the fans, fellow Caniacs. Certainly no one's jumping off the bandwagon yet. We'll keep the faith that what we've seen so far is merely a lack of focus, and not shortcomings in the Hurricanes' skill, strength or strategy. I, for one, believe the momentum of the Hurricane's 09-10 season will change tonight. In case you haven't seen it yet (and it's been everywhere), here is the most-watched youtube hockey video of the week (if not the year) to inspire you (and, I hope, bring a smile to your face):
After the jump some numbers and stories from which you may glean further encouragement.
Checking on the current standings at NHL.com, it seems we are not the only NHL fans with high expectations a week ago that today find ourselves scratching our collective heads looking for answers:
I have to wonder how Team Canada is feeling about their goalie options for Vancouver in February? Martin Brodeur (GAA 4.03) was trashed last night for being far-below top-form on NHL Network's "On the Fly" and Roberto Luongo's GAA of 4.55 is frightening. Our own Cam Ward has a GAA of 4.04 (with much of that resting on the Canes porous D-line). The fourth possible selection, Penguins' Marc-Andre Fleury (GAA 2.40) must be feeling pretty good these days.
Some other links looking forward:
Hurricanes powerless on power play New piece from WRAL-TV: Carolina once again can't find a way to convert on special teams. Comments from Mo, CWard, Staal, and Cap't Rod.
From the Lightning's game preview, they offer this prediction to their fans: With the messy losses behind them, the Canes will no doubt hit the ice with the kind of aggression that surfaced in the latter half of their game against the Bruins when the team earned 44 penalty minutes and a misconduct penalty to boot. Suffice to say, the squad will be chomping at the bit for a win. Sounds just like us as we headed into Boston, no?
The Lightning arrived early for the game on Sunday and posted this note on their team blog: On a side note, to all you U2 fans out there, the Lightning charter plane last night pulled in to the terminal in Raleigh last night right next to U2’s plane (U2 was playing at the NC State football stadium on Saturday night). According to the ground handlers at the terminal the band had just arrived and was hanging out on the plane before heading to Atlanta. (Wonder if Vinny got Bono's autograph?)
Aaron Ward back, with Hurricanes - BostonHerald.com where they say that if the NHL salary cap was at all forgiving, Aaron Ward might still be a member of the Bruins. While we're speculating on "what-if's", if fighting were illegal, half their team (and perhaps a few fans) would be in jail. No, wait - that's the Flyers.
Fighting friends just part of the job for Thornton - Stanley Cup of Chowder Shawn Thornton talks about fighting former teammate Andrew Alberts. Glad that's behind us now. We don't face Boston again till January 24, 2010, here in Raleigh. I'm already excited about that one.
From Albany, The Infestation offers this game summary from the season opener over the weekend - good mentions for 2nd Star Drayson Bowman, Brett Carson, Zach Boychuk, Chris Terry, among others (but not Brandon Sutter). Unfortunately, the Riverrats lost the game.
Five Reasons PensTV's Alyonka Larionov Loves Hockey - Puck Daddy Fascinating point of view from the daughter of Red Wings HOF'er Igor Larionov.