Local ACC football business as usual, but there’s always hockey

Posted on 10/09/13 No Comments

Jeff Skinner - Carolina Hurricanes

Ah yes, the timing is the same every year.

We love our local colleges here, that’s not to be argued. But, as is usually the case this time of year, our love for them becomes suddenly one-sided. Yep, it might as well be basketball season.

Sure, we start each ACC football season with high hopes for State, UNC and Duke but come mid-October, the season’s outcome is pretty much written in stone. A couple of them may make mid-tier bowls and talk will shift to all the potential coming back next year.

So now that basketball practice is underway, all we’re thinking about is mid-November. But like we said back in August, we still have tailgating.

With that said, the Carolina Hurricanes give the Triangle a great taste of high-level professional sports. Hockey in the South? Yes. With a Stanley Cup win to boot.

At this early point in the season, it’s hard for anyone to get a real read on the Canes, who sit at 1-2 after three games. They lost the opener to Hockey Town USA’s Red Wings in overtime after playing most of the game in control of the outcome. Last night’s loss was a bit more one-sided in favor of the Pens. Like we said, it’s early.

Not having goalie Cam Ward has revealed some bench inconsistencies despite the rather heralded signing of backup Anton Khudobin and it’s not uncommon for the Canes’ performance to be dictated by goalie play, which was clearly the drive of its past success. The team travels up to Washington to face their rival tomorrow night, October 10.

The one thing you can just about always depend on when it comes to the Hurricanes is the promise of a great home ice atmosphere. The team’s early success has not ebbed much. PNC Arena gets loud often and there’s always a few tickets to be had, making a home game a great family event.

The local fans are still creating the fun at games but understandably, we’re going to need a playoff run this year to sustain the momentum that once rocked the entire league. It’s been quite a while since a post-season W was etched into the books.

Let’s hope that changes this year.

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