Did I say that things change just about every night? I think this is five days and four different scenarios … the Doctor is getting a tad punch drunk here! Okay, let’s talk Hurricanes. Let’s face it no one really HATES the Hurricanes except for those… Whaler fans back in in Hartford who really do deserve a team…
along with Quebec City, Winnipeg…….but that’s a whole other story saved for some time in the summer.
The Canes are a team that won the Stanley Cup in 2006 with a rookie Cam Ward in goal and hasn’t made the playoffs since. Ward got off to a great start last year then mental lapses and soft goals did him in. This year it looked like Mike Leighton might steal his job but the Pittsburgh connection Tommy Barrasso has fixed that and Cam Ward has been hot as a firecracker. When you think that Ronnie Franchise is also spending time behind the bench that’s some pretty decent Cup experience these guys are delivering.
Here is yet another team that fires Peter Laviolette and bring in the one he replaced Paul Maurice and folks… things have turned around. Barrasso, Francis, Maurice that’s some people who have been there before. If you recall they left Laviolette hanging for a long period after the end of last season – so his canning wasn’t a major surprise. Isn’t it amazing how much a new coach jacks up an NHL hockey team. I think it might be one of those modern eight wonders of the world.
Strengths: They are fairly deep in forwards with the addition of Erik Cole and especially now that Rod Brind’Amour has awaken from a deep sleep with a +11 in his last 14 games to go along with 8 goals and 10 assists. These forwards can skate well and also handle the puck. The defense has some skaters and puck movers too that can jump into the play such as Joni Pitkanen, Joe Corvo, Tim Gleason, and Anton Babchuk
Weaknesses: The Canes have been ravaged by injuries over the past three seasons losing key players for long periods of time. Those injuries have played a key role in their last two seasons and I think they walk on eggs until the final buzzer with many players.
Jim Rutherford has done a good job piecing together a staff and a team who have fans that rally around them when they are winning and they just might be doing that because of them bringing back fan favorite Erik Cole.
Unless there is a tractor pull going on in the vicinity of Carolina (wherever that is) the RBC Center will be packed with fans.
This is a sneaky team and most hockey fans aren’t even too sure where Carolina is so they can sneak up on you like a bunch of Peter Ahola’s.
This is DR Hook… carry on.