When 2 guys drop the gloves before the puck drops to start the game, you know it will be a good night. (Way to go Scotty Walker!)
The Canes came off their long All-Star break to play the Rangers last night. After a rusty first period with over 60 minutes of penalties and an ejection (Tim Gleason - on his birthday, no less), the Canes came back to win the game 3-1. It was the best game I have seen all season. The Canes played tough, matching the Rangers punch for punch. They were not going to let the Rangers get away with anything in their house. They took a 0-1 deficit to the locker room after the first period, but came out with a different attitude.
The remaining 3 goals scored in the game went to the Canes. Each goal was a wonder to see. I noticed that each scorer (Samsonov, Brind' Amour, and Letowski) took an extra millisecond to wait for the goalie to make a commitment before taking the shot. There were no rushed plays on these scoring plays. I was in awe of the restraint they used, and that it worked - 3 times.
Cam Ward was back in MVP form last night. After letting in a deflection in the 1st, he remained solid in the rest of the game deflecting 34 shots. He even kept his calm in the last moments in the game when the Canes had 2 in the box and the Rangers played with an empty net. Getting out of the 6 on 3 situation as well as the other stellar play made Ward the first star of the night.
The Canes have 29 games left, and need to win 19 on them. I hope this team shows up for the next 29 games. If they do, no one will keep them from the playoffs.