Red and Black Hockey
by David Lee on 03/27/10 at 03:08 PM ET
For tonight’s game against the Thrashers, the Hurricanes have activated Cam Ward from the IR and have also assigned Justin Peters to Albany. Peters has played very well for the Canes, but will be needed as the Rats head down the stretch and into the Calder Cup playoffs. And then there’s the fact that Cam Ward is back from injury. Ward has been out of the lineup since before the Olympic break with a back injury and will re-enter the lineup in the unfamiliar spot of the backup’s chair. Manny Legace, who is auditioning for next year’s team, will get the start in nets tonight.
With eight games to play, the Thrashers are two points behind eighth place Boston, while the Canes are seven points out, and virtually eliminated from playoff contention. The Thrash will most likely be watching the Bruins/Flames game intently, hoping for a Calgary win. The Canes are hoping for the same, obviously, but their playoff chances have become so slim that it doesn’t really matter.
Even if the Canes don’t have a realistic chance of qualifying for the playoffs, they’re getting an excellent look at the future of the franchise. For tonight’s game, seven of the group started the season in Albany. Despite having their best players taken from them, the Rats are still playing very well, and will get some of their players back once the Canes season is over. They haven’t technically clinched a playoff birth yet, but it would take several crazy scenarios lining up before the Rats would find themselves on the outside looking in.
Forwards Drayson Bowman and Zach Boychuk have been named to the Rats Clear Day roster and will rejoin them for the Calder Cup playoffs. Defensemen Jamie McBain, Jay Harrison and Bryan Rodney are also currently with the Canes but on the Clear Day roster. These young players have gained loads of valuable NHL experience and will gain playoff experience this spring. These will give them a leg up going into next season.
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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.