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‘What I’m Watching’ — Gm73 @NJ: Canes take 9-game point streak into dangerous trap game

After an impressive 4-0-2 run in a stretch of 5 out 6 games at home in mid-March, the Hurricanes 2016-17 went on the road to die. The Hurricanes entered a run of 4 straight away fro home with a 9-17-8 road record. But through 3 games the Hurricanes have extended the 2016-17 season with a 2-0-1 mark that could have been 3-0 except for a last-minute game-tying goal in Philadelphia. Suddenly the Canes are only 5 points out of the final Eastern Conference playoff spot with games in hand. The challenge is a big one. With only 10 games remaining, the challenge is a big one. The Hurricanes must both make up ground quickly and leapfrog 3 teams in the sprint to the finish. But the mere fact that people are even debating if it is possible and what it takes is in itself a huge victory. And the fact that the Hurricanes will play a game that matters on March 25 is something not seen in a long time. The 4-game road trip concludes against the New Jersey Devils. To me, the game looks like a precarious one and potentially a trap. Record-wise, the Devils are the worst team ton the schedule this week. And after a decent first half of the season, the Devils have plummeted in the second half. The team is win-less in March with an 0-6 record. So why then to do I think this game is a dangerous one? First, I think there is some potential for a modest letdown by the Canes after pulling out a big win in Montreal on Thursday... read more

Checking In: In Position

  The Charlotte Checkers find themselves in the 4th and final playoff position of the AHL’s Central Division by virtue of going undefeated this past week. They bested the Ontario Reign 5-3 on Friday (Mar. 17) and 3-2 in overtime on Saturday (Mar. 18). The Checkers would then go on to beat the Iowa Wild 1-0 on Tuesday (Mar. 21) and 3-2 on Wednesday (Mar. 22).   Charlotte Checkers three stars Playing stellar in net for the Checkers, Tom McCollum is proving the team made no mistake in acquiring him recently. The former Grand Rapids Griffin is undefeated in five starts as a Checker, and he has stopped 139 of 147 shots thrown his way. This past week McCollum stopped 90 out of 97 shots for a .927 save percentage and a 1.75 GAA. The most encouraging thing for the Checkers is that he has looked calm under pressure and is not getting flustered and out of sorts after he lets in a goal. That has been one of the knocks on McCollum for his career, but he has done a nice job of cleaning that up while he has been in Charlotte. Another encouraging sign for this team and organization has been the solid play of Haydn Fleury. The 7th overall pick in the 2014 NHL Draft contributed a goal during the Checkers’ game Wednesday night and also added three assists. Fleury looked strong on the puck the past few games, not letting opposing players push him off it or poke it away, which could lead to a turnover. He also didn’t let the game get too fast... read more

MIDTERMS: Nicolas Roy (Chicoutimi Sagueneens, Quebec Major Junior Hockey League)

Today’s ‘Midterms’ update on Hurricanes prospect Nicolas Roy completes the series of check ins on all 17 Hurricanes prospects below the AHL level. You find the clickable menu for the previous 16 articles at the bottom of this article.   Nicolas Roy 2016-17 season capsule Nicolas Roy had another strong campaign in junior hockey during the 2016-17 season. He has captained his team to the playoffs. He has lead his team in scoring with 36 goals and 44 assists despite playing only 53 regular season games due to time lost playing in the world juniors tournament. And he has taken another step forward in his NHL development and accomplished about all he can at the junior level. He still has a final playoff run in front of him, but he is already under contract and will make the jump to the AHL once his juniors season ends.   Interview on Nicolas Roy with Steve Kournianos from The Draft Analyst Steve Kournianos (Twitter=@thedraftanalyst) is the founder and publisher of which covers NHL prospects pre and post-draft.   Canes and Coffee: How would you summarize/describe Nicolas Roy’s play in during 2016-17 regular season? Steve Kournianos: He had another solid year for Chicoutimi, which was bolstered by the addition of German Rubtsov (Flyers 2016 1st rounder). Overall, the Saguenéens are his team, and they don’t go far without him. He was logging a lot of minutes and was used in all situations, and would have been one of only a few QMJHL’ers with a 100-point season had he not missed 15 games. Canes and Coffee: Comparing Nicolas Roy’s 2015-16 season to the current... read more

Thoughts on Hurricanes prospects below the AHL level (part 1)

