Tonight at 9:30 eastern time, the Canes will finish their disastrous road trip against the Avalanche at Pepsi Center. Although they played well against the Nucks on Friday and have shown some signs of improvement, they still have some things working against them and the road won't be easy.
Carolina has struggled on the power play lately. They converted only one power play chance in their past five games. Let's face it -- They've had problems scoring any goals. On this road trip, they've been outscored 10-4 and they've looked downright awful at times. With Rod Brind'Amour out of the lineup on Friday, they struggled in the faceoff circle and through the first two periods, they struggled to get any offense going. Somehow, they dug deep and found a way, and hopefully they can build off that tonight. According to the News & Observer, The Cap couldn't make it through Sunday's practice and is "questionable" for tonight.
Cory Stillman, who was hoping to return to action on Friday, suffered a setback, but has been practicing all along. They're saying he's "cautiously optimistic" that he'll be in the lineup tonight. I wouldn't hold your breath.
Since moving to North Carolina in 1997, the Canes have never beaten the Avs in 10 tries. In fact, the Whaler/Canes haven't beaten the Nordique/Avs since Dec 15, 1995. Glen Wesley had one assist that night, and Brendan Shanahan led the way for the Whale with 2 goals and an assist.
The Avs actually have a special part in my hockey fan life. My very first NHL game was the Canes hosting the Avs in their temporary Greensboro home on November 29, 1997. The Canes scored two first period goals, but lost 3-2. Patrick Roy was sharp that night, and I remember being amazed, more than anything else, by him. That wasn't the night that turned me into a hardcore fan, but it got me along the way. It wasn't until a few years later that I would become a "real" fan, and it was because of a girl. Even a few more years before I became a "hardcore" fan, and it was because of the same girl. If I wasn't such a dumbass, I'd have married her. Instead, she lives in Wisconsin now and we haven't spoken in over two years.
Anyway, the Canes will try to get back on the right foot and end their 10 game losing streak against the pesky Avs. Puck drop at 9:30 eastern. Avs fan and occasional commenter Pat Angelo will presumably be there, as will our friend The Acid Queen.
3 years ago