The weather changed dramatically in Raleigh, North Carolina going into Friday’s contest against the Chicago Blackhawks. The dark and dreary conditions are the affects of a storm…a storm brewed by Finns and Skinns. Hawks may believe two points will come easily tonight with the Southeast Division team, but they would be underestimating the power of the Hurricanes.
Jeff Skinner, Jussi Jokinen, Joni Pitkanen, and Tuomo Ruutu currently lead their team in points. Skinner ranks 12th in the league with 10 points (4g,6a). Four of those tallies came in the past two games. Jokinen and Pitkanen are Finnish twins with 2 goals and 4 helpers each. Ruutu rounds up the crew with 5 points (3g, 2a).
Carolina has played in 9 games, earned 9 points, and fall 9 counts behind current Eastern Conference leader Pittsburgh Penguins. Meanwhile, the Blackhawks have 12 points and sit #1 in their division.
Ok, so the Canes haven’t produced a storm of wicked proportions…yet. However, Ruutu appears to be finding his stride. Skinner is denying a Sophomore Slump with his play. Tim Gleason should get the ‘A’ on his sweater bedazzled for a shining early performance. Sutter and Tlusty are making fine cases. The conditions are right and the Hawks will not easily soar through our Storm.
Roster Updates: Anthony Stewart is back in for the Canes while Zac Dalpe continues to sit with an injury (although he did skate in practice today). Zach Boychuk takes Dalpe’s spot on the ice. Brett Sutter is a healthy scratch.
Head over to Blackhawk Up for your Hawk low down.