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Leafs - Canes, pre game thoughts

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John Grahame will start in net for the Hurricanes tonight while Vesa Toskala will be the goaltender for the Leafs. Apparently, Grahame is getting rewarded for only allowing 5 goals on Saturday night! Seriously, he did battle hard throughout the game even if his stats weren't the best. John makes me nervous when he's in net though, because he flops around on the ice a bit too much for my liking. We'll see how he does tonight.

Mike Commodore is 50/50 to play tonight. I'm not sure what the questionable factor is that determines whether or not he will play. Does the pain in his finger change that much from hour to hour?

Lord Stanley's Blog is reporting that the flu bug is hitting Carolina. Rod Brind'Amour left the rink early not feeling very well. Toronto has already been hit as both Matt Stajan and Darcy Tucker have recently taken some time off. If there seems to be a lack of energy on the ice again tonight, at least we will know why.

Around the NHL...

What about that 12 year, 60 million dollar plus deal that the Flyers gave to Mike Richards? Well, I guess if agitator Scott Hartnell is worth 25 million over 6 years, Richards is worth paying for 12 years. On second thought, no he isn't! 12 years is a LONG time. At least the Flyers don't have to worry about anyone signing him to an offer sheet. I know that people like him here because of his Hartford history, but I think that this is another nutty deal by Paul Holmgren.

Speaking of the Flyers, I wonder if team management was paying attention when the Islanders internally "suspended" Chris Simon for his idiotic actions during their last game. Kudos to them for not waiting for the league to dole out some trivial punishment and for giving Simon some time off to get his head on straight on their own. I can't help but think that if more teams handled their own dirty laundry like this, there would be fewer problems in the league. Players must be forced to realize what their teams will tolerate and what they won't, and should be internally penalized when crossing the line. It seems like the Flyers "threshold for tolerance" is a bit different than the Islanders.

I was reading an article on Kukla's Korner yesterday about how new NHLPA President Paul Kelly invited Gary Bettman to an upcoming union meeting. It's the first time this has happened in over 15 years! He was quoted as saying that the players are partners with the league and that they should meet together more frequently, especially regarding the discussion of expanding league revenues. This Kelly guy looks like a keeper!

Game time is at 7 tonight. There is no local television, so find a nice warm sports bar, a friend with Center Ice, or come to the RBC and look for a spare ticket!