Friday, October 07, 2005

Game Night - Game #2

Pittsburgh Penguins at Carolina Panthers

Both teams lost their openers on the road. Carolina had a difficult road as well, playing the defending cup champs, Tampa Bay. The main difference now is that the Pens get to be someone else's home opener again, and then have their own opener Saturday night against Boston.

The best thing about tonight's game are the following two words: rookie goaltender. His name is Cam Ward and he's also making his first career start (he relieved Gerber, Carolina's starting goalie, who was hurt in their season opener the other night). The Hurricanes are saying they're comfortable with Ward, but would you be comfortable in your first professional start against the firepower the Pens have?

Anyway, other than that, the Hurricanes were highly successful in the preseason, and have some decent offensive talent. Stillman, Staal, Whitney (though he's hurt), Brind'Amour, Vasicek and Cole are the highlights up front.

They have some veterans in the back line, namely Wesley, Tverdovsky and Hedican. None of those guys will leave you shaking in your boots, but they're solid. Tverdovsky used to be a good offensive guy, but he hasn't played in the NHL since 2002.

The Pens will be trying to get some better results on the power play, where they looked good but had little to show for it against the Devils. I'd imagine they'll also be looking to shore up things in front of Thibault, as several of the Devils goals were of the gritty variety.

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