--So a happy New Year to everyone, and now how happy will it be in Carolina? Tonight is the first game in a brutal 2 week schedule for the boys from Raleigh, with 6 games in 10 days, 3 of them vs The Washington Caps, with Pittsburgh, red hot Boston, and Tampa squeezed between tonight's Cap game and a home and home tilt to wrap up the stretch.
So the going will get tough, now we will see if the end of December was the start of a team coming together, or just a brief rise in the tide. Despite coming off a tough loss to a quality, if somewhat beat up, Blues squad, the Hurricanes have shown a great deal of quality play from the net out. Cam Ward looks like he found something over the past few weeks with a personal 6 game winning streak and an amazing 9-0-1 in his last 10. But it is team D that is helping here also.
This team has shown of late that they can beat quality opponents having defeated Vegas, Columbus, and Pittsburgh during Wards hot play, and all in tightly contested one goal games. The next 2 weeks could send this team in a direction it has not seen in a while coming out with 8 of a possible 12 points would be a success, especially if some of those come from division rivals.
There is only 1 back to back in the mix so the potential to ride Wards hot hand is there, but I wouldn't be surprised to see Darling get 2 starts out of the 6 games.
So lets see how it goes, Lee Stempniak is close to a return, so the Canes add a piece at no cost, one has to wonder if things go well, will the Canes go out and try to find some scoring from a team at the low end of the standings, Evander Kane comes to mind, so lets go Canes show us if the tough can get going!