The Carolina Hurricanes, (5-15-5), are in Buffalo to test their resolve against the Sabres, (13-7-2), tonight in a 7 p.m. match at the HSBC. There is no need to re-hash last night's fiasco in Raleigh. What's done is done. Can the Canes forget about it and play their next hockey game with some fortitude and consistency?
The team seems to be on radio silence today other than sending out a media blast about the recall of Bryan Rodney. It's to be assumed that Joni Pitkanen will be unable to play tonight as he is probably still suffering from the affect of running into teammate Brandon Sutter. Pitkanen took the worst of that collision and skipped out of the third period meltdown against the Thrashers.
There have been no updates from the morning skate and no word about who will start in net tonight. My guess is that they will give Michael Leighton a try, but that is an unofficial hypothesis. Perhaps they skipped the morning skate and spent the morning watching video?
For those of you clamoring for major changes, don't expect anything to be done until after the game on Monday night against the Caps. The Canes will then have a few days off and that is always bad news for any struggling team. The down time gives management a chance to process changes.
The Canes enter this contest as the only team in the NHL yet to win a game on the road, (0-9-3). The Sabres are coming off a hard earned win yesterday in Philadelphia. But the home team will be missing a couple of key contributers. Craig Rivet and Paul Gaustad will miss tonight with various injuries while Patrick Kaleta will probably be suspended because of a hit yesterday on Jared Ross.
Buffalo is led by Tim Connolly and Derek Roy.
|2009 - Tim Connolly||22||6||15||21||-4||2||3||0||2||0||55||10.9|
|2009 - Derek Roy||22||4||12||16||-5||14||3||0||1||0||55||7.3|
Of course Thomas Vanek and Jason Pominville are also to be contended with.
Elite netminder Ryan Miller will probably take the night off, after having played in Philadelphia. Patrick Lalime is the backup, and he has yet to win a game this season. Lalime versus Leighton? (Again, this is an unofficial guess). It could be a real barnburner in Buffalo tonight.
|2009 - Ryan Miller||19||1122||13||4||37||1.98||534||497||.931||2|
|2009 - Michael Leighton||5||233||1||2||17||4.38||107||90||.841||0|
Apparently, the Sabres are taking nothing for granted by starting Miller two games in a row.
The Canes are led by Ray Whitney, Jussi Jokinen, and Tuomo Ruutu.
This game will be televised locally by FS Carolinas starting at 7. We will have the open game thread here starting at 6:30.
For information about the Sabres, check out our friends at Die by the Blade.