With the lingering let-down (or is is just simple exhaustion after that grueling road trip?) for our Carolina Hurricanes, there isn't a whole lot to feel good about today in Raleigh. However, the traffic on the two-way turnpike running between Albany and RDU is seeing a definite up-tick, much to the delight of fans anxious to focus on the future of the franchise. Just watch the Sutter feed setting up Tlusty's goal in Washington Friday night (above) and you'll feel a measure of comfort.
The River Rats started a game in Hartford this afternoon at 4pm, their third since Friday night. The Hartford Wolfpack is the American League affliate of the NY Rangers. The Rats are riding a 6-game win streak, beating the AHL affiliates of the Penguins, Capitals and Bruins in the last three outings. Justin Peters' shut out of the Caps' affiliate Hershey Bears Friday was key to gaining ground on the Bears who are currently at the top of the standings in the East Division, 3 points ahead of Albany. Mike Murphy had 33 saves in the 3-1 win over the Providence Bruins last night, with Zach Boychuk given credit for the game winning goal. Peters, who is having a tremendous season, is in goal today in Hartford.
The River Rats site always links us to the radio call of their games. And I wouldn't be surprised if someone locates a video stream to watch the game. Anyone looking for a live game thread of a team going for 7 wins in a row, please feel free to cuddle up by your computer on this cold rainy afternoon.
After the jump some links to a few stories about the Rats and a couple interesting links around the NHL to boot.
From Albany, to get you in the mood:
Rats notes ‘n quotes: Leighton won’t play this weekend - Hockey Spoken Here - Capital Region AHL and college hockey - timesunion.com - Albany NY They're on a 6-game winning streak: Great comments from Boychuk, Caoch Jeff Daniels, Murphy, and goalie-in-limbo Michael Leighton.
Goalie feels pressure, steps up -- Page 1 -- Times Union - Albany NY Rats' Murphy has 33 saves in win over Bruins
Canes Now - Leighton on re-entry waivers - this just in this afternoon, though anticipated yesterday. Now what?
Already discussed in Harwood's post earlier today:Dwyer and Tlusty reassigned to Albany
Ryan, Bowman getting closer to a Rats return - timesunion.com - Albany NY a few days ago, but on December 10th, Coach Jeff Daniels said after practice this morning that he hopes to be one or both back for next week’s two games, both on the road, before the Christmas break.
Southeast: Hedman getting the hang of scoring - NHL.com - Southeast: Victor Hedman getting the hang of scoring; also a boxed feature on Ray Whitney: "A Ray of Hope".
The Reporters : December 13 : The Reporters a few minutes of round-table video of the biggest surprises and disappointments of the 09-10 season. Yes, Carolina is mentioned. Briefly. (around the 4 minute mark). Have you seen how far the Canes are out of 29th lately? (I feel like I should label this link NSFED, to mean something along the lines of "Not Suitable for the Easily Disgusted - or Discouraged")
Flyers know who to blame -- themselves - NHL.com - NHL Insider The Flyers have been making headlines for all the wrong reasons. Following a 4-1 loss to the Devils on Saturday -- their 10th defeat in 12 games. Pronger has some choice words. Wondering how he became team spokesman? Tied for 28th with the Maple Leafs (can you believe it?) Laviolette sure has his work cut out for him.
The Hockey News: Headlines: Hockey coaches, trainers discuss safety, pressure to play during concussion seminar The ongoing debate on how to address the problem of head shots.
Should Don Cherry lead fight against hits to the head? - Puck Daddy - NHL Blog From Greg Wyshynski: Yet there was Dr. Charles Tator, a Toronto neurosurgeon, asking Don Cherry of CBC Sports to grab the torch on the campaign to lessen concussions and hits to the head in hockey. Instead, he said, Cherry promotes an aggressive style of hockey that leads to them.
Our next opponent, the Dallas Stars, lost in a shoot out to the Los Angeles Kings last night. This puts the Kings at the top of the Western Conference. Justin Williams is loving it; and the win make the Kings one of the big surprises in the West. Neither the Stars or Carolina play again before Wednesday when they rumble at the RBC. No local TV coverage that night, so we get to enjoy their TV play-by-play call once again - on Center Ice.