Obviously, Carolina knows JoVa very well, and he won't need any adjustment at all in the locker room. There's maybe two guys in the room who he doesn't know.
"The Condor" played with the Canes on Saturday, giving the Hurricanes a Czech connection that has been missing for some time.
Belanger didn't play with the Preds on Saturday. Before he even set foot in the Preds locker room, he was traded to the Thrashers for defenseman Vitaly Vishnevsky. A very dirty trick by Nashville GM David Poile. No team likes to make intra-division trades, especially with the unbalanced schedule. Jim Rutherford doesn't even like trading within the Eastern Conference. This manoeuvre, though, puts Belanger back in the Southeast division. Had this been on the table as a three-way trade, Rutherford would have had no part of it. Poile insists that is wasn't his intention for this to happen, but I just don't buy that. In the long run, it's not likely that Belanger will be able to give away any secrets, but it's still dirty pool. I hope the hockey gods take note of this underhanded tactic and smite the Preds and Thrash appropriately.
Due to excessive drunkenness last night, I didn't see any of the Canes v Wild game. The Canes rallied from a three goal deficit to make a good game out of it, but lost 5-4. Eric Staal had a 3 (1/2) point night and Ray Whitney added a goal and an assist. "The Wizard" is completely en fuego. He's scored seven (4/3) points in the last two games and has 23 (9/14) points in the last 15. After getting a natural hat trick in a stunning 100 second span Thursday night, he told reporters that he was just lucky, but Eric Staal thought otherwise:
"It was one of those nights," Whitney said. "I was the beneficiary of some hard work by the other guys."
"You were on fire," Staal interjected as he walked past Whitney's locker.
"I was on fire," Whitney said. "Let's be honest."
He'll take a four game points streak into Tuesday's home game against the Kings. More on that later.