It was Steve X's idea to stay the night near the North Carolina campus so we could soak up the atmosphere, and I have to say, it was one solid idea.
The game was played on Duke's nearby campus in Durham, so all the college kids were out and about to watch the game on television.
Once the game was done -- the Heels stomped out the Blue Devils in pretty strong fashion -- the streets were flooded with people ready to cut loose. I saw Chapel Hill police gathering outside our spot midway through the second half, and one officer told me I had no idea what would happen if UNC won.
It was a mob scene, with thousands pouring into the streets for some good old fashioned revelry. You would have thought the Heels won a national title or something. Fans were dancing, crowd surfing and setting bonfires in the streets. The police let everything go, turning around traffic headed down Franklin Street before closing it off.
I wonder what will happen tonight if the Hurricanes beat the Panthers? Will Raleigh survive?
Somehow, I think it just might.
-- Not a whole lot going on at today's morning skate. Tomas Vokoun is back in net for the Panthers, with Pete DeBoer saying he hasn't thought about who would play tomorrow night against the Rangers.
DeBoer says Vokoun hasn't been overworked just yet, but if he did notice some fatigue, Craig Anderson would get the call without hesitation.
-- PDeB also said he's going back to the line combinations in place early in Tuesday's game against the Maple Leafs. That means the Sawgrass Express is back on the shelf; the Stephen Weiss-Nathan Horton-David Booth trio spent most of the third period together on Tuesday and they looked pretty comfortable playing alongside each other again.
If the Panthers don't get much going tonight, you might just see them back together.
-- Spoke to Radek Dvorak today about whether teams who have to fight and scratch and claw their way into the postseason have an advantage over teams who have known they are in for months. Dvorak, you may recall, was on an Edmonton team in 2006 that was the No. 8 seed in the west.
The Oil barely made the playoffs that year, but came into the postseason on a roll. All they did was knock off top-seeded Detroit in the opening round and work their way into the Stanley Cup Finals. Carolina needed seven games to knock off that Edmonton team in the Finals.
-- Big news coming in a few minutes on the Panthers. Will be a separate file so make sure you come back and visit. Cool? Cool.