Kukla's Korner

Red and Black Hockey

Hurricanes @ Penguins

On Thursday, the Hurricanes will play the third of six straight road games when they travel to Pittsburgh.  Carolina has been off since winning in Anaheim on Saturday, and they elected to spend that time in Raleigh rather than setting up shop in Pittsburgh.  For some time now, Carolina has opted out of the morning skate when they’re on the road, but this time, they added a new twist to the itinerary.  Rather than travel to Pittsburgh one day early, they flew out this morning, allowing the players to spend an extra night with their families. 
The maneuver has been met with a lot of “whatever” and “it is what it is” comments. 
Traditionally, Eric Staal would have had dinner with Jordan the night before the game and stayed with him.  Instead, they won’t see each other until game time. 
Carolina hasn’t made any roster moves to make up for the three injured forwards, so I expect them to dress seven defensemen tonight and double shift Staal a lot.

Forwards Justin Williams, Scott Walker and Tuomo Ruutu continue to be out of the lineup.  No call-ups were made and no trades brokered.

The Penguins are not without their own injury concerns.  Defensemen Sergei Gonchar and Ryan Whitney have both been on the IR all season, and Hall Gill’s name has now been added to that list

The speculation is that Michael Leighton will get the start between the pipes for the Canes.  If he continues to play as well as he has, this could be the beginning of a goalie controversy.  At the very least, Leighton has elevated his status from “#2” to “1b”.  Speaking of goalies, Marc-Andre Fleury is under the impression that Carolina has a potent power play.  I’m not sure what he’s been drinking, but this simply isn’t true.

There is a tradition with the Staal boys.  Every time they face each other in the faceoff circle, a Gatorade is on the line.  I’ll try to keep track.  I’ll also keep track of Jordan v Eric in statistics throughout the season.  I’ll also track Jordan v Marc and Eric v Marc. 

Gametime is 7:30.

Filed in: | Red and Black Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: carolina+hurricanes, pittsburgh+penguins, staal+brothers

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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. 

David has contributed to CBC.ca for their Stanley Cup playoff coverage in 2006 and to the New York Times Slapshot blog for theirs in 2008. Red and Black Hockey was founded in July of 2005.