The Carolina Hurricanes are in Boston to take on the Bruins tonight, and Caniacs are looking for a little more emotion out of this team than they saw in the disappointing and discouraging 6-1 blowout against New Jersey on Saturday.
Of course this will be the first game without the recently traded Mike Commodore and Cory Stillman. Newcomer Joe Corvo is ready to rock and roll and seems perfectly happy to be playing for Carolina. Patrick Eaves is still banged up and is not available to play tonight. Ryan Bayda has been called upon to take Eaves' place for now.
Corvo has been taking a lot of heat from the Ottawa press, and it's understandable why he is happy to be leaving. Dubbed with the nickname, "Uh-Oh Corvo" because he is supposedly prone to mistakes, the defenseman was also thrown under the bus by GM Brian Murray who said that he was better off in quiet Raleigh, where he would be under less scrutiny.
If Murray and the other experts in Ottawa think that Mike Commodore isn't prone to making mistakes, they are in for an awakening. While I'll always love "Commie", he will never be known as being the smartest player on a roster. At least Corvo can score a few points and makes some risks worth taking.
While Murray was at it, he also took the chance to jab at his current goalie, Martin Gerber and said that the only reason that the Swiss 'tender was successful in Raleigh was because he was under less pressure here. While I won't profess to be an expert on this subject, my gut feeling is that it's bunk. Gerber has had good moments and bad in Ottawa, the same as he had in Raleigh. I sincerely doubt that the pressure of the press has caused his demise.
While most of the Canadian media is going on and on about how Carolina got fleeced in this trade, the eventual proof will be in the proverbial pudding. If the Sens don't win the Cup and either Commodore or Stillman return to Raleigh with another contract this summer, the Canes will have have picked up 2 very good NHL players for next to nothing. I think that Jim Rutherford is very clever for enacting the trade at this time. It's a very good return if you are selling assets, but it's also possible that the Canes could play better and still make the playoffs with these changes.
Emotionally, it's tough to lose popular players like Commodore and Stillman. Both are excellent people as well as hockey players and were active in the community. They will be missed in many ways. But the team needed a change, and this was probably about the best option that Rutherford had.
Back to the game tonight, I look for Corvo to make an immediate impact on the powerplay. My guess is that the lineups should look something like the following...
Mix and match the defensemen as you see fit. Cam Ward will start in net for the Canes while surprisngly, Alex Auld will be in net for the Bruins.
Aaron Ward is healthy and has been playing well for Boston. I wonder which Hurricane he will choose to lay out? It's not the first time that it's been said and it won't be the last, but in 2006, Carolina signed the wrong defenseman (Kaberle) and let the wrong one walk, (Ward).
Gametime is at 7 and will be broadcast by FSN.