|I'm not entirely sure what the link is between an Ice Hog and a Hurricane, but who am I to judge?|
(C) Carolina Hurricanes
- Eric Staal and his brother kindly reminded us this summer that hockey players can also get arrested.
- Former Hurricanes net minder Martin Gerber cannot be stopped in his quest for Stanley Cup glory. Oh, he plays in Ottawa now? Oooh. Sorry, buddy.
- A question posted to Storm Squad member Kerry on the Hurricanes' official website: "What nursery rhyme would you turn into a new rap song? I don't "do" rap."
- The Hurricanes won't win the division this year. Why? Because they've won the southeast three times, with two years in between each victory. This would be the third season since their last title. I know, it's so logical.
- When both the Oilers and Hurricanes failed to make the playoffs last season, it was the first time in NHL history that both Stanley Cup Finalists failed to qualify for the post season.
Odds for the folks at gambler's anonymous
12 to 1: Someone will make a NASCAR reference in the comments.
6 to 1: Someone will get mad that someone else made a NASCAR reference in the comments because sweeping generalizations don't heal; they hurt.
Obligatory serious analysis
The Hurricanes did last season what no team had done since the 1938-39 Chicago Blackhawks; miss the playoffs after winning the Stanley Cup in the previous season. Looking to turn things around this season, the Hurricanes will ice essentially the same squad that they did in 2006-07. The lone notable addition is center Matt Cullen, who was a part of Carolina's Stanley Cup victory two years ago. Last season, Cullen had 41 points in 80 games for the New York Rangers. Cullen should be a welcome addition to the East's 7th best offense.
The real key for the Hurricanes this season will be to have many of their younger players prove that their production two years ago was not a fluke. This season, Eric Staal produced 70 points, a full 30 point drop off from his numbers during the team's Cup run. Cam Ward's mind boggling 2.14 GAA and .920 save percentage from the '05-'06 playoffs were nowhere near his numbers last season, after the team decided to dump Martin Gerber and entrust the net to Ward. Ward is going to have to show the world that he won't be remembered for one spectacular playoff run.
Possibly the most serious issue facing the 'Canes this season is their defense. As a team they finished 20th in the NHL in goals allowed last season, and are playing in the high scoring Eastern Conference. The Canes are going to have to find some kids to man the point sometime, as Glen Wesley, Bret Hedican and Frantisek Kaberle are a combined 800 years old.
Prediction: The Hurricanes have a lot to prove and aren't drastically improved from the team that they iced last season. Cullen is a nice addition, but not enough to put them over the top. I think that they will find themselves in the 9th spot at the end of the year.
The best looking ice girls in Carolina
The Hurricanes have a Storm Squad, and this is the best I can do. Sorry.
Previous Editions of Preseason Foreplay
- Atlanta Thrashers - August 15th
- Boston Bruins - August 27th
- Buffalo Sabres - September 21st
- Calgary Flames - September 2nd
- Chicago Blackhawks - August 24th
- Colorado Avalanche - September 13th
- Columbus Blue Jackets - August 22nd
- Dallas Stars - August 13th
- Detroit Red Wings - September 25th
- Edmonton Oilers - September 1st
- Florida Panthers - August 26th
- Los Angeles Kings - September 8th
- Minnesota Wild - September 1st
- Montreal Canadiens - August 29th
- New Jersey Devils - August 19th
- New York Islanders - September 20th
- New York Rangers - September 16th
- Ottawa Senators - September 18th
- Philadelphia Flyers - September 6th
- Pittsburgh Penguins - September 6th
- Phoenix Coyotes - August 14th
- St. Louis Blues - September 9th
- San Jose Sharks - September 23rd
- Tampa Bay Lightning - August 18th
- Toronto Maple Leafs - September 11th
- Vancouver Canucks - September 25th
- Washington Capitals - September 12th