Friday, March 30, 2007

We're Doomed

Funny Shatner-ized FedEx commercial from awhile back should be found below. Just substitute the words, "...win our last five games" for, "...don't get this package to Houston..." and you'll pretty much have the theatrical rendition of my take on the Carolina Hurricanes. Looks like it's time for the boys to answer the siren call of the first tee at Prestonwood.

David Tanabe, the Turk is looking for you. He says bring your playbook.



JP's Got a Brand New Bag

Huge ups to my pal JP -the nicest guy I know but have never met in hockey blogging. He's now writing at AOL Sports for a site they call The Fanhouse along with compadres Eric McErlain and Europhile Jes Golbez.

I encourage you all to check out the site and put it in your favorites list. The Fanhouse is rich in irreverant takes and widespread smack - my kinda stuff. JP leads with a rip on Skeletor Sundin running his mouth about the Southeast Division the other day.

The Hockey News Player Poll

Other blogs have covered this in The Hockey News. Other than the fact that Sean Avery is universally reviled and nobody seems to have a burning desire to play in Raleigh, there's this interesting nugget:

If you had a son who was an NHL prospect, would you prefer to see him play:
1) U.S. college hockey (140) 52%
2) Major junior hockey (104) 39%
3) European hockey (26) 10%
4) Other (0)

Marty St. Louis, Thomas Vanek and yes, Jack Johnson, took this path to the show...at least for awhile.

Jack Johnson's Debut

The Big Bulis Rope-a-Dope
Photo: slam

While most of youse Easterlings were sleeping, Jack Johnson made his debut with the LA Kings. Yup, kid has nads of steel. On the night of his debut, young Elway-clone-with-attitude logged nearly 19 minutes of ice time and ran the point on many a PP. Not sure if that's evidence of his immediate impact or of the sorry state of the Kings blueline - probably a little of both. I jotted down some notes on the back of an envelope as I watched. Let's see if I can decipher them now:

First Period-Adrenaline Time

  • Johnson goes -1 in the first when he and his defensive partner overplay a puck down low. Tons of energy and that ubiquitous poo-eating grin for 20 minutes. Kid can change directions on a dime. Instantaneous acceleration and immediate power at the first stride.


Second Period-Test the Newb' Time

  • Jan Bulis cartwheels JJ at the blueline. Yeah it was legal, but Bulis basically got down on his hands and knees and then drove up into JJ's knee region finishing around the hip region. Kings broadcasters say it was clean. Kings broadcasters are weenies. Johnson pops up, bobbs his head to clear the cobwebs and gets right back into the flow. Scott Thornton goes after Bulis, but the Euro turtles and Thornton is sent to the box.

  • At the 9 minute mark, JJ gets caught up ice and then got away with a hook-pull down in front of the Kings net. I saw a lot more freelancing than I expected from a rookie defenseman in his debut.
Third Period-Hammer Time
  • Matt Cooke takes a run at JJ along the boards. Kid levels him with a shoulder lean. Cooke is a tool, nice of the rookie to remind him of place in hockey's caste system.

  • Moments later, Cooke retaliates with a elbow to Johnson's melon along the boards. Kings broadcasters used the term "shoulder," but again the Kings talking heads prove to be weenies. What I saw was JJ getting the pointy part of Cooke's arm in the temple. Johnson retaliates with a wicked slash. The two exchange recipes after the whistle, but nothing happens.

  • JJ's Tverdovsky-like puck cough leads to a Canucks empty netter to close out play.

Alternative Summaries:
Take A: Nuts and bolts, we got screwed.
Take B: Kid's going to be Bryan Berard with a mean streak. He'll score points and hurt some folks when he's healthy, but he'll spend much of his career at Walter Reed.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Hostile Takeover

We're Doomed! Doomed!
In a brazen power grab, the CB Skepticism Department seized control of the CB Department of Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy. The dastardly coup happened immediately after the Canes second consecutive game night bitch-slap, and sent the entire HHJJ staff of blue, yellow, red and lavender Wiggles sreaming into the night (thanks Bill for pushing the Wiggles to my frontal lobe the other day).

Great post by Luke on Lord Stanley's Blog that links to some serious statistical analysis on the Canes chances to make it back to the playoffs. I'll save you the pain. It's the statistical equivalent to "Slim and None."

