|Last 10 Games||0-1-0||1-0-0|
|Streak||Lost 1||Won 1|
|ES Goals For %||N/A||N/A|
|ES Corsi For %||N/A||N/A|
|Power Play % (Rank)||0.0%||N/A|
|Penalty Kill % (Rank)||66.7%||N/A|
|ES Save %||.929||N/A|
|ES Save %||N/A||1.000|
*Stats from NHL.com and War on Ice
- The first 36 hours of the Carolina Hurricanes 2015-16 hockey season have not been kind to the team or its fans, between a major injury setback, former players in the news, and a road loss to the Nashville Predators in the season opener. Perhaps the friendly confines of the PNC Arena will restore some good luck.
- Fans looking for a positive heading into tonight's game need look no further than the young man who will be announced first in tonight's player introductions, rookie defenseman Noah Hanifin. Though his first NHL game is already in the books, being introduced to his home fans (with his family looking on) will no doubt make for a special moment for this year's first round draft pick. Hanifin had a few expected rookie moments in Thursday's game but improved as the game wore on (including this beauty of a shift) and earned a post-game thumbs up from his head coach.
- Wiz, we hardly knew ye. James Wisniewski's Canes debut lasted a mere 47 seconds before suffering a devastating and likely season-ending ACL injury. As an immediate remediation, the Canes have recalled Danny Biega from Charlotte, though he will most likely stay on the sidelines tonight as the seventh defenseman with Michal Jordan drawing in to Wiz's spot. Longer term, Ron Francis may be pursuing another veteran presence via trade or free agency (here's a current list of UFAs and recent waiver transactions for those so inclined). Here's wishing Wiz a successful surgery and a speedy and complete recovery.
Thank you so much to everyone and if it wasn't for family, friends and fans my road to recovery would be much harder. Everyone's support....— James Wisniewski (@jameswisniewski) October 10, 2015
Has been so inspiring and all the kind words mean more to me than you could ever imagine.. Love you all and God bless— James Wisniewski (@jameswisniewski) October 10, 2015
- Bill Peters shuffled the forward lines in the third period Thursday, and according to a few anecdotal reports, those lines carried into yesterday's practice. Eric Staal, the lone Canes goal-scorer in the waning moments of the game, moved back to left wing, centered by Victor Rask, Kris Versteeg moved to Jordan Staal's line with Nathan Gerbe, and Riley Nash moved to center a line with Jeff Skinner and Chris Terry.
- Cam Ward enters tonight's game as the confirmed starter in net after a solid effort on Thursday.
- Stay tuned for updates coming out of this morning's pregame skate (10:30 am).
- There is plenty to critique about Thursday's game and areas where the Canes should focus heading into tonight's game, but there is no one better to break that down than radio voice Chuck Kaiton, who joined the Buzz Sports Radio team yesterday. Do yourself a favor and listen (starts at the 22:15 mark). Not only does Kaiton shoot straight about what needs to be fixed ("I don't think fans want to see reactionary hockey, they want to see proactive hockey"), but he also waxes philosophical on this year's Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees. This is an instant classic.
- Despite Thursday's misfortunes, the Canes have a number of breaks going their way tonight. The Red Wings are playing in a back-to-back situation and coming off an emotional 4-0 shutout win in their home opener for new head coach Jeff Blashill against former coach Mike Babcock and the Maple Leafs. Last night's near perfect performance could lead to a letdown effort tonight. They are missing their best player, with Pavel Datsyuk out of the line-up until November recovering from ankle surgery, though their league-best 6-0-2 preseason record along with last night's win seems to indicate they've been able to compensate for his absence so far.
- That said, the Canes are 4-8-3-2 in home openers since the relocation to North Carolina, and they were swept by the Red Wings in three matches last season.
- Pay close attention to another rookie in tonight's lineup, 19-year-old Dylan Larkin, selected 15th overall in the 2014 draft. Larkin scored three goals and tallied an assist in five games during the preseason, earning a spot on the Red Wings roster. Larkin is the first teenager to make the Red Wings squad in over 15 years. He's playing in a top six role on a line with Henrik Zetterberg and Justin Abdelkader, and scored his first NHL goal (along with an assist in Abdelkader's hat trick effort) in last night's win.
- The team had no updates as to lineup changes for tonight other than a previous announcement by Blashill that Petr Mrazek will get the start in net. Mrazek is undefeated in two career appearances against the Canes including a shutout win in last season's finale.
- In other news, Red Wings fans seem pretty pumped about the offseason coaching change.
Eric Staal - Victor Rask - Elias Lindholm
Nathan Gerbe - Jordan Staal - Kris Versteeg
Jeff Skinner - Riley Nash - Chris Terry
Joakim Nordstrom - Jay McClement - Andrej Nestrasil
Ron Hainsey - Justin Faulk
John-Michael Liles - Michal Jordan
Noah Hanifin - Ryan Murphy
Cam Ward (2-6-1, 2.57 GAA vs DET)
Eddie Lack (0-1-0, 1.02 GAA vs DET)
Injuries and scratches: James Wisniewski (ACL), Brad Malone (healthy), Danny Biega (healthy)
Justin Abdelkader - Henrik Zetterberg - Dylan Larkin
Tomas Tatar - Brad Richards - Gustav Nyquist
Johan Franzen - Riley Sheahan - Teemu Pulkkinen
Drew Miller - Luke Glendening - Landon Ferraro
Niklas Kronwall - Jonathan Ericsson
Kyle Quincey - Mike Green
Brendan Smith - Jakub Kindl
Petr Mrazek (2-0-0, 0.50 GAA vs CAR)
Jimmy Howard (3-2-0, 1.99 GAA vs CAR)
Injuries and Scratches: Pavel Datsyuk (ankle), Darren Helm (shoulder, concussion), Danny DeKeyser (foot), Tomas Jurco (healthy), Joakim Andersson (healthy), Alexey Marchenko (healthy)
If you're going to tonight's game:
- It's predicted to be a sell-out. Standing room only tickets were released on Thursday (any remaining will be eligible for College/Military Rush).
- The doors will open early, at 5:30 pm, an hour and a half before game time.
- There's a party on the South Plaza starting at 5:00 pm, with live music, inflatables, and food and drink.
- The #Redvolution Vending Machine will be out on the concourse before the game where fans can visit and win Canes prizes.
- Former Hurricane and Stanley Cup Champion Mike Commodore (who apparently has no love for the former Red Wings coach) will be the siren sounder and will sign autographs at Section 108 starting at 5:45 pm.
- There's a Snap Shot Saturday after the game where fans can take pictures at Center Ice and in the penalty box.
- Plan to be seated by 6:45 for the unveiling of the new intro videos. In other in-arena news, there's a new goal song (the riff that starts about a minute in) and a new in-game announcer, Wade Minter, a Section 328 resident and announcer for NC State hockey. Wade was the announcer for Friday's preseason game against the Penguins, if you were in the building.
- Finally, on the way in, don't forget to grab a limited edition Hurricanes knit hat (modeled here by new TV/web host and rink reporter Michelle McMahon)!