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Kickstart my Heart

The Carolina Hurricanes are back in town tonight for a quick home contest before they hit the road again for 3 more games. Paul Maurice and his Toronto Maple Leafs are in Raleigh and will be tonight's worthy opponent. After a really rough stretch, the Leafs have turned things around recently and have won 6 out their last 8 games, although they lost 4-1 in their latest battle against the Habs in Montreal on Saturday night. The Hurricanes are at the opposite of the spectrum, for the moment. They won an exciting slugfest in Philadelphia Saturday night, but have lost 10 of their last 16 games.

While the Canes have had a few tremendous efforts on the road, they haven't really played a great game at home in awhile now and some fans are getting a bit anxious. There are a few fans who have been to several home games this year and have yet to see a win! This leads us to a familiar question as well as the title of this article. Carolina definitely needs a kickstart, as do some of the fans. So, is it up to the fans to kickstart the team by providing some much needed energy in the building, or is it up to the team to do something to provide a spark to the fanbase to get them going? What do you think?

One good thing is that the Hurricanes marketing staff held up their end of the bargain. Tonight is another opportunity to obtain a "buy one ticket get one free" coupon when you bring in a food item for charity. But according to reports that I have seen, the game is nearly a sell out! Right now, there are only single seats available in the lower level. If you were planning on bringing in a food item so that you could get a coupon, you better get there as soon as the box office opens in the morning, or as soon as you can! Also, college students who want to take advantage of the special prices for "College Night" better get there early as well.

In news about the game, Bryan McCabe is out for the Leafs because he broke his hand during the game on Saturday night. He'll be out for a few weeks. (another hit for my fantasy hockey team.) Bates Battaglia fans will be disappointed to hear that Bates was reassigned to St. John's last week and he didn't make the trip either. (just in case you haven't heard that yet) I'm not sure who will be in goal for the Leafs, but if I find out I'll post about it in my update later today. It could be either Vesa Toskala or Andrew Raycroft.

As I mentioned a couple of articles ago, Andrew Ladd didn't play for Albany on Saturday night. The reason turned out to be that he had the flu and was unable to play. Because of that, the team reassigned him back to Raleigh and he is available to play here if he feels well enough. That was one short conditioning assignment! Unfortunately, these types of circumstances are becoming all too familiar with Andrew. He needs to stay healthy and play himself into shape, somehow. Apparently he wasn't the only one sick for the River Rats though as they only had 14 skaters on the ice that night when they were pummeled 8-1! Hopefully, they get well soon.

In "strange but true" news, it's been reported that Cory Stillman will be available to play tonight! Some people might consider that to be borderline miraculous after watching the twisting punishment that his leg took when he fell awkwardly on it Saturday night. The slow motion replay indicated to many that there could have been ligament damage or even an outright break, but apparently Cory is one flexible dude! He was at practice yesterday no worse for the wear and has been officially cleared to play.

I'll be checking for more information about the game and will have an update after lunch. Maybe I'll also offer my 2 cents about Mike Richard's new 12 year deal with the Flyers! Wow!

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