The Carolina Hurricanes needed to shake things up a bit to ensure some success down the stretch. They said "see ya" to Cory Stillman and Mike Commadore and said "hello" to Joe Corvo and Patrick Eaves. While Eaves is still nursing an injury, Joe Corvo made his 'Canes debut against Boston and helped Carolina come away with a win. He had an assist and was a -1.
But it's the revolving door of the division leader that makes news here. The 'Canes once again take the Southeast Division lead. The Caps once again fall to 10th in the eastern conference. Expect this up and down act for the rest of the season, but it may not be such a bad thing.
The Caps, Hurricanes, Thrashers and Panthers are all fighting for first. That is elevating play of all 4 teams that are still in the hunt. They have to win games. The more games the Southeast wins, the more the collective improve their standings points. They could eclipse Buffalo, Boston and NY Rangers if those teams should slip. Since the collective need points, they could all slide past those teams that might not be in such a crunch to make up those points.
But a lot can happen in a stretch of 20-25 games that are left. If the Caps want to taste the post season, they have to keep winning, and this road trip will go a long way if they can pull away with 6 points without surrendering a point in return. A loss won't kill the Caps chances, but it would make it harder once March rears it's head.
Some very important people will be traveling with the team for the Florida stretch, some of the player's dads. If they are anything like my dad they will get a lot of "What are you doing, skating circles out there?" or "Did you enjoy playing the whole game from you butt?" after the game. That or maybe they will get into fights with the other teams fathers in the stands. Most likely it will give a bit of a boost to the boys to keep moral up as they fight tooth and nail for first place. And yes dad, it's extremely fun to play from one's butt!