Question for the Caniac Faithful: What's the deal with the little puck flip goalies like John Grahame do after they make a glove save? Crackers seems to gaze in a hypnotized fashion on his mitt while he rhythmically bounces the puck. The linesmen also seem cool on giving him his space while he goes thru the little ritual.

Oooh, that was nice
1. Mike Commodore puts up a much stiffer fight from his knees than the Black Knight from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
2. On his new radio show, Dennis Miller is off and riffing about things I just do not comprehend. He invites callers to talk, cuts them off in mid-sentence and then goes into a totally tangential rant...kinda like Monday Night Football, eh, cupcake?
3. David Lee looks absolutely fabulous in a Canucks lid. I'll miss that playoff beard. He was on his way to becoming our own little Geico Caveman around this time last year.
4. The Versus marketing staff are working to generate some buzz about their playoff coverage by reaching out to bloggers like moi. I do hope there's some cash for coverage involved. I can shill-wit-skill when properly compensated. For the record, I'm a huge fan of the World Combat League and the Iditarod.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

CB Skepticism Now Hiring

Do to last night's sudden surge of suck, the CB Skepticism Department has suspended plans to go on hiatus. Instead, the department now looks to create a new position: Director of Lost Opportunity Laments. Individuals with experience as the Ghost of Christmas Past, Bill Buckner and Buffalo-Fan are encouraged to apply.

About Last Night
I record the games, especially since many now start at 4 pm my time. I picked up the game at the start of the third period and was treated to fifteen minutes of massive suckage. Around the 5 minute mark, I decided to turn off the game and start smashing my temple with a ball-peen hammer - same sensation, without the troubling visual element.

The suits were out in force in Toronto last night. For awhile it looked like empty seats in the lower bowl. When I put my glasses on I realized that the stacked suits gave the first seven rows that look of emptiness.

From what I saw, it looked like Tim Gleason celebrated Jack Johnson signing day by bringing some extra suck to his game. Bad timing Timaaay. The Leafs did a lot of cherry picking last night. Reminded me of ponytail guy from my rec league. Ever the counterpuncher, it looked like Coach Mo has figured out how to break thru the Canes neutral zone scheme.

Not a lot of harm done last night, just a narrowing of that window of opportunity. The Bolts got whacked by the Kitties. Do the same thing tonight to the Thrash please, Olli-n-Company.

Oooh, that was nice
1. My kids made dinner last night-calzones that were moist to the point of still being basically raw dough inside.
2. NCIS and The Unit were re-runs, so I went to bed at 9 and got plenty of sleep.
3. That sassy girl from Phoenix did good on American Idol...or so I am told.
4. Rabbits haven't killed all my cape honeysuckles yet. Must be rodent revenge for my Mimsy rant.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

New Caniac Blogger Id'd

Please welcome to the rolls, "The Life and Times of a Caniac." She's got a nice blog, and she's president of the American Erik Cole Glow Association of America.


This is a very exclusive club Miss Ashley. Hockey blogging ain't easy. Unlike Colesy, you have to be able to use your hands in this line of work.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Paul Hester

Don't Dream it's Over

Tomorrow is the two-year anniversary of the death of Crowded House drummer, Paul Hester (center). Crowded House remains a top five band in the CB household. Temple of Low Men, from 1988, has a permanent place on my CD changer.
(jump to the bottom if you don't want to read the long-winded sea story that follows)

Back in the winter of 1989, I shipped out of Long Beach Harbor aboard USS Gary for a six-month Westpac cruise from Hell that took us to the Persian Gulf and lots of tedious tanker escort duty. We shoved off on a gray day in September, and I wasn't at sea more than five minutes before I hated it. I missed my girlfriend. I hated gray walls and stairs and gray pipes everywhere. I hated the same at-sea routine every day for six friggin' months. I hated the ocean. I feared the sharks, giant squids and awesome destructive power of the sea every time I flew off that rust bucket.

More than anything, I hated the skipper (ship captains hate being called skipper) of that wee lil warship. Schnurrpusch was his name, and he hated aviators. Treated all of us like shat from day one. When we left Subic Bay in the Philippines and started heading for home, he got on the ship's intercom and said, "Now it's time to leave the women we love and go back to our wives and girlfriends." And yeah Smurfy, I still have video somewhere of you running the Gary into the pier and gashing up the hull of the Gary. Yeah you blamed it on a "sudden wind gust" in your report, but I've got the video. F-U for eternity, you Captain Queeg striking bastard.

