Maple Leafs-Canes: Carolina Looking to Continue Hot Streak

Robert McGeeSenior Writer IJanuary 31, 2008

Can the Carolina Hurricanes do it again?

They played a very good game Tuesday night against the Rangers and have won three of their past four games. But they need to keep their focus and intensity intact in order to keep the winning mojo going and that has been a problem at times this year.

The Toronto Maple Leafs should be a team the Hurricanes can handle, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it will happen.

The Leafs come to town with a new interim General Manager, Cliff Fletcher. Depending upon which Canadian newspaper you read, it will just be a matter of time until Fletcher turns the control of the team over to Carolina General Manager, Jim Rutherford.

While Rutherford has done the appropriate thing by refusing to address the speculation specifically, he hasn’t come out and said he wasn’t interested in the job either, like Brian Burke of the Ducks did. Caniacs will just have to wait until the offseason to see what happens.

I expect the lines for tonight to be the same as Tuesday night. Cam Ward will be in net and will be hoping for another decent effort by the defense. This will be the last home game for a bit as Carolina hits the road for a five-game swing that starts Saturday night at Pittsburgh.

In other brief news, Jeff Hamilton cleared waivers at noon and is expected to eventually be put on re-entry waivers, where some lucky team will get a bargain on its hands. Not only will they get Hamilton for half price for the remainder of this year, but the Hurricanes will be on tap to pick up half of Hamilton’s $800K salary next year as well.

That doesn’t seem like good business, but we have to assume Rutherford and company know what they’re doing.

For those of you who enjoy a bit of nostalgic news, good old 92, Jeff O’Neill, is back in the news today. He’s working out with the Barrie Colts of the OHL, trying to stay in shape. Maybe he’ll get another shot with someone next year if he works his behind off.

Game time is 7 p.m., tonight and it’s broadcast locally on FSN.