The Hurricanes flew to Florida last night with hopefully a bit of a chip on their shoulders. An attitude change is definitely in order as the teams they have played against so far have each been somewhat hungrier for a win than the Hurricanes have been. Coach Laviolette has to figure out a way to motivate this bunch after many of them may have just recently reached the pinnacle of their careers. It's not an easy task, but that's why he is making a million a year and I'm writing a blog! If anyone can get these guys back to out-working, out-hustling, and out-performing their opponents, he can.
The Panthers won't be an easy mark.Â Florida goalie Alex AuldÂ has played very well so far this short season. Auld just had a 47 save night in a losing effort against the Leafs. Rostislav Olesz and Joe Nieuwendyk both left that game early with injuries and are questionable to play as of right now, (but of course that could change at game time). The Panthers still have plenty of firepower though with Todd Bertuzzi, Stephen Weiss, Jozef Stumpel, Nathan Horton, and Marty Gelinas all perfectly capable of lighting the lamp early and often. Don't forget about Canes killer Olli "The Yokeman" Jokinen who for some reason always has a good game against us.
I look for the Canes to come out with that fighting spirit shown earlier this week and maybe a touch of nasty as they look to get on the winning side of things for the first time this year.Â They have more or less owned the Panthers since they have both been in the Southeast and had a 6-1-1 record against them last year.Â The game starts at 7:30 tonight and the Canes will sponsor a "Canes Cool Bars" nightÂ at the Briar Creek Carolina Ale House.Â If you have never attended one of these, you should they are a lot of fun!Â Plus you could win some cool memorabilia.Â