Crowded House and Tears for Fears cassettes were my escape from life at sea with a psycho sea captain and his cadre of terrified toadies. My roomate was the ship's weapons officer. He was so terrified of Smurfpuss that he slept in his desk chair, afraid that he would be caught in the rack sleeping. Dude had a nervous breakdown and didn't make it the whole six months. I on the other hand loved to escape to my rack to listen to music and watch mini-videos my girlfriend/now wife sent me to watch on my contraband video player. Smurfpuss had outlawed all personal electronic devices before the cruise began. I successfully hid mine.

Getting to the Point
Anyway, years later, my wife and I were travelling to Florida to visit my family and we had a short lay-over in Nashville. It was early on a Saturday morning and we sat down in a coffee shop. Our oldest, then our only, daughter was around nine months old. Soon after we sat down, I noticed a group of three or four scraggly looking folks sitting around 15 feet away. All looked deathly pale and hung over. The guy in the middle of the posse noticed my daughter in her purple polka dotted jumper and immediately perked up. He started making faces and ended up mugging for her for around five minutes. He had her giggling and cooing like crazy.

It was Paul Hester, and I leaned over to my wife and asked her if I should go over and say something. You know, tell him how much his music meant to me, how cool I thought the band was and what a prick Smurfpuss was. I was this close to going groupie and wrecking the whole scene. In the end, I decided to play it cool. Glad I did. And that's how I'll always remember Paul Hester.

Note: Make sure you include some Italian plastic in your festivities if you plan to celebrate Paul's life tomorrow. Crowded House fans will get what I mean.

UPDATE: Found this on a Technorati search this evening. Nice Hessie tribute and a wealth of CH vids.

Jack Johnson

Saw this first on Red and Black. Jack Johnson's oft-expressed and all-consuming quest for a national championship at Mee-See-Gann looks like it's over. Guess he saw the writing on the wall after getting trounced for two straight years by the mighty Miami Redhawks. Now Jack can't wait to get to the NHL and join one of hockey's worst franchises for a couple of meaningless games. Maybe he had to sign before the end of the year to qualify for the Kings off-season golf league.

I refuse to wring my hands on this. JR made a bold move after dancing with JJ for a long time. I dig Tim Gleason. Timaay's a Cane. He's one of my guys and Jack Johnson isn't. The Canes have a Stanley Cup and the Kings don't. Glen Wesley has a Cup ring and Chris Pronger doesn't. Scoreboard settles all.

CB Bad Movie Review-Death to Mimsy

Kill the Wabbit, Kill the Wabbit...

The worst movie I've seen in the last ten years. I heard it had a magical bunny, so I took my youngest to see The Last Mimsy. I teased her on the way to the show by kind of blending in some Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles riffs saying the bunny was a robo-ninja created by some ooze. My storyline would have been more compelling.
Here are the critical things you need to know about Mimsy before you throw down a dime on this mess:

1. People in the distant future will eventually come to depend on Intel Corporation for the survival of human civilization.

2. Humans will so pollute the environment that future generations will have to dress in green space alien costumes to avoid contact with contamination. Costumes come complete with huge helmet contraptions with buggy black eyepieces.

3. Once future-civilization takes care of pollution, the world will be covered with wildflowers - no trees to speak of but plenty of wildflowers.

4. In this pollution-free world of the future, kids can fly simply by wearing colorful hemp clothing and translucent non-petroleum based (I'm sure) plastic sandals.

5. Because of the Patriot Act, men in SWAT gear may just appear at your front door and whisk your family away to a secret interrogation facility after a large power outing without a warrant or any prior investigation/surveillance.

There were only two things I liked about this movie. First was the little girl. Rhiannon Leigh Wryn was adorable. Dig that name too. Wonder if she'll grow up to have a raspy voice and wear flowing layers of dance costume inspired clothing every day. I'd wait till her next movie, She'll still be cute.

The other thing I liked was the big green trees and abundant water they showed in and around Seattle. Damn I miss those things out here. And I want a vacation cottage on Whidbey Island with a pull down loft staircase just like the Mimsy family. And unlike Rhiannon and her movie brother, I will just ignore any Al Gore eco-survival lockbox that washes up on the beach. I'm sure that will keep the men in black helicopters out of my back yard.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Skepticism Department Considering Going on Hiatus

By Crikey, I do have hands!
What an effort last night in Raleigh. The boys are swarming and hitting (except Ray Whitney of course) like there is not tomorrow. Good thing, cause there is no tomorrow in the race for spots 6,7, and 8.

