Great Canes’ moments of the past 2 years

Great Canes’ moments of the past 2 years

After a difficult day for the world yesterday, today’s Daily Cup of Joe offers a tiny bit of levity in trying to collect (with readers’ help) the absolute best moments of the Carolina Hurricanes from the past two seasons. Requirements are that it needs to be more of a ‘moment’ captured in a minute-ish or ideally less, so this is not looking for full games. Please add to the list in the comments or ping us on Twitter to have yours added. In no particular order but loosely categorized….   2018-19 regular season stretch run Petr Mrazek coming way out to clear a puck in overtime to be followed by an overtime game-winner shortly thereafter. The team’s reaction when they were on the ice after a win and Montreal lost to officially clinch a playoff berth. (Could also include Mrazek’s interview as the game’s first star.)   2019 NHL playoffs Warren Foegele’s first period goal in the first period of game 3 against the Washington Capitals that marked the return of playoff hockey to Raleigh and started a 5-0 route. Brock McGinn’s overtime game-winner in game 7 against the Washington Capitals and his leaping celebration afterward. Jordan Staal’s overtime game-winner in game 1 against the New York Islanders.   2019-20 regular season Andrei Svechnikov becomes the first player in NHL history to score a lacrosse goal against the Calgary Flames. Justin Williams scores in the seventh round of the shootout to win the game and put an exclamation point on his return to hockey. David Ayers being congratulated by team mates after a most improbable win in Toronto. Morgan...
Seeking (and finding?) forward depth scoring

Seeking (and finding?) forward depth scoring

Many years ago, NHL teams had three lines of hockey players and a line of limited function penalty killers and goons. Those days are of course gone, and good teams stock all 12 forward slots with players capable of putting the puck in the net. But find true four line depth can be elusive. Injuries disrupt things. There is still sometimes a need to reserve a slot or two for penalty killers who might be lighter on offensive ability. And it just is not easy to get everything clicking at the same time. Today’s Daily Cup Joe takes a look at the Hurricanes’ current efforts to build out a forward group that is four lines deep. The constant evolution of the situation itself over the past few weeks has been fascinating. Very recently, the Hurricanes were very much a one line team with Teravainen/Aho/Svechnikov on fire but nothing else really working. And in the middle of that the Hurricanes traded away two centers but received only one in return. So the team seemed to be desperately trying combinations seeking something that could work past the top line. Fast forward only a week or so to today, and the situation is almost reversed. Despite Aho’s two goals that both came on special teams, the top line has been struggling a bit of late. But driven by an unlikely source in Morgan Geekie, the Hurricanes seem to be making great strides on the depth front.   Teravainen/Aho/Svechnikov Other than leading the Canes special teams outburst on Tuesday, Aho’s line has actually hit a short-term slump in terms of 5-on-5 play. The...
Carolina Hurricanes schedule ahead

Carolina Hurricanes schedule ahead

With consecutive wins over the weekend, the Hurricanes are down to 15 games remaining in the 2019-20 NHL regular season. In addition, the team has successfully navigated the first three games of a potentially treacherous road trip with a 2-1 record. Today’s Daily Cup of Joe takes a look at the schedule remaining. The road trip wraps up with two games against non-playoff teams in the Detroit Red Wings and New Jersey Devils. Interestingly, both teams are playing decent hockey right now with respective two-game winning streaks. After the road trip is completed, the Hurricanes will play eight out of their last 13 games at home. The run of 10 games leading up to the final week will feature some repeat customers with a home and home set against the Buffalo Sabres and three more games against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The last week is interesting with two tough match ups against the Eastern Conference-leading Boston Bruins and what could be a wild card play in type of game against the Columbus Blue Jackets for game #81. With the Bruins extending their lead, there is a decent chance that the Bruins will have little to play for in those two games which would be helpful. If I had to make a short list of keys, they would be as follows: 1) Repeat on the Penguins. After the road trip, the Penguins make up nearly 25 percent of the remaining schedule, so having their number would be a huge benefit. 2) Run the table or close on the beatable teams. Beating lesser teams can be incredibly challenging this year because those...
Player notes: Edmundson/Slavin, Haydn Fleury, Morgan Geekie and Alex Nedeljkovic

