Clicks and Clippings: Feeling lucky?

From SportsClubStats.com, "Chances the Carolina Hurricanes will make the Playoffs"

Was that the most important game of the Carolina Hurricanes' season last night? I think even the most optimistic of us are ready to acknowledge the hole dug last fall really was too deep to accomplish a playoff miracle this spring. But as always here in the Caniac Nation, we will find a way to focus on the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

  • If it's not this year, it's safe to say we're in great shape for next year.
  • The pain and uncertainty of the trade deadline day is behind us.
  • The Hurricanes statistics since the first of the year are remarkable, and show this team has what it takes to win - and often.
  • And lucky us, we're getting a great look at the very promising young future of the franchise.

With the weather forecast pushing 70F through the weekend, I believe spring is here at last. Hockeymom says we need to cheer on the hometeam with style and pride that has earned Carolina its reputation as a favorite fanbase in the NHL. Don't forget, we still have Helsinki in October. Before that, there is some work to do in Los Angeles in late June.

New No. 1: Seguin tops ISS draft rankings for March There is a battle down the stretch to be the NHL's top-ranked draft prospect. International Scouting Services released their mid-season rankings for the month of March and Plymouth Whalers forward Tyler Seguin is the new top dog. 

TSN.ca: NHL DRAFTCENTRE May be time to bookmark this one, Caniacs. And, I don't know about you, but I'm pretty close to removing this one from the bookmark bar.

And on this beautiful spring day, the irrepressible  LaRose is in bloom in Carolina From NHLPA.com, There are a lot of reasons Chad LaRose could be miserable these days. But he’s not and that should come as no surprise to anyone who knows the popular Carolina forward.

After the jump, the Albany River Rats readies for a big weekend as they look forward to the AHL playoffs, and a bit more news around the league.

Albany

"Rats prepare for another 4-in-5" by Rat Tales  It has been a little harder to keep a pair of goalies healthy. Justin Peters is up with Carolina, rookie Mike Murphy, Justin Pogge and professional-tryout-signee Ryan Mior all are injured. Mike Morrison has won in his last four appearances, including all three games this past weekend.

The American Hockey League | Races heating up Albany, with a boost from Jerome Samson and his 11 goals and eight assists in his last 12 games, has solidified its hold on second place, earning points in seven straight contests (5-0-0-2). 

Murphy king of Kingston - Belleville Intelligencer It was a much-needed piece of good news for Mike Murphy, sidelined by a broken finger since Feb. 14. 

Osala has taken to new surroundings - The (Troy) Record Sports 

"And I feel I’m far away from my peak, so it’s a good environment because the coaches are good teachers," said Oskar Osala, who has posted four points with the River Rats, including two goals in Friday’s 4-3 victory at Rochester. "I haven’t had a teaching coach in a while, so it’s good to learn from these guys who have played at the highest level so much."

Arena turns eye to Devils: Times Union - Albany NY Albany may reunite with N.J. affiliate as Pirates talks end.

Dalpe named a finalist for player of the year Zac Dalpe is a finalist for the RBC Financial Group Central Collegiate Hockey Association Player of the Year Award. The winner will be announced March 18. So I'm wondering, when will he be moving to Albany? 

NHL's "justice system" under siege: Headshots, Cooke and Ovechkin

NHL could have stopped Bruins retaliation for Cooke hit on Savard - Michael Farber - SI.com Instead of playing the vigilante, the Bruins reacted mostly like adults and trusted the NHL justice system. To borrow from Sarah Palin, how'd that hope-y thing work out for you? Cooke went unpunished.

Evaluating Alex Ovechkin after another hard hit and more punishment - washingtonpost.com Is Alex Ovechkin, the most potent force in the game, also the most reckless and dangerous? 

NHL kick-starts process to implement head shot rule - The Globe and Mail Eric Duhatschek: League to start educating teams in effort to get new rules in place before end of season

Controversy where there should be none - The Globe and Mail Here's one issue far too important to have clouded by NHL's justice problems

Positive outlook helps teen cope with injury Marc-André Émond, 15, is determined to walk again after a hit from behind left the hockey player paralyzed

Hurricanes' Alumni

Does Flyers' season hinge on Leighton's injury? | Philadelphia Inquirer | 03/16/2010 Leighton injured his ankle last night, which is made more serious when reading this:  All Flyers GM Holmgren can do is watch as playoffs approach | Philadelphia Daily News  But we think Michael Leighton is good enough to lead us into the playoffs.

Dennis Seidenberg is fitting right in - The Boston Globe

NHLPA.com | Washington Works For Walker "To be honest, I’m really jacked," Scott Walker told NHLPA.com moments after the trade. 

And speaking of Thursday night's opponents,  the Washington CapitalsBackstrom Is Caps' Most Indespensible Player Typically cast in Ovechkin’s shadow, Nicklas Backstrom has reached that elite level in just his third season and people around the league are taking notice.

Mores lists:

Backchecking: Trying To Reward the Intangibles One of the many challenges presented when trying to evaluate hockey players is attempting to measure the impact of the "intangible" elements on the game.  Nice to see Tommy K getting some recognition.

The Hockey News: Top 10: 35-and-over NHLers Where's Whitney?

A closer look at the NHL's busiest callups - The Globe and Mail Which players are logging the most miles going between their NHL and AHL teams?

A little Irish luck and even some Blarney:

The Hockey News: Top 10: NHLers with Irish surnames Matt Cullen and Cam Ward re-united.

NHL Auctions Hockey Memorabilia Listing #115500785 2010 Olympic Winter Games - Team USA - #4 Tim Gleason - White 1960 Retro Game-Worn Jersey - Worn 2/21/10 vs. Canada

Thrashers change all remaining games to "Early Bird special" tilts to suit Chelios | Intent to Blow The Atlanta Thrashers announced Tuesday that all remaining games on the schedule would be played at an Early Bird special start time of 2 PM Eastern. 

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