Ooooh, that was nice
1. Eric Staal's return to rocket-like accelerations and powerful drives to the net
2. The emerging two-headed, two-way monster that is, gulp, Joe Vasicek(?) and Andrew Ladd. This forum has never been the source for much Joe-glow, but I have been very impressed the last few games. February Joe lumbered along the boards in first gear with his back to the net. March Joe is proving a tough and physical defender and a heads up playmaker.
3. David Tanabe to endboard to Erik Cole for the second goal. Kinda like not calling your bank on a long range 3 pointer, but I bet David would say he meant to do it. Like the way Colesy ran over Craig Rivet on his way to the net.

Memo
To: Caniac Nation
From: CB Skepticism Department
Subject: It is way too early to even think about winning the SE Division.
Just because the Thrash and Ning are starting to see and quake at the approach of that ominous storm cloud on the horizon, it's not time to look ahead. Just make the cut boys. Sincerely,
Head Septic...errr Skeptic

Friday, March 23, 2007

Welcome New Caniac Nation Propagandists

I've added two solid blogs to the list. Carolina On Ice Blog, is a must for visual learners like me with short attention spa.. Hey what's that shiny thing over there?

Jackie Manuel's Posse has the coolest mouseover link tool thingy working.

I suddenly feel like I'm driving the Yugo of weblog tech.

Sorry to be late the party in welcoming you all to Caniac Nation West. All are welcome to join in the ongoing virtual food fight over at Southeast Shootout. Learn what a "Murse" is and why somebody special in our nation's capital might soon be donning one as a fashion accessory.

Craps n' Canes: Ooooh, that was nice

Had family in town the last two weeks and with the Canes spending much of that time idle, didn't seem to be much to write about. We artists need to be inspired doncha know...

Anyhoo, about last night. Here's the list..

Ooooh, that was nice
1. Erik Cole demonstrating that you don't have to use your hands to be an impact hockey player. Dude still has hands of stone.
2. Eric Staal's pool cue poke for a goal after getting stymied all night on more traditional shots. Note how Cole set up the goal with his Juggernautesque rush.
3. David Tanabe may not be a hockey god, but he's becoming kind of hockey-titan-like. Sign this guy JR. He's suffered slings and arrows and his game is on the rise. In other words, he's earned it.
4. Carolina's re-emerging five man attack. Commie, Tanabe and Nic Wallin have re-discovered the art of the timely pinch.
5. According to Groins Tracy, Alex Ovechkin mocked Johnny Grahame at the start of the third period. At last report, the last laugh went to Nic Wallin who recovered from his shoddy coverage earlier in the game to stone AO8 in the final seconds. Didn't notice Nic mocking anybody. Act like you've been there juniorovich.

The CB Skepticism department is still not convinced the Canes are in it to win it. The Sharks on Saturday will be a big test. Good to be back. Thanks for the nudge, Herr Wuf.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

It's Still Hockey Season In Coyotes Country?

Coyotes take on the Colorado Avalanche at 7pm, and all fans in attendance will receive a Derek Morris Bobblehead!


I get these "Coyotes Tape to Tape" email updates around once a week. Damn, it sucks to be so far out of the playoffs that all you can offer the remaining interested fans is a Derek Morris bobblehead.


Monday, March 12, 2007

Canes Recall Great Polish Hope from ECHL Everblades

Welcome Killer Kowalski!

I thought this guy retired long ago. Not sure how he will work out in goal, but I pity the fool who tries to camp-out in his crease. I see a nasty sleeper hold in Bobby Holik's future.
Don't know why I thought first of Holik...Oh yeah, It's because "Killer" looks like he could be the Unibrow's estranged dad.

F-Troop and Opportunity

Sorry Sarge, I thought it was my horse

F-Troop was a silly western sitcom I remember from the sixties. Most folks remember Larry Storch as Corporal Agarn. Agarn was the sixties sitcom equivalent of George Costanza. He was immensely irritating and never missed an opportunity to screw up an opportunity. My favorite character in the series was not Agarn however, but the nearly blind Trooper Vanderbilt. He was always worth a cheap slapstick laugh as fell into the well or stumbled around trying to mount his horse from the wrong end. For some reason, Trooper Vanderbilt was assigned to the outpost's cannon. Without fail, at some point in the episode, he'd panic and fire the gun in the wrong direction taking off some body's hat or collapsing the guard tower.

