I have been gearing up to talk about this Friday’s preseason match-up against the Nashville Predators. Unfortunately as this goes to press, lineups for the game have not yet been released. This will be my first game in the RBC Center since that heartbreaking overtime loss to Buffalo on April 3. I attended the Red-White Scrimmage last Sunday, but nothing is the same as the game-time atmosphere. I can’t wait!
The Hurricanes will be trying to shake off a 3-1 loss in the preseason opener against…yes…Buffalo. I really am not fond of those fellows. Nashville already has three pre-season games under their belt splitting the wins in a doubleheader against the Florida Panthers Blackhawks 2.0 this past Monday. Tuesday they played in what has been dubbed the “Baltimore Hockey Classic” shutting out Ovechkin and his Caps 2-0 on less than ideal ice conditions. Here’s to hoping they come into town tired.
The Canes will still be showcasing young talent looking to stake a spot on the big show roster, although the players to choose from are six less than Sunday. The roster was trimmed to 49 players as forwards Gregory Hoffman and Mattias Lindstrom returned to their respective European club teams. Forwards Victor Rask and Brody Sutter and defenseman Austin Levi and Keegan Lowe we be rejoining their Canadian Hockey League teams. Brody Sutter’s tweet about his return was tinged with disappointment, but he seems to have the right attitude about what it takes to make the team. It’s been great having the energy of the young guys down here in Raleigh.
The Canes are preparing for the Preds with practice, practice and more practice. Cam Ward headed back on the ice this morning and our Cardiac Cane editor, KP Kelly reports he is “Stopping everything as usual.” She also says “I like Faulk & McBain this morning. Gleason is on too.” This is all good news for the Caniac faithful. This first group of skaters took the ice at 10am and a team scrimmage will take place at noon. We will link you up with the roster for Friday as soon as we get it. To follow the practice tweet by tweet, follow the Hurricanes own Michael Smith (@MSmithCanes) on Twitter.
I am anxious to hear whether we will get a peek at Predators netminder Pekka Rinne. Normally I am a big fan of the Finnish keeper so I am hoping to see him but praying he has an off night. (Feel free to return to your great form when one of my fantasy teams starts up.) One Pred we definitely will not be seeing in the lineup is up and coming forward Blake Geoffrion. He is out for at least two weeks after slicing his wrist during Monday’s match-up with the Florida Panthers. Bad kitties. Swiss defensive prospect Roman Josi will also not see any ice time as he is nursing an “upper body” injury. This is a tough break for the 21 year old who is expected to play his first season in North America this year.
This Southern hockey evangelist must confess I have a soft spot for Nashville after following them in last year’s Stanley Cup race. The squad won their first playoff series since the inception of the franchise in 1999. But today is a new day and I hope they have forgotten everything they learned. The Canes will be playing knowing they have President and General Manager Jim Rutherford at the helm for another four years. The team announced the contract extension this morning. How about a preseason win to celebrate? I think it’s only fitting. Let’s go Canes!
12:33PM This just in. The Canes have made additional roster cuts reassigning six players to the Charlotte Checkers.
Want to learn more about Friday’s opponents? Stop by our sister blog Predlines. Feel free to leave us a comment and don’t forget to follow Cardiac Cane news on Facebook and Twitter: @CardiacCaneFS, @Esbee92 & @Caniac176.
Topics: Alex Ovechkin, Austin Levi, Baltimore Hockey Classic, Blake Geoffrion, Brody Sutter, Cam Ward, Charlotte Checkers, Florida Panthers, Gregory Hoffman, Jamie McBain, Jim Rutherford, Justin Faulk, Justin Peters, Keegan Lowe, Mattis Lindstrom, Nashville Predators, Pekka Rinne, Preseason, Tim Gleason, Training Camp, Victor Rask