The Canes lost Saturday night in Minnesota and headed back home, east bound and down. It was a tough loss to take. The boys fought back from a 4-1 deficit and made a real game of it just losing 5-4. It's too bad they had another 1st period lapse where they just made some poor decisions and commited too many penalties. Justin Williams, Ray Whitney, Eric Staal, and Andrew Ladd had the goals for the Canes. I watched the game from my DVR last night and I have to give the guys credit for not giving up when they were down by 3 goals. They tried time after time to tie the score in the 3rd but obviously were unsuccessful. John Grahame replaced Cam Ward in net when the score was 3-1 and played well. It will be interesting to see which goalie gets the start for the next game, tomorrow night. The good news is that they did not fall any further behind the Thrashers. The bad news is that the Lightning passed them in the standings again and they are back in 8th place in the conference.
The trade deadline is drawing closer and the rumors are heating up again. First of all Eric Belanger, whom we just traded to the Predators for the return of Joe Vasicek, was quickly traded again to the Thrashers for defenseman Vitaly Vishnevski. This "re-trade" doesn't really break my heart because Vishnevski is a hard nosed, physical defenseman who doesn't mind laying out unsuspecting skaters who approach the blue line. A couple of the Canes have found this out the hard way this year. I'm happy to see him out of the conference and division, but this is a bit of dirty pool played by Predators management. There is no way that Rutherford would have traded Belanger to the Predators if he knew they would send him to the Thrashers, because at this point in the season the Canes are in direct competition with them for the division title. Supposedly, Poile called Rutherford afterwards to assure him that this wasn't premeditated. Whatever, but I would guess Carolina's dealing days are done for awhile with Nashville one way or the other.
The rumor mills are saying that the Canes are still in the running for Peter Forsberg, but then again another rumor site is saying that Forsberg has selected 3 teams that he is willing to be traded to, and Carolina is not included on that short list. If that is true, then so be it. There are also rumors out there that say the Canes would be willing to part with Andrew Ladd in order to acquire Forsberg. If that ever happened, I would be one extremely unhappy fan. I just can't see trading away a former top rated player in all of North America while he was in junior, to acquire any rental player. Ladd could develop into a game changing player for many years to come. Why trade away that potential for 3 months of uncertainty? Ladd is also a very entertaining player to watch. He mixes it up in front of the net, has the size to lay people out on the forecheck, and is willing to use his fists to stick up for a team-mate. This is the ultimate proto-type player most teams would die to have and this particular rumor makes no sense at all to me. Some rumors are just stupid things that people make up, but some rumors are true, inquired about and released information from general managers. It's up to each of us to decide what we think is legitimate and what isn't. For actual trades that have been completed, here is a link to an excellent page put out by TSN.com-Trades
As I mentioned in a previous post, I went to Charlotte over the weekend. All three of my teams lost Saturday night. Of course the Canes lost 5-4, the Checkers lost 6-3, and UNC Charlotte lost to UNC Chapel Hill, 8-5. I had a very good time though and especially enjoyed the college game. It was played with a lot of intensity and as one can imagine, there was plenty of emotion in the crowd. Kudos to the management of Bobcats arena for allowing the teams to use the new facility and keep it open well past midnight. I'm sure it was a thrill for the college players to be able to perform in that beautiful and massive arena.
Finally as I am sure you have noticed, I changed some things around on the blog page again. Some items were not aligning properly on the right sidebar, so I had to move the link section to the left sidebar instead. All the information that was on the blog previously is still there, but if you can't find it then it must have been moved to the other sidebar. I'll be doing a little more tweaking, but not much. I also created a link to Katherine Fritsch information under the link group "Local Interest" so that people coming to the site looking for information on KK can find it more easily. That's all I have time for right now, I'll be back with more tomorrow. Go Canes and don't you dare trade Andrew Ladd!!