On the day before The Day, the Canes were back on the ice at the RBC Center for one last practice before heading to Newark for tomorrow's playoff opener with the New Jersey Devils.
One thing that was noticeable is the Canes will take a healthy team into the playoffs, always a good thing. Remember that in 2006, Erik Cole was out with the neck injury when the playoffs began. But the Canes have forwards Matt Cullen and Scott Walker, who missed time with injuries late in the season, ready and a full complement of defensemen.
"We're healthy, we're excited, we're looking forward to playing," Canes coach Paul Maurice said. "But in terms of confidence, you have to careful with that word because we're going to go and play a real good hockey team.
"The practice before your first playoff game, everybody just wants to get through it. They've got a lot of energy, they're flying up and down the ice, and we just (want to) get 'em off the ice and get to New Jersey and get it going.
"Everybody is rested, everybody is ready to go."
One of the "Black Aces," the six guys brought in Monday to supplement the roster, if needed, is getting in a practice with the big team. Brett Carson is the eighth defensman today.
The other "Aces" — Zach Boychuk, Brandon Sutter, Patrick Dwyer, Bryan Rodney, Justin Peters — had a 9 a.m.workout.