Tonight, the Carolina Hurricanes will be taking on the New York Rangers in Madison Square Garden. The last time that these two teams met back on December 3rd, the Hurricanes played one of their best games of the year and skated away with a 4-0 victory. The Rangers are currently on a 3 game losing streak, and overall have had a disappointing month. While the Canes month of December has been nothing to write home about, they have won 3 of their last 4 games and have played pretty consistently for the past several games in a row. For the most part, the team's energy level and intensity have been up and that's something that they need to continue in order to be successful.
Cam Ward will be back between the pipes for Carolina, while Henrik Lundqvist will assume the position for NY. I have not seen any updates regarding Chad LaRose or David Tanabe, so I am not sure if they will be available for the game or not. Obviously if LaRose can't go, Brandon Nolan will be playing his second game with the Canes alongside Scott Walker and Matt Cullen. Craig Adams has served both games of his 2 game suspension, so he is available if Laviolette needs him. Mike Commodore missed the last game with a swollen foot and he is listed as day to day. There have not been any recent updates today by the team or by the News and Observer, so your guess is as good as mine as to who will play tonight and who won't.
The Rangers on the other hand, have an online interview from this morning posted with Henrik Lundqvist and Brandon Dubinsky and they ask about the game tonight. To see the interview, click on this link. They also have a portion of the pre-game skate from this morning posted, and they talk about the game tonight. You can see that by clicking this link. Finally, they have an interview with Marc Staal which was posted a few days ago. See that interview by clicking here. Nice job Rangers!
(sorry, the links don't seem to be working. Go directly to the Rangers site to see the interviews here.)
Carolina has had 3 days off for the holiday break, but they are about to embark on a busy stretch of hockey which begins tonight with 3 games in the next 4 nights. Tonight's game is unusual in that the team will fly game day to NY, instead of flying the previous night. This will certainly disrupt their preparation. Will they be able to overcome the distractions and the unusual circumstances of tonight's contest? Will they be able to shake off the rust from being off for so many days in a row? Usually, hard work and determination will overcome most obstacles. If they can "give it everything they have", the fore-mentioned potential problems will solve themselves.
Game time is at 7 tonight and it will be broadcast locally on FSN. Also, Happy Boxing Day to our Canadian friends!
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