It's a late, (but never too late), 8:30 start for the Canes tonight as they wait for another arena change-over because of an NC State basketball game which starts at 3:30. Last time this happened, the "change crew" set a new record and was able to turn the basketball court into an ice rink within 1 hour and 45 minutes. They'll have to match that record again today if the transition is going be a smooth one. If you are curious about the change-over, check out the RBC webcam during the operation.
Yesterday, practice for the Canes was anything but smooth. Coach Laviolette was still a bit upset about the disappointing game Thursday night against the Capitals. The Canes skated and skated and skated some more. One player was quoted as saying "I knew peanut butter on toast wouldn't cut it this morning". For more on the practice, there is an article in the N&O here... Laviolette is expecting a much better start to the game tonight. We'll see!
Tampa Bay has won 6 of the last 7 and has been playing well. They are only 3 points behind the Canes and will probably be fired up for this game. Carolina has won 4 of the last 6 and according to many, they have not played that well. Hedican, Kaberle, and probably Gleason are all still out. Wallin left the game early Thursday and is day to day which means he may not play tonight. This is good news for Hutch who has been scratched lately and he might get the nod. This is the last game for the Canes until next Friday as most players get some time to rest up and heal over the All Star break. There's no reason to hold back now and save yourself for tomorrow. Let it all hang out tonight boys!
Taking a quick look around the Carolina blogroll, David Lee at Red and Black Hockey has a good write up from Friday about the Canes injury woes this season along with some amazing medical charts to further explain the injuries. Cason Blog offers his opinions as to who might be on the trading block. I'll give my opinions about that next week during the All Star Jam. The Acid Queen and the Penalty Killer both are on blog hiatus for the time being. I wish them both well. Stormbringer offers her thoughts about the new jerseys coming out. She shows a photo of Sid the Kid modeling the All Star version of them. Quite the modeling career Crosby could have! Carolina Blueline has been quiet of late. Mike Commodore at Canes Blog Central hasn't updated his blog in a month. Magnolia-Mer gives her thoughts about the last game in Paperwhites in Season. I agree with her about Seidenberg. I see much more positive than negative in his play so far. The News and Observer's Lord Stanley's Blog has been very good about giving daily reports. Finally, if you can read Polish, check out what our friendly neighborhood Polish Caniac has to say at Carolina Hurricanes Blog Hokejowy. Good luck to the Canes tonight and see you all at the rink!