Saturday, November 11, 2006

New Orleans Trip and Canes Welcome Brooks Orpik

New Orleans still has a long way to go. When the Cafe du Monde is empty at 9 am, you know things aren't back to normal. There are still many broken windows throughout the French Quarter, and the gutter systems on most buildings are gone. It poured rain on Monday afternoon and water that normally would have drained off simply cascaded out of holes in the old gutters and into open windows. Many businesses are still boarded up. Mr. B's Bistro, the first restaurant I ate at in New Orleans 16 years ago, was still boarded up-but promising to return.


Many shops have gone without air conditioning since the storm because they need a crane to lift a new compressor to the third story roof. Cranes are still in very short supply.

Good news is the folks in the hotels and restaurants are more hospitable than I remember. The locals realize they need the tourists and conventioneers to return if they are gonna make a go of things. Driving in from the airport, a few billboards proclaimed the return of big conventions to the city. Next week, the realtors return. Many more billboards announced the reopening of the city's strip clubs. Nothing should stand in the way of bacchanalia's return to the Big Easy.

Pens at Canes
Orpik and Armstrong - Malkin and Crosby. Not sure which is the bigger story tonight. Expect a very physical game.Erik Cole will be in full Kamikaze mode tonight. Look for Mike Commodore to be in Sidney's grill all night. Letowski should also play with a bit more pop in his game. If Cam Ward ca keep it close, the Hurricanes depth and re-discovered full court press should mean a victory for the homies.

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