Seven things I like about the 2017-18 Carolina Hurricanes through four games

Seven things I like about the 2017-18 Carolina Hurricanes through four games

If you appreciated the near daily Hurricanes hockey during the offseason and an even faster pace during the regular season, we ask you to please help our cause by purchasing a Canes and Coffee coffee cup. Two options exist to support the site and also net a nice Canes hockey collectible: 1) Simply make a donation to our “Coffee Fund” via credit card and/PayPal for $17.50 if outside of North Carolina or $18.75 if inside North Carolina (includes sales tax), and include your address in the notes or a separate email, and we will get a cup in the mail. The link to do so is here. 2) If you are local to Raleigh, you can purchase a Canes and Coffee Cup for the same price from coffee food truck Tenco and help a small local business in the process. $17.50 nets you a Canes and Coffee cup AND a free cup of coffee (we pay our delivery fee to Tenco instead of USPS in this case and support a local business in the process). Tenco’s web site with upcoming schedule is HERE.         Yesterday’s Daily Cup of Joe offered a quick assessment of the team by position. It also followed my notes on Tuesday’s 5-3 that were far from being all sunshine despite the win. A couple readers called me out for being unduly tough in my assessment of the team and game. (And by the way, I love the fact that different opinions are increasingly being shared on the site.) So to provide a balanced viewpoint, I will lean strongly positive today and offer a...
State of the Canes through four games

State of the Canes through four games

With two home games and now two road games completed, here is a quick assessment of where the Hurricanes are at this very early juncture of the season.   In the standings My playoff math says that a team must get two-thirds of the points at home and half of the points on the road to finish around 95 total which is usually a point or two above the playoff cut line. By this math, the Hurricanes are some tiny fraction of a point above a playoff pace through four games. That is a good thing, especially for a team whose recent seasons have all been doomed by lack of production in October and November.   In net Especially with Scott Darling making a significant transition to a new team, a new role and a new amount of pressure as a starter and Cam Ward sliding into a backup role for the first time in about a decade, I think the goaltending checks out well through four games. Ironically, Darling was not great in his lone win to start the season, but he played well in both of the losses only allowing a single regulation goal in each. Ward followed up Darling’s three starts with a decent start of his own on Tuesday night and seized a win in his first start in the backup role.   The blue line The blue line is still very much a work in progress right now. Peters’ initial decision to split Jaccob Slavin and Brett Pesce lasted all of one period into the season opener before he reverted back to mostly playing...
Gm4 @Edm: Jaccob Slavin and opportunistic scoring convert mixed bag overall into 5-3 Canes win

Gm4 @Edm: Jaccob Slavin and opportunistic scoring convert mixed bag overall into 5-3 Canes win

At the productivity level, Tuesday night’s game against the Edmonton Oilers was a huge success with a big two points on the road against a good hockey team. At the headline level, Tuesday night’s game against the Edmonton Oilers was also a success in that the Hurricanes scored in bunches with five tallies on the night. And especially with the Hurricanes early in the season, riding a two-game losing streak and trying not to dig a their usual hole on the North Carolina State Fair road trip, the results trump all else that follows. But Tuesday’s win was anything but textbook and a repeatable formula. When I condense down the Hurricanes win, two things jump out. The Hurricanes benefited from a tough night for the Oilers in terms of breakdowns and also a backup goalie but do deserve credit for opportunistically finishing at a crazy high rate. But between the intermittent grade A scoring chances gifted to them by the Oilers, the Hurricanes really did not play well at all. Puck possession, shots and most statistics other than the all-important goals leaned heavily toward the Oilers. The Hurricanes lost 61 percent their face-offs and were outshot 51 to 21. But I think there is a huge silver lining even in painting a bit of a tarnished image of the 5-3 win. That silver lining is the fact that the Carolina Hurricanes have twice now won games on far less than perfect nights via finding a way and opportunistic scoring. That story beats the good (or often not so good) old days when the Hurricanes dominated possession statistics but just...
‘What I’m Watching’ — Gm4 @Edm: Second try on the road against Connor McDavid and the Oilers

‘What I’m Watching’ — Gm4 @Edm: Second try on the road against Connor McDavid and the Oilers

After losing the first road game of the year on Saturday in Winnipeg, the Hurricanes will take their second try at road hockey in Edmonton on Tuesday night against Connor McDavid and the Oilers. Bigger than the road loss on Saturday was that the game was the second in a row with minimal offense and only a single goal scored. Monday at Canes and Coffee was focused on trying to spark the offense before the run of low scoring and the losses that inevitably come with it continued. Monday’s Daily Cup of Joe looked at four levels of options to try to boost the offense, and the Monday Coffee Shop featured reader polls and great discussion on the same topic. And apparently Coach Bill Peters awoke Monday morning in Edmonton with similar thoughts on his mind, as Michael Smith reported in from practice that lineup changes seem to be in process for Tuesday’s game. Michael Smith’s game day article at CarolinaHurricanes.com will likely have more concrete lineup information by late afternoon following the Pacific time zone morning skate. Based on what we've seen in practice, it looks as if Martin Necas, Josh Jooris and Trevor Carrick will all be in the #Canes lineup tomorrow. — Michael Smith (@MSmithCanes) October 16, 2017 UPDATED (NEW COMMENTS IN ITALICS/CAPS) AT 3:30PM ET BASED ON LINEUP INFORMATION. Against that backdrop, here is ‘what I’m watching’ for Tuesday’s match up against the Edmonton Oilers.   1) A noticeable desire to play hockey in front of the net in the offensive zone One of the things that stood out in the two flat efforts offensively...
Revisiting Carolina Hurricanes’ prospect rankings post-training camp

Revisiting Carolina Hurricanes’ prospect rankings post-training camp

If you appreciated the near daily Hurricanes hockey during the offseason and an even faster pace during the regular season, we ask you to please help our cause by purchasing a Canes and Coffee coffee cup. Two options exist to support the site and also net a nice Canes hockey collectible: 1) Simply make a donation to our “Coffee Fund” via credit card and/PayPal for $17.50 if outside of North Carolina or $18.75 if inside North Carolina (includes sales tax), and include your address in the notes or a separate email, and we will get a cup in the mail. The link to do so is here. 2) If you are local to Raleigh, you can purchase a Canes and Coffee Cup for the same price from coffee food truck Tenco and help a small local business in the process. $17.50 nets you a Canes and Coffee cup AND a free cup of coffee (we pay our delivery fee to Tenco instead of USPS in this case and support a local business in the process). Tenco’s web site with upcoming schedule is HERE. For previous donors and those who have been waiting on their Canes and Coffee coffee cups, I apologize for the delay. I hit a perfect storm with the start of the Hurricanes season and a few things with work and life that had me just trying to keep my head above water for a couple weeks. The good news is that the last couple coffee cup orders will go out Tuesday and/or Wednesday.   Back on August 7, I finished up a series of articles on the...