Tim Gleason vs. John-Michael Liles A Distraction For Carolina Hurricanes

Tom Szczerbowski – USA Today Sports

While the Carolina Hurricanes had to deal with the postponement of their game on Tuesday against the rival Buffalo Sabres due to weather, they’re still on a four-game win streak. With the Toronto Maple Leafs heading into Raleigh on Thursday night, one would think the hype would be around the streak.

Or maybe, the attention would be on Jeff Skinner and his all-out assault on every goalie in the league. Some might also say that the big story is the return of forward Elias Lindholm from the stupid idea of heading to Sweden for the World Juniors Championships.

A quick look at the Hurricanes’ contingent on Twitter and all things media-related will show that the PR push is about one thing: Tim Gleason and John-Michael Liles playing against their former teams after having been traded for one another on New Year’s Day. This is nothing but a distraction, and fans who think it’s stupid are right. It’s a safe bet that neither Gleason or Liles have this storyline higher than no. 86 on their list of 99 problems.

Carolina should be focusing on bigger issues like scoring first and dictating the action from the the first period onward. Goaltending should be an immediate concern since the bubble of Anton Khudobin and Justin Peters as the replacement heroes could burst at any moment. Can the Hurricanes hold the defensive end enough to prevent the bang-bang of Toronto’s attack? Even shakier is if their offensive push can stand up against the likes of Dion Phaneuf.

These are the things that should be front and center. Gleason has a chance to pick up a few things from his apartment and get his barbecue fix. There’s the story, now move along and focus on what’s actually important: extending the winning streak to five.

Michael Peckerar is a Hurricanes writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @peckrants, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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