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The Best of Times

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Recently I received an email from "Jack" asking me which 10 games over the past 10 years did I think were the best by the Canes. That's a pretty tough question! Jack sent me his, (in no particular order), and here they are!

first playoff game in nc vs boston

2001 playoffs game 4, 5,6 vs new jersey. (as one)

2002 playoffs game 6 vs new jersey.

2002 playoffs game 4 vs montreal - molson miracle.

2002 playoffs game 6 vs toronto

2002 finals game 1 vs detroit

2006 playoffs game 3 vs montreal

2006 playoffs game 3 vs new jersey

2006 finals game 7 vs edmonton.

Jack made some fine selections and I must agree with many of them. Of course my favorite game of all time was the night we won the Cup. After that it's hard to rank them, but I'll give you my list also in no particular order.
2001 playoffs NJ game 6 (standing ovation after a losing cause gave me chills)
2002 playoffs NJ game 6 (we eliminated the Devils, nobody thought it could be done)
2002 playoffs Montreal game 4 (You have to love the miracle at Molson)
2002 playoffs Montreal game 5 (the mother's day massacre, I'll never forget that game.)
2002 playoffs Toronto game 6 (went to the airport after the game, celebrated all night. another unforgettable time)
2003 regular season win over Detroit,( Jan Hlavac had a hat trick. It's always fun to beat Detroit).
2006 regular season 8-6 win over the Flyers. (Non stop entertainment)
2006 playoffs Sabres game 7 (sent those drunken Buffalo fans home crying)
2006 playoffs NJ game 2 (Staal ties it with seconds left, Wallin wins it in OT)
2006 playoffs Oilers game 1 (3-0 lead is not good enough for the Oil)

Notice that most of the games that each of us picked were playoff games. It kind of makes you feel sorry for the teams that rarely make the playoffs. There is just something extra special about them and I think they help to create an indentity with a franchise and a fanbase. It would be much harder to answer that question if the Canes hadn't been so successful in the playoffs during 2002 and 2006. What do the rest of you think? Does anyone have different favorite games that you would like to bring up and give the reasons why they stand out to you?

I'm going to give the Bret Hedican subject a rest for today. Perhaps I should have just ignored or deleted the "questionable" comment, I'm not sure. With things like that, I would prefer to talk about it neutrally and give readers the option to decide what you believe and what you don't believe. But on the other hand, I don't want this blog to be manipulated by rumor mongers who are attempting to spread lies and false gossip. I guess I'll just have to make a case by case decision when each time comes, and hopefully it will be the right decision.

Nic Wallin is back in town and according to this morning's article in the News and Observer was feeling a bit nervous. Remember that trade rumor involving Nic during the summer? Apparently the rumor was true, Nic turned down a potential trade involving a "puck moving defenseman" by utilizing the no trade clause in his contract. By the way, having that clause doesn't necessarily mean the player can't be traded, it just means the player has the authority to approve the trade or put the kabosh on it if he doesn't want to be traded. Wallin chose the later, but would his team treat him badly because of it? The answer is a resounding no. Laviolette met with Nic and they discussed his role on the team. Everyone in the organization has embraced him and put his mind at ease. I'm sure fans will do the same. How can you not appreciate a player who wants to be here? Nic is a class act all the way. Hopefully he can remain healthy this year and be the force he was back in 2006. Remember the old days when players used to dread coming to Raleigh? It was like being traded to Siberia! Now, players turn down opportunities to move on and play in bigger markets. We have a special franchise and situation here in Raleigh and fans should be proud. TGIF!

STYX