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Under Pressure

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Carolina has put themselves in a position of extreme pressure. If they lose one more game, their season would most likely be over. Of course, their season could very well be over anyway, but the consensus seems to be that if they can somehow win the rest of their games, they would still make it in the final 8. I mentioned in a previous post that playing one "must win" game after another, night after night, just might eventually wear down the team's nerves. Perhaps that's what happened to the them the last 2 games? They have played under intense pressure almost all month and it's certainly not an easy thing to do. The game tonight won't be any easier.

There's plenty of news out and about the Caniac blogging world. New blogger Wufpirate gave a decent practice report in his blog, Carolina on Ice. Cason supplies skepticism along with his sense of humor over at Casonblog. Beth is lamenting the recent road losses and asking for fashion tips at Beth and Hockey. Magnolia Mer is trying to keep up her optimism at Paperwhites in Season. David Lee is sporting a new hat, just in case he needs a temporary team to cheer for in the playoffs. Check him out at Red and Black Hockey. The Acid Queen "just doesn't care" and rants a good rant about fickle fans. Chris, our favorite Penalty Killer hasn't given up hope. Finally, it's been unusually quiet for some time over at Canes Blog Central, but after almost a month John Forslund's was updated this morning. He notes that nobody has given up on the Canes and that Wesley and Hedican will continue to be out. Gleason is nursing an injury, but will play.

The game tonight can't help but be a nail-biter. Of course I thought the previous two games would be tight ones as well, but I just can't see the Canes tanking 3 games in a row. The Lightning have been on a losing streak recently and have lost 5 of their last 7 games. Something has to give tonight as both teams are as desperate as they can be for a win in a regular season game. I'd expect Cam Ward back in goal. Both Seidenberg and Hutchinson looked rusty in Thursday night's game, and understandably so. I'm sure it's tough to be sitting in the press box for a month or two, then be called upon to perform in a high pressure game. Even though it's not easy, they both need to play better if given the opportunity again.

In the News and Observer this morning, John Grahame was quoted as saying that the team might be gripping the sticks a bit too tightly and perhaps they are playing "not to make a mistake" rather than just going out there and letting loose. It was also reported that Laviolette held a team meeting after yesterday's practice. Afterwards, he expressed continued confidence in the team and said that he told them to take it one game at a time. He also told them to savor this opportunity and enjoy it.

We should all do that as well Caniacs. Enjoy the moment! Let's try to get this team fired up!  Let's Go Canes!

Queen