GDB 26.0: THE DUDE ABIDES
The friendly confines of the ENMAX Centre have been extremely, well, friendly to the Hurricanes this season. Last night the boys wrapped a successful 5 game home stand that saw them collect a 4-1-0-0 record in that stretch. The question on everyone’s mind entering last night’s action was what kind of effort would the Hurricanes come up with on the heels of the 9-0 beat down of the Ice on Thursday? The answer was a solid 4-2 win over a dangerous Brandon Wheat Kings squad.
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Much like the Dude, Walter, and Donny, the lads need to keep rolling (even on Shabbos) into Cranbrook for tonight’s return match-up against the Ice. This will be the Hurricanes 3rd game in 3 nights, but the usual rules in these situations don’t seem to apply. Thursday night’s game allowed the Canes to use all lines and D-pairings throughout, so I’m guessing their legs are going to be a little fresher than they normally would be entering the back end of a 3-in-3 tonight. That being said, how are the Canes going to get themselves up for this one as it comes so close to that 9-0 victory? It would be tempting to look at this one as an easy 2 points, especially given the Ice’s injury woes, but that mindset generally costs you at this level of hockey.
The key to victory for the Canes tonight will be weathering an early storm. You know that Kootenay is going to be hungry for revenge in this one. They’ve basically had 48 hours to stew on what can only be called a disaster of a game on Thursday. Look for the Ice to come out of the gates hard and fast in an effort to dictate the pace of the game. If the Canes can make it through the opening minutes unscathed, get their legs going, and use their talent to take control of the game (how nice is it to be able to say that about the Hurricanes!) they should be just fine. Luckily, the Hurricanes will be helped out in the energy department by some loyal Caniacs that are taking a fan bus to Cranbrook for tonight’s action. From there on discipline will be crucial. It’s entirely likely that multi-goal Canes lead could result in some overt displays of frustration from the Ice players. The Canes will need to maintain their cool and win the special teams’ battle.
The Canes big guns have been leading the way recently and the team has strung together some W’s. Much like the Dude, the Canes need to abide in this one. Stick with what got you here, get these 2 points on the road, and come back to Lethbridge for another 3 game home stand. Like a fine rug, a win on the road tonight, would really tie everything together.
There’s not likely to be much in the way of lineup changes for tonight’s game due to the success the Canes have had in the last 2 contests. The Canes have been good in those 2 icing an identical lineup (outside of the goalie) in each, so I don’t imagine the coaching staff will be changing things up. Stuart Skinner should be back between the pipes looking to follow up his first shutout of the season with another solid display of goaltending prowess.
Game Day Prediction: The Canes put in another solid effort versus a depleted Ice squad and come away with 6-2 victory and in the process put a halt to their current 6 game road losing skid.
Obvious Game Day Prediction: Egor Babenko shows of his hands yet again with another highlight reel goal.
Not So Obvious Game Day Prediction: An un-named stranger in a cowboy hat goes berserk in the crowd when he discovers that Western Financial Place doesn’t have a good sarsaparilla.
What do you think? Who are you excited to watch tonight and what will be the outcome. Comment below.
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Professional student, prospective teacher. Red Wings/Blue Jays/49ers super-fan. Proud general manager of Team Mono and the Slumlords in a pair of fantasy hockey keeper leagues. Is there anything better than soup and sandwich? Twitter: @jsvsakamoto.