Red and Black Hockey
by David Lee on 10/15/09 at 09:44 PM ET
A day after making the best save of this young season, Canes goaltender Cam Ward sat out Thursday’s practice. He was joined by Eric Staal, who has not been playing at 100%. Also missing from practice were Matt Cullen and Ray Whitney, who had two goals against the Pens in the 3-2 loss on Wednesday.
There’s no indication of why they say out, but I don’t think it was to attend opening day of the North Carolina State Fair. There’s no indication that any of them will be out of the lineup on Saturday when the Hurricanes begin their two week road trip in New Jersey.
While those four sat out of practice, the Canes were happy to see defenseman Joni Pitkänen back on the ice. At least for practice. Still no word on when he’ll be back in the lineup.
Meanwhile, down on the farm…
Justin Peters won his second game for the Rats on Wednesday against the Norfolk Admirals. The Rats won 3-1, getting goals from Stefan Caput, Steven Goertzen and Jerome Samson.
The empty net goal was the third of the season for Samson. In four games, he has quickly accrued eight (3/5) points. Samson was an undrafted free agent when the Hurricanes signed him in the summe of 2007. He’s in the final year of that rookie contract. Last season, he tallied 54 (22/32) points in 70 games for the Rats.
The Rats will take on the much hated Adirondack Phantoms on Saturday. This rivalry is heated for two reasons. One: In recent memory, these two teams hated each other when the Phantoms were in Philly. A bunch of their games included line brawls and donnybrooks. Type in the terms “river rats” “phantoms” “fight” in a youtube search, and you get no fewer than 40 hits. Tim Conboy was usually at the center of that for the Rats. But now the Phantoms have moved to Glens Falls, NY. This is a natural geographic rivalry, and there’s already history of the Rats hating the now defunct Adirondack Red Wings.
This will be the first of 12 meetings between the two bitter rivals, and we should expect them all to have about as many fighting majors as goals.
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About Red and Black Hockey
David Lee is a restaurant manager with an unused degree in political science. He can be found at Carolina Hurricanes games, Scrabble tournaments and indie-rock shows. Sometimes, all in the same day.