Are you the type of fan who likes it when your team stays under the radar, or do you prefer that your team gets lots of public credit when they have had a good streak? Like it or not Caniacs, your team is getting plenty of attention around the hockey news world right now. For instance yesterday, goalie Cam Ward was named the first star of the week in the NHL! So far this season, "Wardo" has a record of 4-0-1, a GAA of 1.79, and a save percentage of .942. It's been well documented how Cam lost 20 pounds over the off season and is in the best shape of his career. His success this year might just start a new training trend for over-weight goalies everywhere! (I'm not mentioning any names.) Congratulations to Cam, this recognition is very well deserved!
Last week I had a reader complain about the Hurricanes poor position in ESPN's pre-season Power Rankings feature. Fear not Chris, redemption is at hand! The power rankings that I usually pay most attention to are the weekly selections of Scott Cullen who reports for TSN, one of Canada's top sports networks. It's not that I usually agree with Scott, but TSN is a great news source for hockey fans, and they have a pretty good reputation for having accurate and interesting hockey information. Cullen's latest power rankings were posted on October 15th, and agree or disagree, here they are!
- Tampa Bay
- St. Louis
- NY Rangers
- New Jersey
- NY Islanders
- San Jose
- Los Angeles
Look at where the Canes are, number 2! Based on what they have done so far, I really can't disagree. Check out some of the other ratings. Of course it's still very early, but who would have ever dreamed that San Jose and Anaheim would be near the bottom of the league at any time this year? I think that maybe the Leafs are ranked a bit higher than what they have shown so far. Is Buffalo really the 4rth best team? We will find out next week Wednesday when they visit the RBC Center! I don't think anyone will disagree where Atlanta is listed. They have been absolutely pitiful for the most part this year and the Bob Hartley watch is on. I think the only question now is, who will be the next head coach in Atlanta?
Speaking of head coaches, ESPN's Scott Burnside listed a ranking of NHL coaches. Carolina's Peter Laviolette was ranked 3rd in the league! Anaheim's Randy Carlyle was 1st and Lindy Ruff was number 2. You can't really argue about Carlyle since he just won the Cup last year, but why all the love for Ruff? How many Cups has he won? I admit he usually does well during the regular season and gets a lot out of his players, but until you win the big one I don't think you should be considered an elite coach and be ranked so high. Of course you could argue about any of these picks, but I won't disagree with Lavi being number 3. I think that's about right.
The Canes had an optional skate yesterday but will return to normal practice today. If you plan on attending practice this week, keep in mind that all sessions will be at the RecZone because of the state fair. The on ice portion of practices are scheduled from 11 to 1. I'm going to make it over there at some point this week. Happy Tuesday!