Tracking the Storm

Tweetmail No. 2: Olympics, Charlotte & Czech Cinema

Wednesday, 02.12.2014 / 2:00 PM ET / Tracking the Storm
By Michael Smith
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Tweetmail No. 2: Olympics, Charlotte & Czech Cinema
Answering your questions from Twitter about the Olympics, games in Charlotte and Jiri Tlusty\'s acting career.
Michael Smith
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Hello, and welcome to a new (as of last week) feature on where I take your Twitter questions and answer them in mailbag form. You may recall that I used to answer questions on Twitter each Friday. Same idea here, but with two differences: it’s on Wednesdays, and I get more than 140 characters to work with, which will hopefully provide you with more insight.

Let’s get to it.

Hey, Mike! For the players that didn't go to Sochi, how are they spending the break? – KP Kelly (@CardiacCaneKP)

The Olympic break officially began for the NHL on Sunday, Feb. 9, and much of the team scattered in various directions across the globe, whether it was to where they call home or a warmer climate, just in time to avoid another winter storm in the Triangle.

In a smattering of examples of where the Canes who aren’t in Sochi are spending their time off: Jiri Tlusty went to Cancun. Radek Dvorak said he was going to Florida to spend time with family. Elias Lindholm said he might travel back home to Sweden for a week. Head coach Kirk Muller was heading to the British Virgin Islands. Ryan Murphy is spending break with the Charlotte Checkers.

Technically, the NHL’s Olympic break lasts through Monday, Feb. 24, ending in time for the Hurricanes to travel to Buffalo for their blizzard-postponed match-up. But the players and coaches will be back in town in time for practices, which begin on Thursday, Feb. 20 at Raleigh Center Ice (full, regularly-updated schedule). Currently, the Canes have four full days of practice scheduled, including one on Saturday, Feb. 22 at Fort Bragg, before Monday’s skate-and-fly day.

Prior to the break, the Hurricanes mapped out what they plan to address on those practice days, a crash-course training camp of sorts. Think of the abbreviated training camp held after last season’s work stoppage: the Canes – and every other team – are going to have to go from zero to 60 in just a few days.

“We’re treating it when we get back like a training camp,” Muller said before the break. “We’ve got it pretty much labeled what we want to work on when we get back.

“Everyone has to stay in pretty good shape and be ready to practice right from day one because we really have just a few practices before we play Buffalo.”

The trip to Buffalo kicks off a season-long five-game road swing that will then take the Hurricanes through Dallas and California, spelling a crucial period before the March 5 trade deadline.

“With the schedule we’re going to have, no question,” Muller said. “When it starts, you’ve got to be ready to go.”

“That’s going to be a big 10 days for many reasons. One, we’ll need to see where the team is when we get to the trade deadline,” said Canes President and General Manager Jim Rutherford. “Coming back off the Olympics and going to play some road games … is not all bad. That’s a time where the guys … can get out on the road and get that chemistry and bonding going. That’s OK.”

Can you talk about the travel schedules of our four Olympians after Friday night’s game? – Fred B. (@fredbekker06)

Sure can, Fred.

The NHL and NHLPA had four charter flights leaving the United States on Sunday, including three from Newark, NJ and one from Atlanta. Three of the Hurricanes’ Olympians – Faulk, Sekera and Ruutu – flew out of Atlanta, and Semin left via New Jersey.

Immediately following Saturday’s game against Montreal, bags were packed for departure. Equipment manager Bob Gorman helped Justin Faulk run down a checklist of necessary items, pictured here.

Will the Hurricanes play a regular season game in Charlotte? – Thomas O. (@B_Low_)

This question has a complicated answer, one that probably doesn’t fit in this space, let alone 140 characters on Twitter. Essentially, all options are on the table for the Hurricanes when considering Charlotte, whether it’s a regular season game, a preseason game or even a Red-White scrimmage. As it stands now, however, there are no plans in the immediate future.

Meanwhile, the reverse – the Checkers coming to Raleigh – is happening for the second straight year. The Checkers will host the Abbotsford Heat at PNC Arena on Friday, Feb. 14 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 16 at 1:30 p.m., and tickets for both games start at just $15.

Paul Branecky made a triumphant return to on Tuesday, penning a preview of the weekend slate of games.

Wait, what? Jiri Tlusty is in a movie? Explain please. – Jamie K. (@jbk_ltd)

Yes. Yes, he is.

Tlusty broke (as far as I know) the news to Shane Willis in the CanesVision in-game feature “Loungin’ with Shane” earlier this season, which can be seen here. The relevant segment begins around the 1:20 mark.

“I tried to be an actor this summer,” Tlusty told Willis with a sheepish grin. “It was a great experience. It’s not easy being an actor.”

On Tuesday, former Hurricane and Stanley Cup Champion Mike Commodore (Twitter) stumbled across said movie entitled “Babovresky 2,” which had Tlusty’s face (among other Czech NHL players) and Hurricanes sweaters plastered on a poster. The sequel to what Tlusty said was one of the most popular Czech movies of 2013 premieres in February.

The official trailer for the zany-looking flick, which Commodore said is being released on the same screens as Hollywood blockbusters, is below.

Tlusty just missed Oscar season.


Join me next week for more questions and more answers!

If you have a question you’d like answered, you can reach out to me on Twitter at @MSmithCanes.




1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54


E. Staal 77 23 31 -13 54
J. Faulk 82 15 34 -19 49
E. Lindholm 81 17 22 -23 39
V. Rask 80 11 22 -14 33
J. Skinner 77 18 13 -24 31
N. Gerbe 78 10 18 -14 28
R. Nash 68 8 17 -10 25
J. Staal 46 6 18 -6 24
J. Liles 57 2 20 -9 22
J. McClement 82 7 14 -7 21
C. Ward 22 24 5 .910 2.40
A. Khudobin 8 17 6 .900 2.72