Definitely looking forward to this one. Late night. New month. Coming off a 4-1 stretch to end the month of January after losing 5 in a row. Are we on track and taking off on a run that we so desperately need? Or will we lose 4 out of the next 5 and be in the '2 steps forward 3 steps back' we're not going anywhere in the standings problem. Time will tell.
Vancouver has lost 9 in a row at home, however that means very little heading into tonight. All in all, this should be a good one.
From Chad LaRose:
"I think this is awesome," said forward Chad LaRose, who had an assist Saturday for his third point in as many games "It's Game 7 of the playoffs without the pressure. It's feeling really good and we know this is our push time."
Some bits and pieces from Forslunds Blog.
Kill it off ...
Canes' PK has now killed 17 of 18 opponent power plays in the last six games. They have also scored short-handed goals in consecutive games. Role definition among the players is vitally important. Paul Maurice has been able to identify a few players of late who are relishing in that role. Matt Cullen, Chad LaRose, Patrick Eaves and rookie Brandon Sutter have all picked up that responsibility and running hard with up ice pressure. The Canes have become more active up the ice and these four players have flourished. Before it gets to the "D" and the last line, the goalie, that been a noticeable difference in their shorthanded success.
Underrated Leader ...
Ray Whitney gets a lot of credit for his scoring and off the ice for his glib personality but within the last week he has done a tremendous job of taking ownership over the team's fortunes. He has become and inspiration and vocal presence as the Canes faced critical home games against Tampa and Atlanta. Talking to his teammates they point to some internal discussions in which the Wizard sounded off which set the table for the two "must haves" at home. This is nothing different for Carolina's 13, but certainly he doesn't get a lot of notice for being part of it's leadership core. He has his arms around this situation moving forward.
Buffalo lost last night to the Ducks, 3-2, in regulation. With a win Carolina jumps back to the 7th seed, and within 5 points of Montreal and New York (1 and 0 games in hand, respectively) for the upper half of the East.
I hope somebody pounds Darcy Hordichuk in the face for not signing with Carolina after we traded for him. Yeah, i'm probably the only one that remembered that but I was excited for him to play here darn it.
Meh I could care less about Hordi. He made his decision and it's not like we were screwed out of the draft pick as we're getting one back from Nashville next year since Hordi didn't sign.
Yeah, I know the draft picks even out but it's still a load of bull. I think it was a backhanded dismissal of hockey in the South in general when he said things like he wanted to go somewhere where they cared about hockey and that he wanted to play in Canada because they "get it", and whatever else.
the Hurricanes haven’t won in Vancouver in almost 10 years – October of 1999
the Canucks are now winless in their last eight games and have lost an eye-popping nine straight at home(we know how great the Canes are at getting teams out of their slumps)
Since superstar goaltender Roberto Luongo was injured on November 22, the Canucks are 9-14-6. He’s been back in the lineup for the team’s last five contests, but is still returning to form and yet to pick up his first win(we'll make Luongo look like the all-star and Vezina winner that he's capable of being)
------------ Also, there’s that Mats Sundin guy, who has just three points in nine games since finally choosing the Canucks in December.
(Sundin will be that superstar that Vancouver expected him to be)
Luckily I'll be in the car on the way to Orlando so I will only be listening, not watching, this slaughter