Apparently, the Carolina Hurricanes felt like they could sleepwalk into the HSBC tonight. But before they were 14 minutes into the game, the fired up Buffalo Sabres had scored 4 goals and Carolina's starting goalie Cam Ward was pulled from the shellacking. By time the game was over, the Hurricanes team had accumulated 81 penalty minutes, 65 in the 3rd period alone. The final score was Sabres 7, Hurricanes 1.
Now for the bad news. It was also announced tonight that Ray Whitney will undergo surgery tomorrow and will miss at least another 2-3 weeks. Whitney has been listed as "day to day" for the past 2 weeks and has been suffering from an infected ankle. What does this mean for the Hurricanes? "The Wizard" had been leading the team in scoring before his injury. He's got 59 points in 63 games this year. Couple his injury with Rod Brind'Amour's and Justin Williams, and 3 out the top 4 scoring forwards for the Canes are now on the shelf. Now THAT is what I call disruptive.
I'm not going to get into details of the game. It was pretty much a fiasco. I don't understand some of the calls, but I wasn't there so I'm not going to comment on them. Bottom line, the Canes deserved to be crushed, and that's exactly what happened. They need to forget that game fast and be ready for the hot Ottawa Senators on Sunday.
One thing that I will comment on is that Carolina has been flirting with disaster, personnel wise for some time. They keep suiting up 10 healthy forwards, along with Tim Conboy, (a defenseman). They also have been playing 7 defensemen. I believe they are at the point now where they need to recall at least one more forward from Albany. Wade Brookbank might be close to coming back, but they have been waiting for him for a week now. In the meantime, the healthy forwards are taking a beating and playing too much.
Tomorrow night the Red Deer Rebels will be closing out their season. Can the signing of first round draft choice Brandon Sutter be far behind? Now with the bad news about Ray Whitney, they certainly have room for him. I wouldn't look for him to play on Sunday, but the game in Atlanta on Wednesday could be a strong possibility.
Luke DeCock wrote up a pretty nice rant about the inconsistencies concerning suspensions that are handed out around the league. Of course I have my opinion about that, as well as the Chris Pronger "stomp", but I will wait until tomorrow to share. Happy weekend.