‘What I’m watching’ — Rd1 Gm3 Vs. Was: NHL playoff hockey returns to PNC Arena with Canes seeking win to climb into series versus Caps

‘What I’m watching’ — Rd1 Gm3 Vs. Was: NHL playoff hockey returns to PNC Arena with Canes seeking win to climb into series versus Caps

After two mixed but decent efforts with no results in Washington, D.C. the Carolina Hurricanes return home to PNC Arena for the team’s first home playoff game in a decade. The situation in total is absolutely glorious. Regardless of how the 2018-19 season ends, the team is very clearly rising right now with a fun season that will many years from now be talked about as the “Bunch of Jerks” season. After a monsoon of a weekend, the weather is clearing for weather that will be perfect for as many hours of tailgating as people want to take in. At 6:30pm, what should be a rousing pregame will begin. And at about 7:07pm, the puck will drop for a playoff game in Raleigh, North Carolina. WHAT A DAY TO BE A CAROLINA HURRICANES HOCKEY FAN! On the ice, the Hurricanes face the normal process of trying to keep a decent amount of good from the first two games and at the same time make a couple adjustments to improve. Despite the 0-2 deficit, the margin in terms of victory versus defeat was small in the first two games. Even with early deficits to overcome, the Hurricanes played the Caps to a 6-5 score in 120 minutes of regulation not counting the empty-netter. One or two more heroic plays or lucky bounces could easily have made for 1-1 or even 2-0. But could’ves, should’ves and moral victories count for absolutely nothing this time of year. Down two games, the Hurricanes desperately need a home win to play their way into the series. My watch points for Monday’s game follow.  ...
Gm82 @Phi: Canes finish with 4-3 win over Flyers and chart course to match up versus the Capitals

Gm82 @Phi: Canes finish with 4-3 win over Flyers and chart course to match up versus the Capitals

The best part about watching Saturday’s regular season finale was the casual nature of wanting a win of course but not needing one. Canes fans will of course welcome the return of the nail-biting stress of playoff hockey, but not having to deal with it for the last game of the season was a hockey blessing. Despite the lack of stress, Saturday’s game did still have playoff significance with the Hurricanes playing to avoid a match up with the hockey juggernaut out of Tampa and also with the potential to move up to third in the Metropolitan Division. In the end, the Hurricanes 4-3 win did save the team from facing the Lightning but did not boost them to third in the Metro.   Game recap The game saw the Hurricanes start fast partly courtesy of a struggling Flyers defense that carried over from their previous game. Early on, the Flyers demonstrated a regular tendency to give up grade A scoring chances from between the face-off circles, and the Hurricanes capitalized. First, a Brock McGinn centering pass from behind the net tried to find an open Lucas Wallmark in front of the net. The puck caromed off his skate and found a second Canes player in Warren Foegele who was also unguarded in a prime scoring area. Foegele finished to continue his scoring binge. Two minutes later a similar play netted the Canes second goal when a centering pass to Jordan Martinook instead bounced to Justin Faulk who fired an uncontested shot into the net off the rush. With the Flyers struggling early and the Hurricanes capitalizing, the game...
Canes March Madness Bracket #1: Biggest moves in building the 2018-19 lineup

Canes March Madness Bracket #1: Biggest moves in building the 2018-19 lineup

In the spirit March Madness and the fun of brackets, Canes and Coffee will be running a series of mini-tournaments on the Carolina Hurricanes 2018-19 season thus far. First up is a bracket detailing the Hurricanes series of moves to build the current lineup. When one considers all of the changes that occurred starting with the end of the 2017-18 season to the current roster, the transformation is stunning. Only 10 players remain less than a full season later. The sheer volume of significant moves. The brackets include eight transactions, but that does not even include the trade of Jeff Skinner, leadership moves naming Brind’Amour coach or Williams captain, moving Sebastian Aho to center or the draft lottery win of Andrei Svechnikov. Early on, the various moves seemed to be a mixed bag, but given time and viewed under the light of the January turnaround, the series of moves looks increasingly close to perfect. Though each and every one of these moves deserves its share of credit in the current winning trajectory, just for fun this bracket takes a shot at determining which were most critical.   Please remember to click vote after each individual poll response.   Biggest roster moves -- Match up #1 Claiming Curtis McElhinney off of waivers to replace an injured Scott Darling. Lucas Wallmark and Warren Foegele making the opening day roster out of training camp. View Results  Loading ...   Biggest roster moves -- Match up #2 Pulling off a blockbuster trade at the end of the draft adding Dougie Hamilton, Micheal Ferland and prospect Adam Fox in exchange for Elias Lindholm and...
Game preview for 2018 Backyard Brawl: Carolina Hockey vs. the NC State Icepack

Game preview for 2018 Backyard Brawl: Carolina Hockey vs. the NC State Icepack

That time of year is here and earlier than usual compared to recent years. On Monday night at PNC Arena, local hockey takes center stage as the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill takes on North Carolina State in men’s hockey. The ‘Backyard Brawl’ as it was termed a few years back has always been a great showcase of local hockey and a fun event that brings the competitive local sports rivalry onto the ice.   Details When: 7pm on Monday, October 22 Where: PNC Arena Cost: Parking is free and admission is only a modest donation at the door (no advance tickets required)   Game preview — The NC State side Thank you to Zak Selwaeh for providing an update for the NC State side. Preview provided by Zak Selwaeh Zak Selwaeh (Twitter=@TheOfficialZMP) is currently the Play by Play Broadcaster for NC State Hockey after traveling with the team last season as the Color Analyst. Zak is a huge fan of hockey and his favorite team is the Carolina Hurricanes. Zak also stays up to date with the latest happenings across the NHL. Aside from hockey, Zak spends time playing guitar and writing/recording/producing his own music and also may have a slight obsession with freshly baked pita bread and hummus.   North Carolina State Icepack preview Canes and Coffee: How has the North Carolina State hockey team started the 2018-19 season? Zak Selwaeh: State has had by far and away their best start in the past several seasons. The team is currently 7-0, is ranked at the top of the Carolina East Division, and is second in the league...
The Coffee Shop Reopens! 2b of 2: Over/under for Carolina Hurricanes 2018-19 season

The Coffee Shop Reopens! 2b of 2: Over/under for Carolina Hurricanes 2018-19 season

After a bit of a delay for the burst four games in six nights to kick off the season, here is part 2b of 2 predicting over or under for individual Canes players for the 2018-19 season. We also challenge everyone to log one outlandish prediction in the comments below, so we can look back in May or June and mostly chuckle but also hopefully find a couple brilliant predictions. Part 1 which is HERE was more team focused. Part 2 had players Sebastian Aho through Martin Necas.   Carolina Hurricanes over/under polls Please remember to click ‘vote’ after each individual poll response.   Petr Mrazek -- 40 starts -- With the opening available, can he establish himself as the Canes #1? Over Under View Results  Loading ...   Brett Pesce -- 28 points -- In his fourth season, does he find a higher gear offensively (or just continue to be a stalwart stay-home D which is fine too)? Over Under View Results  Loading ...   Victor Rask -- Depth or Return to Significant Role -- Where does Victor Rask fit into the new lineup once he returns? He plays a significant role playing center and anchoring a solid line. He is passed by the youth and returns only as forward depth. View Results  Loading ...   Jaccob Slavin -- 40 points -- Like Pesce, can Slavin find a higher gear offensively in his fourth year, or is he destined to just be top-end on the defensive side of the puck? Over Under View Results  Loading ...   Jordan Staal -- 50 points -- Is he destined to continue...