The Carolina Hurricanes move on from a loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets, a team who is used to and have been struggling all year. They move on to the only game against the Detroit Red Wings, a team who is currently struggling, but is definitely not used to being down in the dumps. The Canes need to use this to their advantage tonight in order to get their first “W” in the Joe since 1989.
The Canes have a mostly healthy roster, only missing Andreas Nodl and Jaro Spacek, versus the bevy of injuries that plague the Red Wings. Most notably, captain Nicklas Lidstrom has missed 11 games with an ankle injury, the longest absence of his 20 plus year career. There seemed to be some confusion yesterday over Lidstrom’s return, but ultimately it looks like it will be a gametime decision. Defensemen Jakub Kindl is expected to return for the Red Wings tonight.
The Red Wings are on a six game losing streak, but haven’t lost seven in a row in a VERY. LONG. TIME. The Hurricanes were riding a four game winning streak, but are playing the second of back-to-back road games after a humiliating loss in Columbus.
The Hurricanes did not skate this morning so at this point it’s unknown who will be in net, though there was talk yesterday of Brian Boucher getting the start in Detroit. This could be more likely after Cam Ward’s performance last night against Columbus. Ty Conklin has been called up on an emergency basis from Grand Rapids after Jimmy Howard’s groin injury. Still no time table for the return of Joey McDonald, who is dealing with a back injury. Rookie Jordan Pearce, who has never seen NHL game action, will be backup.
Keys to the game:
-POWER PLAY. POWER PLAY. POWER PLAY. The Hurricanes need desperately to score during Power Play opportunities. The Canes had 5 Power Play opportunities last night, including a 5-on-3 advantage. If the Canes had scored early on just one of those, the momentum shift could have made a difference.
-Forget Columbus, Forget you’re in the Joe. Dare I say, forget the playoffs? There is a lot of pressure mounting on the Canes. They needed the win in Columbus, they needed other teams in their division to lose last night (which didn’t happen). After the terrible loss in Columbus, they are entering an arena where they seemingly can’t win. The Canes can’t let this history get into their heads along with the pressure to make the playoffs.
Need something to entertain you before the puck drops shortly after 7:00pm? Check out this really cool new interactive fan experience on Fox Sports Carolina. You can compare player stats, see what the “social buzz” is on your favorite players, and ask the broadcasters questions. Want to hear the other side of things with the Wings? Check out our sister site Octopus Thrower.
Tune in to Fox Sports Carolina at 7:00pm tonight or 99.9 FM and stay positive Caniacs!
Which Cane will get asked to prom tonight in Detroit? Let’s discuss the options. Find us on Facebook at CardiacCane or chat with us on Twitter:@CardiacCaneFS, @Esbee92, @peacelovepuck, @caniac176 and @CaniacCaz.
Tags: Andreas Nodl Brian Boucher Cam Ward Carolina Hurricanes Detroit Red Wings Grand Rapids Griffins Jakub Kindl Jaro Spacek Jaroslav Spacek Jimmy Howard Joey McDonald Jordan Pearce Nicklas Lidstrom Ty Conklin