Erik Cole, Bret Hedican, and Ray Whitney have all been on the shelf with various injuries lately. They have a chance to get better and get stronger now! Finally blessed with some good timing on the schedule, the Hurricanes are in the middle of 5 days between games right now and have had 2 full days off from anything hockey related on Monday and Tuesday of this week. That means no practice, no mandatory film review, no team workouts, nothing at all officially scheduled. I'm sure the time went by fast, but hopefully it was time that was enjoyed by the players and their families. Hopefully, some bumps, bruises, aches, and pains got better as well. Today the team meets again for practice at the RecZone and it's reported that they will be working on special teams which of course includes the dismal power play, a power play which has scored only once in the past 35 opportunities. Needless to say, the power play needs to improve if the Canes are going to make the playoffs. Thursday the team will get back to a normal, hard-skating practice before they fly to Washington for their game against the Capitals Friday night.
Anton Babchuk was recalled from Albany to rejoin the team again early this week. I'm not sure if he's been recalled to sit in the pressbox or to play. We will see! About a month ago, Anton initially refused to accept his assignment to Albany and stayed in Raleigh for about a week, debating with himself as to what his course of action should be. This caused Jim Rutherford to suspend him. After Babchuk came to his senses and realized that according to the contract he signed he had little choice in the matter, the suspension was lifted. Hopefully all this is water under the bridge for the team, the player, and management.
Regarding some general blog news, occasionally I will get emails from readers with compliments, suggestions, or requests for links to their sites. One such site that I heard from is called Fantasy Dope. This site has information updated regularly for those of us involved in fantasy sports and it's not just for hockey, it covers all sports. Actually, even if you aren't into fantasy sports, there is a ton of information available there. It's worth a look. One of my favorite local blogs, Raleighing, has lost a writer and has been inactive lately. That's a shame because it was such a good source for local information not usually found on the mainstream news. Another good fantasy information source, but this just for starting goalies is Leftwinglock. They post daily updates of who the confirmed starting goalies are for each game! Sometimes, we Caniacs don't even know who is starting, Grahame or Ward. Leftwing will post the information if he gets confirmation. Finally, I received a nice email from Eye Candy Air, the company that airbrushed Cam Ward's masks. I put a link to their site in the "Other Hockey Links" section. They were nice enough to send me a couple of links to views of Cam's newest mask. You can check them out here, front and sides and back plate. Cam seems mature beyond his years. I love that he uses the words "Have Fun!" on the back of his mask. He also writes those words on each of his goalie sticks. Nice ideas Cam and great job by Steve Nash from EyeCandyAir!
Tomorrow we'll take a quick look around the league at who is earning their money and who isn't. We might be in for a few surprises! Last but not least, today is the last day you can vote for Katherine Fritsch, the Hurricane's part-time anthem singer who is entered in a nationwide talent contest. She really is a sweet girl and if you have ever heard her sing, nothing else needs to be said. She's amazing. The voting is supposed to be cut off at noon. The link for more information is at the top right of this page. Good luck Katherine!