After taking the day off and having a rare Saturday night without a game to play, the Carolina Hurricanes were back on the ice for practice this morning. But according to Lord Stanley's Blog, Erik Cole took a nasty tumble and had to be helped from the ice. Cole, who has had a tough time staying healthy this season, is reportedly okay. Hopefully, he will be healthy enough to resume his soccer ball warm ups before the next game.
In surprising news, John Grahame has been placed on re-entry waivers and is supposedly on his way back to Raleigh. Could he be the subject of another team's interest? Jim Rutherford was quoted as saying that John had played "real well", but Michael Leighton will be starting the game on Long Island tomorrow afternoon, regardless of Grahame's status. My guess is that the goalie will be acquired by someone at half of his regular salary sometime during the process, but who knows?
The Edmonton Oilers did the Hurricanes a big favor this afternoon when they beat the Atlanta Thrashers 4-2. The loss by Atlanta keeps the Canes in 1st place in the Southeast Division at least for the time being.
Speaking of the division, it's taking some hits around the league and is once again being referred to as the "Southleast". Let's face it, none of the teams have been very consistent, and statistic wise the division easily ranks as the worst in the Conference. James Mirtle writes about it here, and just today Luke DeCock hammers the point home in his article.
Being a blogger who will sometimes gaze in the opposite direction of conventional wisdom, I posted an article in defense of the division over at the Southeast Shootout. Seriously, I think that it's too early to be writing a eulogy for any of these teams. Washington and Atlanta have both been on a roll, the Canes could certainly turn things around, and Florida isn't dead in the water yet either.
I don't think that it's beyond the realm of possibility that 2 or 3 teams from the division still might squeak into the playoffs. Besides, other than Ottawa, it's not like any of the teams in the other divisions have set the world on fire.
The Hurricanes will play the New York Islanders tomorrow afternoon with a rare 2PM start. The game is the first of a "home and home" matchup with the next contest in Raleigh on Tuesday night. I'll be posting more about the game with my "Lunch with the Canes" posting tomorrow.