The All Star break is over. The first half of the season has flown by. It's getting down to crunch time, time to start to separate the men from the boys, the contenders from the pretenders, and the playoff teams from the rebuilding ones. It's time for the Canes to step up and claim their status of being one of the best teams in the NHL.
Alexander Ovechkin and the Capitals are back in town for the first game of a home and home series tonight, as both teams travel to Washington right after the game to play again tomorrow night. The last time the Caps were here last week Thursday night, (it seems longer than that), Laviolette called the Cane's performance "brutal" and put the team through a much tougher practice than normal the next day. I would expect a more lively first period than what we saw last week.
There is some good news on the injury front for the Canes. Tim Gleason is expected back tonight along with Nic Wallin. But Hedican and Kaberle are both still out, although Frank is a possibility for next week. Hedican has not practiced recently and is not expected back for awhile yet. Gleason will be a sight for sore eyes as he has not played in over a month while recovering from a broken foot. Hopefully, he can find his game legs quickly tonight.
In some Canes Country news I have listed the popular song, "Let's Get it Started" on the playlist on the right sidebar, just click to play. I've also added a "visitor map" under the site links. This map only updates every 24 hours and is not real time but it's cool to see the wide range of locations that frequent the site on a regular basis. Finally, the Canes Country forum is now being used! Last week, the News and Observer drastically changed their forum format and most of their users dislike it immensely. I offered our empty forum to the Caniacs over there to use and most of the small but passionate community has migrated over. I'd like to welcome them and make the same offer to any blog readers, feel free to join the forum and share your opinions. The link is under the "CanesCountry Links" heading.
Okay, back to the game tonight. The Canes must contain the Alexander's, the great and not so great. Although Semin has been the "great" one against us so far this year. Hopefully Ovechkin's hand is sore from signing so many autographs all week and he can't grip his stick. I look for the Canes to whoop it up tonight! Let's Go Canes!
Black Eyed Peas