Every home game the lights go down. The booming voice of Brian Hoyle comes over the PA system, “This is a hurricane warning.” The warning siren sounds. Fans rise to their feet and cheer as “Rock You Like a Hurricane” blares from the RBC speakers. Fans are prepared to witness a hurricane of the hockey kind. Unfortunately fans may get to witness a hurricane of the weather kind if Hurricane Irene keeps moving towards the Old North State. Since our team is named after this weather event it seems only logical to examine how much the Hurricanes really are like a hurricane.
Hurricanes bring driving rain, storm surges and high winds. They are filled with the howling sounds of wind, trees snapping and transformers blowing. The Carolina Hurricanes bring the sounds of pad on pad hits with full impact, guys crashing into the boards, and the crisp sounds of skate blades connecting with the ice. We also bring the sound of the Caniacs thundering in full force making the RBC one of the loudest arenas in the NHL. Hurricane Irene’s sounds may be unnerving, but hearing a puck go tape to tape and the sound of a goal horn are music to Canaics’ ears.
To prepare for Hurricane Irene you should remove items from your yard that could become projectiles. Those closer to the coast should board up or shutter windows to protect their homes. The Carolina Hurricanes protect their house by placing Conn Smythe winning goalie Cam Ward in net. He blocks the shots and keeps the crease free of flying objects. Need your neighbors to come help you batten down the hatches? Grab a blueliner and let them help you clear that crease. Jay Harrison could be a handy neighbor to have.
Hurricane Irene keeps changing its path. Yesterday it was reportedly moving East only to find out that it has now taken a westward turn. This speaks to the end of the last season when Coach Mo was changing lines and defensive strategies like a teenaged girl changes outfits. Storms gain momentum and begin to pick up strength as they rotate over the water heading for landfall. Hurricane Irene is still labeled as a category 3 storm with winds of 115 mph moving through the Northwest Bahamas. The Carolina Hurricanes made a powerful push towards the playoffs last season gaining power only to finish in 9th place in the division, one spot out of being invited to the party. The Tampa Bay Lightning served as landfall for our boys.
We hope that everyone stays safe as Hurricane Irene arrives in North Carolina. Here’s to hoping that the Canes of the Carolina kind have been swirling over the water in the off-season gaining power and momentum to carry into the next season and on to the playoffs. I’m rooting for a category one season.