The News and Observer beat writer who covers the Hurricanes, Chip Alexander, held an open chat over on the Canes Now site earlier this afternoon. In case you missed it, there were a few questions and answers worth quoting. Chip is with the team every single day. If he doesn't have a pulse on how they are feeling about certain subjects, then no one does.
[Comment From Bruce Kyerh]
Is it true that Cole has yet to forgive Orpik for hitting him into the boards and breaking his neck a few seasons back?
Chip Alexander: Cole has not forgotten or forgiven. Word has it Maurice may try to get him away from Orpik in game 2 (if Erik plays). Some also say that Mellon is the only arena that Erik will not bullrush down the boards but is always looking to go to the middle. He did that once last night and made a nice pass to LaRose for a goal. He did it again and was injured. I think it's a big loss if he can't play.
[Comment From Adam]
It is a hot topic among the fans, but do you ever get a sense from the players or coaches that they feel Pittsburgh gets a favorable bias from the NHL officials?
Chip Alexander: Some interesting refereeing, for sure. I'm constantly amazed (in my first year covering the team) at how inconsistent the calls are. The Canes are a lot madder about the calls last night than they'll ever say publicly.
[Comment From Tom]
What was the Hurricanes' players consensus on the Cooke hit, hard play or dirty play??
Chip Alexander: Ruutu didn't think it was dirty. Some others on the team said it was. As one person put it, any other player on the Pens and you might look the other way, say it was an accident. But not Matt Cooke.
[Comment From Harrison]
Cooke's hit looked dangerous and intentional to me but too borderline to warrant suspension. Is there any feeling amongst the players that it was retribution for the heavy hit Cole laid on Orpik earlier in the period? I'm surprised no one went after Cooke on that play. Do you think that was just a function of where the game was at that point, or were the players okay with it?
Chip Alexander: I really expected Scotty Walker to get involved with Cooke considering their history. Then again, Walker can't afford to do that and the Canes didn't need another penalty. I can tell you the general feeling around the team was dirty hit. Could be interesting in Game 2.
These quotes seem to validate a lot of what has been said on this blog. The team is not happy with the officiating from last night or the hits which took out two of their best players. What will they do about it? We will see Thursday.