No suspension for Cooke
Breaking news: according to the Post-Gazette the NHL has decided to not suspend Matt Cooke for his knee-on-knee hit on Erik Cole. Again, Pens fans know how this sucks to lose an important player to a kneeing incident and not have the NHL take action. This is also repeating myself, but I hope Cole doesn't feel the affects of this for too long and can come back and play at his high level as soon as possible. That's what would be best for everyone.
By now it's pretty famous that Cam Ward hasn't lost a playoff series as an NHL goalie. On the other side of the coin, the Hurricanes have only made the playoffs one time (this year) in three seasons when Ward's started the majority of the season's games, but one can't help but be impressed with what they've done once they've gotten there. And Game 2 has been where Cam and the 'Canes have really shined.
The Game 2 stat-line reads like this: 5-0, 1.17 GAA, .956 save % and 2 shutouts.
Perhaps even more impressive: two of those games went to overtime, none made it more than four minutes into extra time. The quick strike ability of Carolina's offense has to be recognized, but you can't go too far without crediting the man between the pipes who's play gave them the chance to take it to OT.
Cam Ward's been money in Game 2's, which is a big reason why Carolina's been successful despite their recent history of losing Game 1's.
Bubba at Canes Country, found a report about Carolina's line at this morning's practice. Tuomo Ruutu and Erik Cole both missed practice. But as we've seen with Sergei Gonchar, missing practice time does not always equate to missing game time. Reportedly I heard that Ruutu (rumored to have a high ankle sprain) is the closer of the two to returning, but that might be pure conjecture.
Chad LaRose practiced on the first line with Eric Staal/Ray Whitney and Jussi Jokinen jumped up to the 2nd line with Matt Cullen/Scott Walker. A host of reserve players cycled in and out on the 4th line, so it remains unclear who might join the lineup if one or both of Ruutu and Cole can't play, but expect the rough Tim Conboy to get a shot. If Carolina loses Cole and/or Ruutu, they're going to need to replace the toughness and physicality and Conboy brings that to the table.
Someone making sense
Finally, writer Luke DeCock of the Raleigh News & Observer has a message for some of the Hurricanes fans. Giving his best Ahhnold impersonation he says: "STOP WHINING!". Ok, maybe not quite like that but Decock did have a good piece about the ludicrous nature of those tin foil hat wearing co. No word yet if the paranoid and complainers have been able to see through their bleary, tear-filled eyes long enough to read the article.