Last year's tears finally worked for the Florida Panthers. Everyone from their players, to their coach and general manager cried. Soon the media caught on. They cried hard and they cried long. The Carolina players actually had the nerve to fall down when they got hooked, pushed, clutched, and grabbed, and the Panthers just couldn't take it anymore. So, the babies finally got their way. For the first time this year, the Carolina Hurricanes had a diving penalty called on one of their players while playing against the Panthers two nights ago. A couple of minutes later in the same period, there was another diving call. Both calls were highly questionable, and it's simply impossible to believe they were called by coincidence. Hurricanes General Manager Jim Rutherford asked the league to review the calls and is still upset about them. According to Luke in Lord Stanley's Blog, this is more than a friendly rivalry now. Think that the Canes might have motivation to kick some Florida wang-tang tonight? In hindsight, if I played for Florida and I hadn't had a winning season in like...forever, I might be crying the blues too. Naaah, I think I'd rather keep a little self respect.
The Canes play the Panthers tonight at the RBC in a game that could turn into a bloodbath, that is, if the Panthers decide to show up. To their credit, they just beat Buffalo last night, flew into town, and will be playing the second night in a row. They are a slow moving, plodding team under the best of circumstances, it will be interesting to see how slowly they skate when they are tired. I'm sure that they will be holding, hooking, clutching, and even tackling as Canes skate past them all night. All we can hope is that these imbeciles who call themselves referees will be somewhat fair and impartial. Another couple of showings like the one in Florida on Wednesday night and the NHL might as well change it's name to the World Wrestling Association.
Defenseman Niclas Wallin is out for the Canes. He re-injured his groin, so he's going to have shoulder surgery while he's resting it. He's supposed to be out for 3-4 weeks. Look for Dennis Seidenberg and David Tanabe to take turns filling in for him, unless there is another injury to the blueline. Andrew Ladd and Scott Walker are both still out of course. I expect Cam Ward to be back in net, trying to make a statement himself in this game. I must admit, at least all the Florida whining has made this game interesting. Usually, these games against Florida bore me to tears because of their style of play. Happy Saturday!