Morning Skate: Carolina BBBQ

("The extra 'B"'is for BYOBB." What's that extra "B" for?)

Heading into tonight's game, the Carolina Hurricanes have a ton to play for as they are the only team in the East on the outside of the playoffs looking in that can still make it. The Hurricanes have 87 points with 3 games to go, while the Bruins Sabres (thanks, Jeff) and Rangers both have 2 games left and have 92 and 91 points respectively.

Here's what the Hurricanes need to happen to make the playoffs (and if I'm wrong, feel free to correct me):

  • Win 2 games (at least 1 in regulation/OT), NYR lose both remaining games
  • Win 2 games, 1 OT/SO loss; NYR lose 1 in regulation, 1 in OT/SO
  • Win all 3 games, NYR lose 1 in regulation
  • Win all 3 games, BUF lose both remaining games

As you can see, the Hurricanes are in desperate need of points and that's going to make it a very difficult game for the Wings to win on the road tonight. The Hurricanes are a very capable team as they have some great offensive talent in Eric Staal, Erik Cole, Jussi Jokinen, Tuomo Ruutu and the young gun Jeff Skinner. Put Cam Ward in net in front of defenders like Bryan Allen, Joe Corvo and Joni Pitkanen and pretty much every game is winnable. 

In their last game out, the Hurricanes dropped a crucial point to one of the teams they're trying to catch as they lost 2-1 in OT to the Buffalo Sabres. With three games left, the Hurricanes are going to do everything within their power to get into the playoffs and that starts tonight. 

Canes Country is your SB Nation Hurricanes site. Give 'em a read, they do good work.

Today's theme song: Wagon Wheel by Old Crow Medicine Show. Lyrics altered to my liking.

  • Heading down south to the land of the Canes  Growing up in the neighboring state of the Canes, I kind of have a soft spot for them since they only play the Wings once per year and I have friends/family/co-workers that are fans of the team. I was pulling for them really hard the most recent year they made the Eastern Conference Finals. 
  • I'm thumbin' my way into North Caroline.  This will be Nicklas Lidstrom's second trip to Raleigh this season as he was the captain of one of the All-Star teams this year in Raleigh. Hey TPL, remember what happened last time Lidstrom was in Raleigh? 
  • Starin' at the road and pray to God I see goal-lights.  The Wings put up a pretty good offensive effort against the Wild on Sunday with 4 goals on 34 shots. The Wings are back to tops in the NHL in goals scored per game at 3.18 while Carolina gives up 2.87 goals per game on average (...so does Detroit).
  • I made it down the coast in 17 hours, pickin' me a bouquet of dogwood flowers   The rumor is that this is how Niklas Kronwall injured his shoulder. In all seriousness, Kronwall is out again with shoulder soreness. Am I alone in not minding that he's sitting out?
  • And I'm hoping for Raleigh, I can see my Red Wings tonight   The Hurricanes may be in the middle of "NASCAR Country" but these fans are intense when it comes to hockey. They're don't call themselves Caniacs for nothing. 
  • So rock me mama like a Winged Wheel, rock me mama anyway you feel   
  • (Skipping the rest of the chorus because I'm not creative enough)
  • Running from the cold up in Michigan    It's not much better down in this area right now. Raleigh's further south than where I'm at but it was 80 in Blacksburg on Monday and snowing on Tuesday. Holmstrom96 can back me up. 
  • I was born to be Hudler on an Original Six team    Oh Hudler, how frustrating you are. You went seven games without a point, tallied 4 in three games and are back to three without a point. Make up your mind, Sir Robin. That goes for you too, Roger the Shrubber
  • Pavel plays the guitar, Hank picks a banjo now     Ha, I got a picture in your head of Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg playing together in a bluegrass band. Your task: name the band. 
  • Oh the North country winters kept a gettin' me now    Mike Modano is back. How's that related to the lyrics? It's not really. Leave me alone.
  • Lost my money paying Leino so I had to up and trade him    Now that little punk is scoring 50+ points in Philadelphia 
  • But I ain't a turnin' back to live that old life no more       Bryan Allen is surely hoping that's the case as he escaped the quagmire (giggity) that is the Florida Panthers and is now with the Hurricanes. I've seen some of the games that Allen's played and I like his style...a lot. He's a big  guy at 6'5", 226 lbs and uses that size very well throwing hits. He's also pretty solid with stickwork and positioning. GIMMIE. 
  • Walkin' to the south out of Roanoke    I think I'll stop there, giving a shoutout to my hometown. 
  • For Discussion (no, that's not a lyric):  Chicago lost in SO OT to Montreal and the Stars won over the Blue Jackets. Chicago's lead on the 8th seed is tenuous at best (2 points over both Calgary and Dallas) with 3 games left. Simply: will Chicago miss the playoffs?
  • Go here, help animals. See Patrick Eaves' huge monster beast of a dog.


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