The more I watch the Canes futility in the offensive zone, the more I think of F-Troop re-sets. Like the men of F-Troop, they never seem to miss an opportunity to miss and opportunity; they can't shoot straight, and can't get seem to get out of their own way. The blown 4-3 PP in OT seemed an appropriate ending to another 60 minutes plus of Caniac frustration. Mar - Ent Malik, Matt Cullen and Brad Isbister all had a hand in yesterday's vivisection. You would think at least one of them might have bothered to send a "Sorry your playoff hopes got dashed by two tons of irony Hallmark card."

I was out and about all day yesterday and only heard the last few minutes of the game on Sirius. The Canes big playoff push didn't even last a weekend. The Euro-enriched Rangers out-hit and out-shot-blocked the Canes. Tells me who left their hearts in their hotel rooms yesterday in Manhattan. Neither Erik Cole or Scott Walker found the time to hit anybody yesterday. Squeeze Me? Didn't anybody notice target of opportunity, Sean Avery, out on the ice for over 20 minutes?

OK, time to re-group...again. Here's to hoping the injury to Cam Ward turns out to be a big ole gift-wrapped lump of opportunity for John Grahame. Lets see how knowing he's the man effects Crackers performance Tuesday night and beyond. I think it interesting that the Canes bypassed River Rat, Justin Peters to call up Craig Kowalski from the ECHL. Peters 3.0 + GAA seem more Hurricane-like. Next up, the Florida Kitties with nothing to lose and well-rested after their Saturday night thumping of the Thrash.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Memo From the Skepticism Department

The boys in the sightless eye need not get too jazzed after beating a fading Caps team last night. You can't say, as our friends and the N&O have been want to whenever the Canes sandwich a win between a loss, that this is a "turning point game." Only a "turning streak" of around five games is going to propel the Canes into solid playoff position. The still abysmal Hurricane PP was 0-7, and the boys took a slew of bad penalties over the first two-thirds of the game.

That being said, the Canes stepped it up in the third, and that for me is the one really good sign from last night's contest.

Oooh, that was nice
1. Cam Ward - The boy was way-poised -looked like he was is Steve Austin slow-motion mode. He saw everything and seemed to be gliding effortlessly between the pipes. NuhhhNuhhhNuhhhhhNuhhhhh.
2. Andrew Ladd - I say this kid is a centerman. He made yet another unbelievable outlet pass from the sideboards last night. He and Eric Staal skated with real power last night. Laddy also owned the front of the Craps net.
3. Scott Walker's Iron Melon - Scotty gets mugged by John Erskine and a host of Craps, but it's Erskine who doesn't make it back the the ice.
4. Anson Carter was a healthy scratch - honeymoon officially over.

Friday, March 09, 2007

While the Hurricanes were out

Time to get back to a playoff chase, eh? Atlanta and Tampa opened up 9 and 7 point leads on the Canes this week. It's looking like a repeat division title is gonna out for the champs. C'est la vie. Still time for some cheap shots before I have to gush in praise of the new SE boss.

Here's what happened among the other contenders this week while the Canes were recuperating and getting new tattoos:

  • Atlanta - 4 pts
  • Boston - Nil
  • Montreal- Nil
  • Islanders-1 pt
  • Rangers -4 pts
  • Florida-1 pt
  • Toronto-2 pts
The Canes are in 9th place in the conference, but none of the other contenders for the 8th spot and that dream matchup against the Sabres (arrghhh) are tearing things up right now. The Islanders have had a bad week. Chris Simon's scimitar chop on Ryan Hollweg last night was frighteningly brutal. It also set up the Rangers for their second consecutive victory over the Isles. Much as I'd like to be a closet Islanders rooter, it's hard to pull for a team with bookend thugs like Simon and Brendan Witt.

The contests tonight against the frustrated Craps, and Sunday in NYC will be critical. A listless performance in either of these two very winnable tilts will put the Canes in a hole just in time for back-to-back games against New Jersey. That would be death. If we see a rejuvenated team and resilient performances - as in coming back from behind to win in the third - tonight and Sunday, I will start to feel pretty positive about the Canes chances of getting in. Come on boys, lay the body on them thar Euros and all will be good.

