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Guy Behind the Guy: There Will be Caniacs

Saturday, 04.18.2009 / 9:59 AM / Tracking the Storm
By Mike Sundheim

As the plane rolled down the runway in Newark last night, Kyle and I started discussing our arrival time in Raleigh, and one other question: "Will there be Caniacs at RDU tonight?" It didn't take us long to come up with our conclusion, and we turned around to Hurricanes President and General Manager Jim Rutherford, who sits right behind us, and gave him our theory.

Mike Sundheim
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"There will be Caniacs."

And, of course, there were. Despite the 12:50 a.m. arrival time in the Tar Heel State, and the fact that we are just two games into the playoffs, they were there. We guessed somewhere in the neighborhood of 150 or 200 screaming, flag-waving Hurricanes faithful welcoming the team home and giving the boys a little taste of what's to come tomorrow night at the RBC Center. They chanted when we started coming around the corner and walking to our cars. They cheered each departing vehicle. And they put a nice early morning smile on a lot of beard-growing faces.

I even saw one quite popular Hurricane, who wasn't here for our run in 2006, snap a couple pictures of the scene before getting into his car. More than a few players and staffers paused to soak it in before driving away, and most gave the fans a few toots of their horns on the way by. The road ahead is long and difficult in our first round series against New Jersey, but there's nothing wrong with a little extra boost along the way.

To that end, we have every reason to believe what the fans will provide on Sunday evening will be more than just a little boost. Yes, there will be Caniacs. They'll be in the parking lots (which open at 2:30 p.m.), flags flying and grills blazing. They'll be lining the glass during warm-ups at 7, with signs aplenty. And they'll be standing, waving towels and roaring when the puck drops at 7:40.

As if the site of a few hundred of them at one in the morning wasn't enough to give us chills.


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