Not only is "life a long song" but so is a hockey season! Although, sometimes it seems longer than it really is and before you know it, the season has slipped by sometimes leaving a team to look back and wonder what happened. (IE...last year for the Hurricanes). This hockey season is quickly approaching the half way mark, and the Carolina Hurricanes have watched their early season, double digit division lead shrink to just 4 points. While they are currently in a 3 way tie for 2nd place in the conference, they are also just 3 points out of 9th place, a position you do not want to be in when the long season finally reaches an end. Carolina has lost 3 out of their past 5 games, 6 out of their past 10, and 8 out the past 13. That's not a good trend.
Tonight they have a chance to start a new trend as the Eastern Conference leading Ottawa Senators are in Raleigh to try to extend their narrow 4 point conference lead. Ottawa is riding a 2 game winning streak, although they had a rough stretch of recent games themselves, losing 7 in a row at one point. Ray Emery has replaced the slumping Martin Gerber in net. One thing hasn't changed for the Sens though. Their high powered 1st line of Jason Spezza, Dany Heatley, and Daniel Alredsson are still as dangerous and potent as ever.
Cam Ward will be in the net for the Hurricanes. Of course with Andrew Ladd on a rehab assignment in Albany, Craig Adams will probably be pressed back into duty. Mike Commodore is still doubtful for tonight as he recovers from a broken finger. The lines should probably stay the same as they were in the Detroit game. Staal, Walker, Stillman - Brind'Amour, Williams, LaRose - Cullen, Whitney, Cole - and the rest! Erik Cole seems to have benefitted the most from the recent shake-up, having scored 3 goals in the past 2 games.
Take note, the game has a late start time of 7:30! Also, tonight they will be recognizing Josh Hamilton, the homegrown professional baseball player who went from the top, to the bottom, and back to the top again. His comeback this year was one of the best feel-good stories in sports! Don't forget to bring a toy tonight so you can "buy one ticket and get one free"! (what the heck, bring a toy anyway!)
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