The Carolina Hurricanes return to the RBC having won two games in a row! Tonight they try to make it three against an Ottawa Senators team which has been playing some pretty good hockey lately. This game is the first of a home and home scenario which has both teams playing again tomorrow night in Ottawa. The Senators are reportedly going to start ex-Canes Martin Gerber in goal who has been nothing but a disappointment for them after signing that huge three year, 11 million dollar contract during the offseason. To Marty's credit though, he has played better of late. During Ray Emery's 3 game suspension, Gerber won 2 of the 3 games he started. Ray came back to play against Buffalo the past 2 games and allowed a ton of goals, (in between fights). John Grahame has played the past 2 games in net for the Hurricanes and it wouldn't surprise me to see him there again tonight. His stats in those games have been excellent as he only allowed 3 goals on 64 shots! For those games he has a GAA of just less than 1.5 and a save percentage of about .950. Keep it up Johnny boy!
Tonight will also be the first RBC home game for newbie Anson Carter. Let's make "Dancin Anson" feel right at home! Although the rest of the Canes haven't felt right at home lately. If they have felt all right, they sure haven't played that way. Carolina has lost 5 of their last 7 at home. They really need to right that ship, figure out what the problem is, and start playing like they have been playing on the road. Their home power play is rated the worst in the entire NHL. Maybe the return of Cory Stillman can help boost those stats again. Oh, I forgot to mention in my last blog post, Cory is back! He played sparingly in Atlanta, but he was back on the ice and that is good news for Caniacs as well as the Hurricane's offense. After a great defensive performance on Saturday night, the Canes will need to do whatever worked against Kovalchuk and Hossa all over again because Heatley and Spezza are just as dynamic.
Today is trade deadline day and it promises to be an exciting one with perhaps a few surprise players thrown into the mix along with those who have been mentioned in rumors for weeks. The Bill Guerin situation has yet to be resolved. Gary Roberts agreed to be traded to Pittsburgh. One of the Rutherford's targets, Bryan Smolinski is going to Vancouver for a 2nd round pick. Now we know why he isn't heading to Raleigh, the price was too high. While there are tons of sites all around the net talking about trades, I like the TSN site for reliability and timing. Here is the link to check on a one page location for all trades, TSN Trade page. Make sure you continue to check after 3PM, the official close of trading. Many times the last minute deals aren't reported until after the deadline. The latest trade rumor from Larry Brooks of the NY Post is that Jagr is on the block. He might be on the block, but what team has room on their salary cap for his pay? I'd be very surprised to see him moved. But, I do expect some surprises!
Speaking of trades, the News and Observer has a behind the scenes look at what happened in the lives of Kevyn Adams and Dennis Seidenberg the day they were both traded. It's an interesting read! Check out that article here. There is one more article I read recently that you might want to check out. A fellow blogger, Magnolia Mer of Paperwhites in Season was able to attend the "Play with the Canes" function that a neighbor of her family entered and won. She describes what happened as Andrew Ladd and Chad LaRose came to play street hockey with the neighborhood kids. It sounds like it was fun!
The past couple of nights haven't worked out well for Carolina, even though they haven't played. Both Tampa Bay and Atlanta won games to pull further away from them in the standings. The Canes need to keep winning to keep pace. They need to keep an even flow and just keep playing the way they have been recently on the road. Every game from here on out is huge and tonight is no exception. They need this one!Â Go Canes!!