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Take It To The Limit - Panthers at Hurricanes Pre-Game

It could very well be all or nothing for the Carolina Hurricanes tonight as the Florida Panthers invade the RBC Center with party crashing on their minds. Since the Washington Capitals beat Tampa Bay as expected last night, a win is necessary if the Canes want to be assured of the Division title. If the Canes play their game and "take it to the limit", there should be no problem. But this is a sporting event, and of course anything can happen.

The Panthers have not won in Raleigh this decade....well technically not since December of 2002. The Canes have pretty much owned that team. But there is no love lost between these players and a win over Carolina would make the whole year worthwhile for the pitiful pussycats. Florida will be ready to play.

Tonight is fan appreciation night and the franchise is giving everything away but the kitchen sink. They start off by giving hats to the first 12,000 peeps entering the building.

During the 1st intermission they will also be giving away a Chevy Malibu. Several people qualified during the year by firing a number of pucks into the net from the blueline, with the winners advancing. I'm not sure how they will determine the final winner, but someone is going to be a happy camper.

On top of that, another fan will be winning a house worth $340,000 during the 2nd intermission. Over 100 fans have qualified for this once in a lifetime giveaway. I personally know 2 people in this group, so who knows, I could be attending the party of the decade if one of them wins.

Some lucky fans will be chosen to receive the "jersey off a player's back". After the game, the chosen few are walked down to the ice, each player will skate over to the corresponding fan, take off their jersey, and give it to that fan. Most will also sign it if a marker is available.

A band will be performing before the game, so it's a perfect day to show up early, do a little tailgating, and prepare yourselves to do some yelling and cheering.

After a team meeting, the boys had the day off yesterday, (although some players skated anyway and some played soccer.) This will be the 3rd game in 4 days, but if the boys can't get fired up for this one, something is seriously wrong.

I expect the lineup to be the same as it was on Wednesday night.

  • Staal-Cole-Whitney

  • Aucoin-Walker-Bayda

  • Cullen-Samsonov-Ruutu

  • LaRose-Letowski-(Seidenberg)

  • Hedican-Gleason

  • Corvo-Kaberle

  • Wesley-Wallin

Cam Ward will start in goal once again, and I guess this one will be number 20 in a row. Brookbank, Conboy, and Hamilton will probably all be sitting in the pressbox.

What more can be said? Will this game be a prelude to the playoffs, or will most of the boys be flying back home next week for a long offseason? This should be another good one, be loud and proud. Gametime is at 7.

If there is anything new to report during the day, I will have it here as soon as I can.

The Eagles