Hurricanes: 34-29-10, Lighting: 39-23-11
The weekend forecast demands total destruction as the Lighting and Hurricanes clash in Tampa Bay tonight and Raleigh tomorrow. The Canes desperately need to gain some forward movement in the playoff hunt. Currently the Carolina team has been sitting idle in the 9th seed with 78 points, whereas Tampa claims the 5th seat with 89 points.
Tonight’s contest marks the fourth pairing between southeast division teams. Hurricanes have struggled to bring the storm in Florida. In December, they were trampled 5-1 and lost again in February during overtime 4-3.
Their one win against the Bolts came January 15th at the RBC Center with a high scoring 4-6 victory.
Tampa Bay may have collected more points during the previous matches; however, they have recently struggled. Bolts have gone 2-4-4 opposed to the Canes 5-4-1 last ten games. The Lighting are also coming off a tough loss, 5-2, to the New York Islanders.
Hurricanes need Erik Cole, Eric Staal, and J. Skinny to pack a punch this weekend. They have been successful against the Bolts in the past. Over the three games, Cole had a respectable goal and five assists. Captain Staal collected two goals and three assists while Skinner tallied two goals and two assists.
The thorns in the Hurricanes side…Martin St. Louis and Steven Stamkos. Not only are they leading their team in points, together the duo earned three goals and six assists while facing the Canes this season.
Bottom line…Staaland the boys need to keep that puck out of their zone. Just because we are fortunate enough to have a wall between our posts doesn’t mean we can afford to play the entire game before Cam Ward.
I’m tempted to talk about the double p’s, but avoiding the topic has seemed to positively impact the past few games and hockey is nothing if not superstitious.
Puck drops at 7:30 PM tonight in St. Pete Times Forum. LET’S GO CANES!