Getting in is key. Anything can happen if the Canes can just get in. Buffalo is banged up again. Might be fun to walk in as a huge underdog.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Post-Stanley Cup Experiences

The New Jersey Devils won their first Stanley Cup Championship in the shortened 1994 - 1995 season. They swept the Detroit Red Wings in four games. Here's how the Devils did the Season after their first Championship:

  • 37 wins
  • 33 losses
  • 12 ties
  • 86 points
  • 215 GF
  • 202 GA

The Devils roster changed little between seasons. They still had Dave Andreychuk, Uni-Brow Holik, Bill Guerin, Scott Niedermayer and uber-captain Scott Stevens. They had rising stars in Brian Rolston and Patrik Elias. The Devils even added point-machine Doug Gilmour for the final 20 games. The Devils core remained intact; they stayed relatively healthy, but they still didn't have enough in the tank to make it back to the playoffs in 1996.

Deja Vu All Over Again
Much like the Devils in 1996 and the Canes after the deep Cup run of the 2001-2002 season, too much faith was placed in the leadership of a revered captain, a nucleus of brittle vets and a small collection of talented youngsters. Professor Puff (his real name) back at Miami University, used to say that there comes a time in the lifecycle of a product that you had to put some "New Blue" in your Cheer if you want to sustain market share momentum. I the NHL, I think that lifecycle runs from September to June.

Corey Stillman, Frankie Kaberle, Bret Hedican and Erik Cole have all missed games numbering in the tens this season. The Canes brass knew by August that the first three had significant health issues. The losses of Stillman and Kaberle for over half of the season meant 100+ points of '05-'06 point production would have to be covered by guys like Trevor Letowski and David Tanabe. That pre-season math still doesn't add up.


Last season, significant signings in the pre-season and again around the trade deadline put the Canes in a position to win it all. This season, JR proved timid at both junctures. Scott Walker was a solid, but not spectacular pre-season add. Big Slow Joe and Dready Locks at the trade deadline are not Recchi and Weight.

Ron Francis, Jeff O'Neill, and Sami Kapanen weren't up to the challenge in '02-'03. I think Rod Brind 'Amour, Glen Wesley, Bret Hedican et al. are not up to this challenge either. Roddy seems to be sporting that Ron Francis 100 mile blank stare (circa 2003) every time the camera pans his way.

Monday, March 05, 2007

T-Minus 14 Games and Sweating

I didn't see any of Sunday's Thrash game. Ignorance is bliss and in my case has generated some naive optimism in my melon going into this critical week in the NHL.

The Canes have 14 games remaining on the schedule. That's 28 possible points in play. Out of those 14 games, 8 will be against SE teams - 16 possible points. As of today, I will give six other teams a shot at the 8th playoff spot. Of those 6, only Montreal has played as many games as the Hurricanes.

The Rangers, Islanders and Bruins all have 3 games in hand on the Canes. Carolina does not play again until Friday. The rest of the contenders will be vying for up to four points this week while the Canes convalesce and try to re-focus:

  • Atlanta v. Florida and Montreal
  • Boston v. Colorado and Minnesota
  • Montreal v. Atlanta
  • Islanders v. Rangers two times.
  • Florida v. Flyers and Thrash
  • Toronto v. Caps and Sens
The Islanders, Boston and the Rangers will still have a game in hand by the time the Canes play Friday night in Washington. By Friday, Atlanta will probably have a 9 point lead on Carolina, and the Islanders could have a 6 point lead. Boston, Florida and Toronto will probably win one of their games, giving them a net gain on the Canes of 2 points. Of course, what will probably happen is that a bunch of these games will get "massaged" into OT, and we'll see a slew of 1 point games for some OT losers.

In any scenario, the Canes face a tough fight. Two games against New Jersey, a home game vs. the Sharks and five consecutive end of the season games against SE opponents remain on the schedule. Tampa has a most brutal schedule awaiting them - including the finish of their tour across the Northwest. Atlanta still has to play the Sharks and Sabres one more time.

Thus, hope remains, but things no-lookie good for this very inconsistent Carolina team. They are a pretty fragged bunch. There seems to be a lot of flail but little fight in these Canes. Last season, the Canes finished with a net +34 goals for margin. This season, they are a net -10.

To top it all off, Don LeGreca said on NHL Live today that he thinks "in his heart" that the Sabres were the better team last year. Yeah Don, you big fat Empire State homer. How can you ever be wrong when you "think" with your heart? The Canes generated more total points, earned the #2 seed, and won the season's head-to-head matchups (Canes 3-1 vs. the Sabres). This revisionism started even before the conference finals began. It's old. Scoreboard.