The Carolina Hurricanes against the Buffalo Sabres. It doesn't get much better than this for fans of the "new" NHL! Both teams are motivated to play hard. Both teams have speed and skill galore. But the Hurricanes have yet to beat the Sabres this season, so it's time for them to turn the page and move on from the mediocre play that has plagued them at times. Don't get me wrong, they have played some great hockey too and have a very good record. But I think each of them would say that they could be better and the feeling that I get is that they intend to prove it. Coach Laviolette was quoted as saying that they are looking forward to this game.
The Canes have won 5 in a row. If they can make this game number 6, it would be a huge statement for them. Hello NHL?? We're Back!! On the other hand if they lose, it sets them back closer to the middle of the pack, and closer to the mediocrity they are trying to avoid. The good news is that Cory Stillman is back and seems in mid-season form. Carolina's record with him in the lineup is 5-2 and their power play has more than doubled it's effectiveness with him on the ice. Justin Williams has an 8 game point streak and Ray Whitney and Erik Cole both have 5 gamers going. Along with Rod Brind'Amour, Eric Staal, and Scott Walker, the Hurricanes have 6 different players in double figures with goals scored. That's a lot of firepower for any defense to worry about. Of course, Buffalo has their fair share of weapons as well. If you would like more information about them, I suggest visiting our friends at Bleeding Blue and Gold and Sabre Rattling. Both will give up to date reports on what's up with the Sabres.
We still have some injuries to report. Frank Kaberle, Kevyn Adams, Andrew Ladd, Tim Gleason, and David Tanabe are all still on the shelf. We should have the same line-up that we had on Tuesday night, but if anyone else gets hurt we will need help from Albany. My guess would be that Cam Ward gets the start, but with this being the first game of a back to back either goalie could get the nod. It should be a very good one folks, buckle up and enjoy! Go Canes GO!!