(Updated) The final ‘Midterms’ update on Nicolas Roy went up today. It is the 17th and final article on the Hurricanes prospects below the AHL level. From the various contacts, conversations and side conversations with other people, I accumulate a decent amount of insight into these players from people who watch them regularly. Based on those conversations, here are some thoughts on the Hurricanes prospect pool. An important starting disclaimer is that I watch very little of the Hurricanes prospects.   ALL LINKS ARE TO MIDTERM UPDATE ARTICLES. Hurricanes goalie prospects With the signing of Callum Booth to his entry-level contract last week, the Hurricanes now have 3 goalie prospects under contract – Alex Nedeljkovic, Daniel Altshuller and Callum Booth. Simply because  the Hurricanes signed Booth already, my best guess right now is that the Hurricanes intend to continue his development at the AHL level next season though I believe it is possible that he could play another season in juniors as an overage player. Jack LaFontaine made modest step-wise progress with a 3-way split of goalie ice time in Michigan and will certainly continue down that path next season. That leaves Jeremy Helvig. He was originally eligible to be drafted in 2015, but was coming off a rough 2014-15 season that did not earn draft consideration. He had a much better 2015-16 which is what put him back on the radar. His 2016-17 numbers are not as impressive, but from the couple people I talked to, he had a decent 2016-17 season. Even though he would be an overage player like Booth in juniors next season, the Hurricanes actually... read more

Gm72 @Mon: Canes roll to 9th straight game with at least a point against Montreal

On Thursday night in Montreal, the Hurricanes too their 8-game point streak to a tough destination – Montreal for a game against the best in the Atlantic Division. And once they got going, they won going away in Montreal with a 2-goal margin plus an empty-netter to make it 3.   Recap of Hurricanes 4-1 win against the Montreal Canadiens With a lineup that saw significant changes in terms of lines and defense pairings, the Hurricanes got off to a bit of a rock start. The newly-minted pairing of Jaccob Slavin and Ryan Murphy had 2 early miscues of the ‘big oops’ variety. The first play saw Murphy step up lose his stick and find an opposing player and the puck behind him. Lack bailed him out. Not much later, Jaccob Slavin turned the puck over when he was hit at the offensive blue line. The play quickly turned into a 2-on-1 with only Murphy back. Murphy failed to take away the pass across and Alex Galchenyuk easily finished into the open part of the net off the rush. But the Hurricanes good run on special teams continued when Teuvo Teravainen threaded the needle with a heady pass to find Elias Lindholm on the back door for a bang in power play goal. The shot totals were not huge, but the Hurricanes were loose at times defensively because of break downs, but Eddie Lack made a handful of really good saves and also got help from Derek Ryan who made a shot block that saved a goal. The second period was a little bit lighter in terms of break... read more

Thursday Coffee Shop: Elias Lindholm, Bill Peters and the 2016-17 season

Thursday’s Coffee Shop finds the Hurricanes in the midst of a solid run of hockey. There have been a few frustrating overtime losses in which it felt like the Hurricanes gave away a point, but when the a team hits a streak where the bad outings still earn a point in the standings, things are generally going well. This week’s Thursday Coffee Shop has polls and discussion on the state of the 2016-17 season and follow ups to Daily Cup of Joe articles on Bill Peters and Elias Lindholm earlier this week.   Carolina Hurricanes polls Please remember to click ‘vote’ after each individual poll vote.   What is the state of the Carolina Hurricanes 2016-17 season? It's over. It's not over. Shhhhhh...Don't say a word. View Results  Loading ...   Elias Lindholm was featured in a Daily Cup of Joe article that discussed this in more detail, but I wanted to put a simple poll out too. What do you make of Elias Lindholm's strong play of late? He has officially turned the corner and is now on his way to becoming a leader and/or star for the Hurricanes. He has turned the corner but his ceiling is still modest as a good top 9 forward but not necessarily a team leader statistically. I like what he has shown recently, but he needs to do it out of the gate and for a full season before I am convinced. Though this run of strong play has been longer, he is still due to regress again in 2017-18. Other (add in comments) View Results  Loading ...   I also... read more

Carolina Hurricanes Player Tags

Hot From Twitter!

March 25, 2017 at 11:39pm
Sunday #Canes Chronicle has links for rising players (Skinner/Lack/Lindholm/Ryan), Finnish history, prospects, more:
March 25, 2017 at 10:24pm
If you missed this article this morning, it is even more relevant now. "The P-word; what does it take?" => #Canes
March 25, 2017 at 9:31pm
@LuckeeeShot Yes. Won puck battle against 3 Devils & then somehow managed to get shot off in a hurry to boot.

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