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Tweetmail No. 169: Vegas, Changes & Signed Sticks

by Michael Smith @MSmithCanes /

LAS VEGAS - Hello and welcome to Tweetmail, presented by our friends at Tijuana Flats! Wear your Canes gear to participating Raleigh locations on Wednesdays throughout the season and receive 50% off any entrée.

Tweetmail is a weekly feature on in which I take your Twitter questions about the Carolina Hurricanes or other assorted topics and answer them in mailbag form. Hopefully the final product is insightful to some degree, and maybe we have some fun along the way.

Let's get to it.

Tweet from @RangerRick: Now that the team has been here, what does everyone think of the Las Vegas venue? #Tweetmail

T-Mobile Arena gets full marks from me. I thought it was tremendous.

The arena itself is gorgeous, and it's in a prime position on the Las Vegas Strip. That can't be beat. Inside are some unique features, like the two bars that hang out over the upper level. There are also some very Vegas features, like the castle adorned with a giant knight helmet at one end of the building and a panorama of The Strip above it. It's got all the bells and whistles you'd expect in a new arena, too - a big, crystal clear video board, on-ice projection and a thumping sound system.

The game atmosphere was excellent - and it was a Tuesday night. The place looked full, and it was raucous at times. There were plenty of Vegas-like elements in the game presentation, like the story-based pregame introduction and the on-ice performance from their percussion line outfitted in pulsating LED lights (Drumbots) during the second intermission. It was different but a lot of fun from my perspective, and I can only imagine what it was like in the stands.

Even the players took note.

"Coming to a new building in a great city like this that looked pretty much full to me … and it sounded pretty full," Trevor van Riemsdyk said. "It wasn't hard to get up for this game, that's for sure."

"To face a new team in a new building in a new city, it was a fun atmosphere," Cam Ward said. "You can see why they have the record they do at home. They put on a pretty good show here. It was fun to be a part of."

The best part of Tuesday night's atmosphere was the hundreds of Canes fans in attendance. You made yourselves heard throughout the night; hearing a "Let's go Canes!" chant in a road building was a treat. I hope everyone had a great time. Maybe we do it again next year?

Tweet from @imbackinpogform: What kind of changes could the Hurricanes make to rise in the standings? i.e. trades, firings

This is a tough question because if there was an easy answer, we probably wouldn't be having this conversation, right? And here's the thing: maybe a move doesn't need to be made; maybe the answer is in the locker room. If there was a trade to make the team better, I'm sure it would happen. But, when you look at it, it's not as if the Canes have played poorly recently. They've had some rotten luck and have struggled with consistency, but they've done some good things that finally paid off in Vegas.

Tuesday night's win in Vegas, where visiting teams don't win too often, was huge. It was a good win in a tough building, and it swung some confidence back towards the Canes. Now, if the team can go into Buffalo and snag a win on Friday, you're looking at collecting six of a possible 12 points on this roadie. All things considered, that's not too bad for the longest trip of the season and keeps the team in a good position heading into the second half of the month.

And let's pull back for a second: as of Wednesday, the Canes are four points out of a playoff spot.

Tweet from @haleybobl: How many people generally win a signed stick each year for the first goal contests? #Tweetmail

The chance to win a team-signed stick is a new wrinkle to the Kayem First Goal Contest this season. Each game, a puck signed by the goal-scorer is awarded to a randomly selected person who picked that player to score first. Guess it right three games in a row and you automatically win a team-signed stick.

If correctly guessing the first goal scorer three games in a row sounds difficult, it is to a certain degree. I'm no mathematician, so I couldn't run the stats on the odds. But it's totally doable! In fact, we've already awarded three team-signed sticks this season, and it's only December.

If you haven't already played the First Goal Contest, try it out on Friday! It's super easy and adds some fun intrigue to the game.

Tweet from @CrazieCamel: If you are at the Roulette table in Vegas tonight do you put money on Red or Black? Tough choice here I think.

I did not play roulette while in Vegas, but had I, I would have put my money on red. After all, this is the #Redvolution.


Join me next week for more questions and more answers!

If you have a question you'd like answered or you'd like to share your thoughts on your T-Mobile Arena experience, you can find me on Twitter at @MSmithCanes or drop an email here.

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