Red and Black Hockey
by David Lee on 12/28/10 at 02:54 PM ET
On Tuesday night, the Hurricanes will travel to Toronto, where they will try to pull out of a three-game losing skid. Their opponent for tonight, the Maple Leafs, has been a disappointment to the home team fans. At one point this season, a Leafs fan was so upset with his team that he threw a waffle onto the Air Canada Centre ice. This earned the fan a permanent ban from all events in the ACC and all other venues governed by Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment. Carolina will hope to upset the home crowd tonight, and will be on the lookout for flying Christmas fruitcakes.
I’m on the road and haven’t been able to see any of the action since last Monday, but I know that the Canes have had enough of losing by the score of 3-2.
Tim Gleason, who was exiled to the dressing room for the bulk of Sunday’s game, will be back on the ice, and that’ll be a big boost to Carolina’s blue line. He was sent off for a questionable charging call late in the first period of the game against Washington and assessed a game misconduct. He hasn’t and won’t apologise for the hit, which started a Rube Goldberg-esque chain of events that culminated in Mathieu Perreault lying bloody on the ice. Gleason hit Perreault, who had his stick high, bracing for the hit. The stick snapped and ended up hitting and cutting Perreault’s face. Because of this, he fell face-first to the ice and broke his nose.
The important thing is that Gleason understands that the referees were in a position where they had to make a call on the spot, and were almost forced to make the call because of what appeared to have happened. The league wasn’t at all interested in issuing any supplementary discipline, so he’ll be back in action on the top pairing.
Carolina’s power play has been struggling to make things happen, and that’s been a focus of the practice sessions this week. Ron Francis has been working on this, and the coaching staff has decided to get Brandon Sutter and Chad LaRose involved in this. Sharpie has been a major player on the penalty kill units for the last couple of seasons, but he has never scored a power play goal. They’re hoping to change that, starting tonight.
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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.