While you my fellow hockeyfans are still plodding through my copious set of links from yesterday, here are a few lighter tidbits that have popped today and should give you some context for the game at the ACC tonight. BTW, Caniacs, among true puckheads, in Toronto, ACC stands for: Air Canada Center.
JUST IN: Chuck Kaiton talking with Brian Burke, GM of both the Leafs and Team USA - they talk about our very own Tim Gleason: "He's very much alive in the event Paul Martin or Mike Komisarek can't go". You better believe they'll be watching the Emperor in action tonight. (I suspect this will be played in full at intermission tonight)
After the jump, lots of news and video from the Toronto media, the explosive story on the Ref vs the 'Nuck, and some great links from closer to home.
Carolina media onsite in Toronto
Chuck Kaiton also previewed the game this morning here for 620 the Buzz. (about 10 minutes) Since Forslund isn't on the trip, it is always great to have the Hall-of-Fame voice of Mr Kaiton on the scene.
The N&O's Chip Alexander did a great feature piece on Jiri Tlusty in the print edition this morning. (Tlusty's role in Carolina is further discussed with Mo in the audio above).
Chip Alexander made the trip to Toronto and was tweeting up a storm from the skate. He also had two items on Canes Now you should be sure to check out:
From Toronto's media coverage
Leafs Report | Toronto Sun (a game preview from the home paper of the 14th place team in the Eastern conference)
The Globe and Mail: Second Game, First Line This from James Mirtle, also familiar from his blog, From the Rink. Apparently he had a great talk with Aaron Ward today and will be posting something on that. I'll link here if it shows up today.
UPDATE: Some observations from Aaron Ward on the Canes season, as promised from Mirtle and posted at the Globe and Mail site late today. Why won't these guys answer Chip's questions so frankly?
It's been tough on a player,” said Ward, who has struggled to a minus-14 rating in 43 games since returning to the Hurricanes via tradein the off-season. “You laugh about the media attention you get in Toronto and you can't compare it to Carolina, but there's a level of criticism being launched by fans and it's pretty vocal. It gets back to us as players......And when you don't just lay an egg you lay a chicken farm full of eggs over October, November, December – blame has to be assessed and I can understand the level of frustration in Raleigh.
Here's the game preview video from the Toronto "Leafs TV" from this morning:
Waiting for Kessel to break out of his slump, they add this comment:"If you want to beat a team like the Carolina Hurricanes, you need your top players to start steppin' up to the plate." I'm thinking they must have heard what the Sen's announcers said Sunday about the lowly Southeast, and figured they'd try a different tact.
Also this: A closer look at the Toronto Maple Leafs' abysmal PK - E J Hradek, ESPN After going through 10 statistical categories yesterday, there's one question that still lingers with me: How can the Toronto Maple Leafs' penalty kill be so bad?
The Ref vs the 'Nuck
This has potential to be bigger than the mystery of the disappearing laser pen.
TSN.ca: Bob McKenzie: The Burrows-Auger saga is going to get messy This Alexandre Burrows-Stephane Auger situation is going to get messy. It's the proverbial can of worms for everyone involved - the league, the NHL Officials' Association, referee Auger, player Burrows and the entire Vancouver Canucks' organization - and it's a story that is not likely to go away any time soon.
Canes Now - Maurice likes having referees 'involved' Chip Alexander reports on Mo's comments on this. (Which you can here yourself in the audio link at the top) In case you were wondering, the last game Stephane Auger refereed with the Hurricanes was the December 28th game in DC. Eric's big night - seems like Brooks Laich got an unusual diving call.
This is not the end of this I'd say.
News from way down here in the Ol' South:
The latest "Hurricane Report" from Monday. Again, highly recommended. CWard, TommyK, injury status updates, other recent performances, and the 'Rats.
While we're patting ourselves on the back for making this SBNation blog so great, here's a conversation with one of the guys upstairs in this operation. KuklasKorner : Goal Line Report : An Interview with Brandon Worley of Defending BigD and SBN
And last - here's a post I saw up at Japers' Rink that seemed just NSFW-enough to link on the day Tlusty returns to Toronto. Please, "Jizz" In Moderation - Japers' Rink And you thought we got sophomoric when they announced the trade for Tlusty.....