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Raleigh is Racin'

JimmyRALEIGH, N.C. -- I may be in Raleigh, but its hard to leave South Florida behind. All the talk around here surrounds this weekend's big race, you know, the one down in Homestead.

I've got my money on Jimmy Johnson. Been a fan since his Miami days. Good to see old Jimmer being successful in something other than football. Sure Joe Gibbs is jealous.

-- Some news out of the Panthers today; Stefan Meyer, scratched last night, is back to Rochester. Rostislav Olesz is traveling with the team to NC, and could be back tomorrow. I don't expect him back until Monday though.

Will be at tonight's Thrashers/Tar Heels game at Rbc, so come on back later, ya hear!

-- Beautiful day here in the Carolinas. Was here just two weeks ago, and it's hard to believe the difference in the foliage. Just an explosion of color; oranges, reds, yellows. Looks like AmericanAirlines Arena when there's no one in the building.

-- Speaking of that, I'm at RBC Center as we speak. Starting to fill in. A bit.

-- Carolina's Erik Cole still hasn't recovered from his hard-slam into Tomas Vokoun last Monday. Heels put him on IR, News-Observer says he's out seven to 10 days.

-- We're scoreless in Raleigh....Hedberg in net for ATL, Ward in net for CAR; figure on Grahame to face FLA tomorrow. K?

--  Hossa is a Hoss...Dude scores again....ATL 1, CAR 0

-- Free stat: Not only have the Panthers lost 13 straight here in Raleigh, they have been outscored 47-26...boo-yah...

-- ATL scores again....CAR struggling of late...last game was a 6-1 loss to Lightning...

-- Good couple of Family Guy episodes on. Yeah, we have our own little TVs up here in the RBC press box...

-- And now: Rocky III

-- Just kidding...watching Isles/Devils...scoreless in second there...Devils going on the power play...

-- Little frosty up here. According to weather.com, it's 37 degrees out there...that's Fahrenheit folks...

-- Caps/Bolts about to start....should be a good one...Lightning have won four straight...

-- Bolts up 1-0...still 2-0 here in Raleigh...9:30 left in the second...

-- FYI: Connected in Charlotte again today, marking the third time since Monday that I have been in that airport. Gave me another chance to read the Charlotte Observer.

-- Speaking of that, Charlotte Checkers are hosting your Everblades tonight. And it's Redneck Night! Free Checkers trucker hats to the first 1,500. Hope by buddy Stem got there in time.

-- I cannot make stuff like this up: Harris Teeter, the local supermarket chain up here, is selling Hurricane-branded wine. Called 10, to celebrate Carolina's 10 years in the league. Think it costs $10 too. Supposed to taste like sweat.

-- That I made up....

-- We're at the end of two here in Carolina; 2-0 Thrash

-- Also, tomorrow's game isn't on FSN Florida, but if you have Center Ice -- or know a friend/Quarterdeck that does -- it's on FSN South.

-- Funny story in today's Raleigh News-Observer. With Duke visiting South Bend this weekend, they pose the question as this: Is Duke the Notre Dame of the South, or is Notre Dame the Duke of the Midwest? Both are 1-9 so I guess it doesn't really matter.

-- Interesting fact about Raleigh: They don't use Zambonis here but Olympics painted up to look like John Deere tractors. Which is almost as cool as the Publix basket Zambonis Tampa had last year.

-- Empty net in Carolina....Heels had a big scoring chance down low...no go (that rhymed)....still 2-0 ATLs...Buck 18 left..

-- And that's that...Kovalchuk pots empty netter with 58.3 seconds left...ATL 3, CAR 0...Canes have lost two straight by combined 9-1...good luck tomorrow Panthers...I have a feeling this team is going to come out firing...

-- Oh, and John Grahame, whom I assume is in net, is 6-1 against Panthers past two seasons including 1-0 against them this season...

-- So, good night from the RDS Center in Raleigh....I'm going outside to freeze...temp has dropped to 31 degrees....it's officially below freezing...

-- Might need some of that $10 wine to put in the radiator to start my rental ride...

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George - are you sure the game is on FSN South tomorrow? I was watching the ATL/Car game on FSN South today and they kept saying no television tomorrow.....

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