Justin Faulk battles for a puck during the Buffalo pre-season game (Courtesy: Getty Images)

The Week Ahead: Preseason Madness

The Carolina Hurricanes lost their first preseason game against the Buffalo Sabres at HSBC Niagara Falls Center on Monday 3-1. Brandon Sutter scored the lone goal for the Canes 47 seconds into the second period. You can find a full recap on the game by fellow Cardiac Cane writer Sally Brown here. There have been a couple of team scrimmages over the last couple of days, including an intense one Tuesday at the RBC Center. Each player brought their game face, since it was announced that the first round of cuts would be made the following day (today). Intensity was so high that the scrimmage even included a scrap between alternate captain Tim Gleason and Justin Soryal. Formatting of the scrimmage consisted of 5-on-5 play during the first two periods, followed by a 4-on-4 third period. During the third period, defensemen were actively jumping into the rush, much like they would be doing if it were an overtime period. Final score in this one was a 3-3 tie. Ah, ties. How we’ve missed thee. <insert sarcasm here>

Looking ahead, the Canes take on the Nashville Predators in their first home preseason game of the season on Friday at 7PM at the RBC Center. Expect to see some of the more ‘regular’ players to play in this game, including Eric Staal, Jeff Skinner, Tuomo Ruutu and Jussi Jokinen. The team then travels to Charlotte to take on the Winnipeg Jets (the artist formerly known as the Atlanta Thrashers) at the Time Warner Cable Arena, home of their minor league affiliate, the Charlotte Checkers.  The team will have two days full of practices and scrimmages on Monday and Tuesday until they travel to Winnipeg next Wednesday to take on the Jets.

There are expected to be several rounds of cuts, starting today (Wednesday), with others most likely coming before the 9/28 Winnipeg game and after the 10/1 Nashville game before opening night on 10/7 against the Tampa Bay Lightning. I have a feeling that it will be an extremely tough choice and will come down to the very minor details, as there have been many players who have impressed me so far during the preseason. Several of last year’s Charlotte Checkers are vying for only a couple of open roster spots playing for the big boys. These players include Zac Dalpe, Zach Boychuk, Drayson Bowman, Jerome Samson and Chris Terry. Make sure to check back on Cardiac Cane for updates during the next few weeks during the preseason, as everyone ramps up for opening night on October 7th!

 

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