The Devils are in town to take on the Canes and they aren't in a good mood. They lost to the Penguins 3-0 last night and both John Madden and Patrik Elias left the game early with undisclosed injuries. Will they play tonight? Caniacs wouldn't mind if they decided to rest up a bit! Brian Gionta is reportedly out with a groin pull. Wouldn't it be nice if they decided to give Brodeur the night off as well so he doesn't have to play 2 nights in a row? I know, I know, we mustn't be too greedy! New Jersey has had a great year this year and they are knocking on Buffalo's backdoor for the Conference lead. Let's hope they wait a couple of more games to get any closer. This is the first game of a home and home between the teams with the final one being in New Jersey on Saturday night.
Take note, tonight's game has an atypical late start of 7:30, so hopefully everyone has a chance to get in their seats on time. For some reason, it seems like many Caniacs have a hard time arriving by 7. The Hurricanes are riding high right now after playing good, solid, high intensity hockey for several games in a row. Their record for the past 5 games is 3-1-1, not too shabby! The defense has been excellent, I don't think anyone can complain about that aspect of their game lately. They have only allowed 9 goals in the past 6 games! Obviously, that's a good job by the goalies as well. While the offense has generated a sufficient number of shots on goal, in my opinion not many of their chances have been the high quality type that you would prefer. Either that, or they are just not making their shots. After Tuesday night's game and break through on the power play, hopefully that's a sign of good things to come offensively for the team. It would be sweet that instead of hitting the pipe, they could find that perfect corner against Marty Brodeur. Of course John Grahame will remain in goal tonight for the Canes while Cam Ward is on the mend and Bret Hedican will still be out as well. I expect the lineups to be the same as they were against Florida.
Some or most of the team will be using pink sticks tonight during the warm ups, which will later be autographed and auctioned off on Ebay to benefit breast cancer research. I'll post more about that and the time of the auction as the information becomes available. Yesterday was team photo day and here you can see a nice gallery of shots from the picture taking event. Ron Francis was asked to join in the fun this year! As the new Director of Player Development, he certainly belongs there with other members of management. It looks like the guys were having a good time with it! I hope they will be smiling as much after the game tonight. Go Canes!