Player notes: Edmundson/Slavin, Haydn Fleury, Morgan Geekie and Alex Nedeljkovic

Today’s Daily Cup of Joe offers a short collection of player notes.   Joel Edmundson/Jaccob Slavin I have liked this pairing with Slavin moved to the right side and Edmundson on his natural left side. Slavin has not looked significantly different switching across and the gain has been Edmundson looking much more comfortable especially handling the puck under pressure.   Haydn Fleury He suddenly has four points in his last four games with three of those being primary points from finding ways to get shots to the net from the point. In addition, he has averaged 20:46 of ice time in a much bigger role. Could he be on the brink of taking a step up? That is an intriguing situation to watch as the season winds down especially because the team needs a defenseman or two to step up with the team minus Brett Pesce and Dougie Hamilton. If he is breaking out as we speak, the timing could be perfect. As a restricted free agent who must be re-signed this summer, his late surge could put him in a bigger role heading into the 2019-20, but the effect on his next salary should be modest. He logged three-fourths of the 2019-20 season in a third pairing/healthy scratch role which dictates a modest salary increase over his entry-level contract salary. And though he has been collecting points of late, he is unlikely to score his way up to a significantly higher pay grade. Especially with the Hurricanes having a few other question marks on the blue line with level of play and possible departures to free agency, the...
Four potential reasons for optimism

Four potential reasons for optimism

To be clear, my intent is not to say that everything is okay or that with certainty things will end well. The Hurricanes four-game losing streak and repeats of the same problems are a legitimate cause for concern. But at the same time, the situation is not as dire as it feels in the midst of a long losing streak, and there are still reasons for optimism. And that is the subject for today’s Daily Cup of Joe.   Current place in the standings adjusted for games played The current standings show the Hurricanes in seventh place in the Metropolitan Division which obviously is not good. But if one counts games in hand as being worth one point (so playing .500 in them), the Hurricanes climb above the Rangers by a point and are only one point behind the Blue Jackets for fifth place and two points behind the Islanders for fourth place. Obviously, this requires collecting points in the games in hand, but the point is that the Hurricanes are not far off the pace despite their recent woes.   Other playoff hopefuls are struggling too If one counts the Capitals, Flyers and Penguins as being into the playoffs (not a sure thing but likely enough to assume for this exercise), that leaves two wild card slots to be won. By no means is it a certainty, but if you consider the Rangers also to be a team rising based on winning nine out of ten before a three-loss hiccup with a home and home set against the Flyers and another tough match up against the Blues, that...
18 games to go — What does it take?

18 games to go — What does it take?

While the Canes have been taking in their last extended break of the season with four days, off, the stretch run for the 2019-20 NHL season has rolled forward. When the Hurricanes return to the ice in Philadelphia on Thursday, they will be three points out of the last playoff spot held by the Islanders but actually closer to catching the Blue Jackets who are up four points but minus four games in hand. The finish will be a busy one for the Hurricanes whose 64 games played are the fewest in the NHL. That makes for 18 games in 31 days with five back-to-back sets and no breaks of more than one day. Today’s Daily Cup of Joe tries to answer the question, “What does it take?” to make the 2020 NHL playoffs.   1) A decent road trip Up first is a long five game road trip that includes four games against Metropolitan Division foes. It is no secret that the Hurricanes have struggled in division during the 2019-20 season. Couple that with a three-game losing streak and injury issues including the goalie position, and having a decent road trip is critical. If the Canes cannot right the ship after an 0-2-1 mark next week and stumble to three or four losses, the the team will find itself in desperate straits when it returns home for game #70.   2) Health on the blue line, especially Jaccob Slavin The addition of Brady Skjei and Sami Vatanen (who has yet to play) brought some reinforcements for an injury handicapped blue line. But especially minus Brett Pesce, Head Coach...