Tim Conboy is ready.
Not happy about the situation, about the chance to get into the Canes' lineup because of Erik Cole's broken leg, but ready to play and battle and contribute.
"It's exciting," Conboy said today. "Obviously you feel bad for Colesy. He's a great player and any time you lose a player like him it hurts. I think anything that can go wrong with injuries, for him, has gone wrong but he's a tough guy and he'll battle back.
"But at the same time, that's what they have me here for -- to fill in. I have to make the most of my opportunity."
Conboy was a healthy scratch in the first two games, antsy as he watched from the press box. While he won't replace Cole on the top line with Eric Staal, he may have a chance to be on the ice tomorrow night -- likely on the fourth line -- and make something happen against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Canes coach Paul Maurice says he wants to see more fight in his team's play after an 0-2 start. That's what Conboy hopes to provide -- unless Maurice elects to dress seven defensemen and leave Jay Harrison in the lineup.
"I'm not going to score 50 goals for this team. I have to make sure I bring the physical aspect," Conboy said. "If there's a fight needed, I'll be the guy to get in there and get into one."
Conboy played 28 games for the Canes last season as he split time between Carolina and Albany River Rats (AHL). Carolina was 18-5-5 with Conboy in the lineup last season and is 31-9-7 overall when Conboy has played the last two seasons.