NCSU vs. UNC at PNC Arena on Monday night: The NC State Icepack side

NCSU vs. UNC at PNC Arena on Monday night: The NC State Icepack side

Tonight at PNC Arena, local hockey takes the center stage when Carolina Hockey and the NC State Icepack face-off. The game starts at 7pm with free parking and a (recommended) $5 donation at the door. The atmosphere was electric for this game/event last year and comes highly recommended for Monday night hockey entertainment.   This preview is the NC State side. Please also check out the Carolina Hockey side HERE.   About the interviewee Ethan Barry (Twitter=@ejoebarry) is a junior at NC State and major in communications with a concentration in media. He is the play-by-play voice of NC State hockey for PackTV which covers all home games and streams them live on YouTube and/or broadcasts them on the radio on WKNC 88.1 FM. The 2017-18 season represents Ethan’s third year covering the hockey team for PackTV first as a director for two years and now calling the games in 2017-18.   Check in on NC State Hockey heading into Monday’s match up with UNC-Chapel Hill   Canes and Coffee: How has NC State Hockey fared thus far in their 2017-18 season? Ethan Barry: The Pack comes into Monday’s game at 8-4 and 7-3 in the ACCHL. However, the way the ACCHL works, only divisional games (and games in the Stephen Russell Memorial Tournament) count towards making the ACCHL tournament. State, UNC-Chapel Hill, Duke and Charlotte are in the same division and play each other twice. The Pack went 2-1 in the Stephen Russell Tournament and have beaten both Duke and Charlotte so far this year. In a nutshell, State has won 4 of the 5 games that help...
Calling It Now: 10 Premonitions for the 2017-18 Carolina Hurricanes Season by Cory Fogg

Calling It Now: 10 Premonitions for the 2017-18 Carolina Hurricanes Season by Cory Fogg

Matt’s quick introduction: This week we will introduce the 2017-18 writing team at Canes and Coffee with a short series of articles that takes a look into the crystal ball and/or previews the 2017-18 Carolina Hurricanes season. Up first is Cory Fogg who I am thrilled to have back for a second season at Canes and Coffee. Cory’s writing will run the gamut, but his specialty is writing feature articles that go in depth on a particular topic. Welcome back Cory!   As we count down to opening night, we all have our thoughts on what’s going to happen. Really the only givens over the past nine years have been that ‘we won’t make the playoffs’ and the opener is better known as “The Game with the Most Hurricanes Fans in Attendance All Season’. Many Caniacs, myself included, believe that this season is the first year in that span with a real chance of getting out of Rebuilding Mode and into Playoff Mode. My roommate and I, both half season-ticket holders, always enjoy going through the season playing Nostradamus over what’s going to happen next. The phrase “Calling it now” is often heard in our domain, usually followed by some ridiculous premonition that we’re only saying so that we can have ‘In-House Hockey Genius’ bragging rights. Or just the sound of hot air expanding in our heads.  In any case, with the Hurricanes season now here, I thought it would be fun to channel my inner hockey clairvoyant for all of you. Because, obviously, the more people who know, the higher the ego boost if I’m right. So without...
Hurricanes name Jordan Staal and Justin Faulk co-captains

Hurricanes name Jordan Staal and Justin Faulk co-captains

After a full season without a captain after Eric Staal’s departure, a summer of questions and then suddenly a sense of urgency and a schedule even with Bill Peters’ comments at media day on September 5, the situation was resolved today. The team announced that Jordan Staal and Justin Faulk would be alternating captains and Jeff Skinner would be the lone alternate captain. Not mentioned directly but also newsworthy is the fact that Victor Rask will no longer be an alternate captain and also the fact that Justin Williams is not an alternate captain. I find the announcement today numerous on multiple levels.   The public relations and first impression angle Reactions were mixed but my conversations and browsing of Twitter seemed to suggest that many were not thrilled with the non-decision decision that is still leadership by committee despite the ‘C’ being back in the locker room. My initial reaction which I posted on Twitter was thus: Initial reaction to .@NHLCanes announcement: Big fuss was made (accidentally?) about picking a captain only to not actually pick a captain. — Canes and Coffee (@CanesandCoffee) October 5, 2017 After some time to contemplate the announcement today, I still stand by this initial reaction. When Coach Bill Peters suddenly stated that the team would have a captain by the start of the season, the hype engine was fueled. Would it be Skinner? Staal? Newcomer Williams? A surprise? What would the decision be. The fact that the team has two co-captains and that the expected version of a decision was not made does have a ‘What?! That’s it! (sigh)’ type of feel...
Carolina Hurricanes 2017-18 Season Preview: Part 2-What does it take to make the playoffs?

Carolina Hurricanes 2017-18 Season Preview: Part 2-What does it take to make the playoffs?

Though the reasons for optimism continued to grow, in many ways the Carolina Hurricanes 2016-17 season followed a fairly typical pattern. The team struggled out of the gate and found itself in a hole standings-wise by the beginning of December. Then right about when it seemed to appropriate to just take a complete write off the entire season a couple things clicked and the team charted a course higher. The resurgence offered reason for hope, but the team never really did climb all the way back into the playoff chase. The season wrapped up with a second half that offered reason for optimism but a season in total that was not good in enough in a league where 16 of 30 (now 31) teams make the playoffs. With the team gradually trending upward, young players maturing and Francis making a couple significant ‘win now’ moves over the summer, the 2017-18 season is not one for ‘sticking to the plan,’ ‘continuing to improve,’ ‘hoping to have a chance in March,’or similar. It’s time. It’s time for the Hurricanes to push back into the playoffs. With some themes that were also in part 1 of my preview that came at it more from a player angle, here are three keys to making the playoffs for the 2017-18 season.   1) The goaltending must improve The Hurricanes goaltending has been near the bottom of the league by many measures over the past few years. Winning in the NHL without a ton of Hart Trophy type players is difficult. Winning in the NHL without a ton of Hart Trophy type players while trying...
Carolina Hurricanes 2017-18 Season Preview: Part 1-Four pillars and 5(+) upsides

Carolina Hurricanes 2017-18 Season Preview: Part 1-Four pillars and 5(+) upsides

I thought about doing some long step-wise lead up to the critical points of the 2017-18 Carolina Hurricanes season, but the the playoff-less streak at eight seasons and the sense of urgency increasing, I am instead going to lead with the important stuff and follow up with other details afterward. An important starting point is recognizing that the nature of the NHL game especially in today’s day and age requires contributions from all 20 players on the roster. Even the #6 defenseman will play 13-15 minutes and will be targeted by opposing coaches making that role potentially make or break for any given game despite its ranking way down the depth chart. The backup goalie will not figure at all in a large number of games, but he is very clearly front and center for a large chunk of schedule estimated to be 25-30 games for the Hurricanes this season. And though the fourth line will usually see fewer minutes and might even get skipped in the rotation late in close games, those players often man the all-important penalty kill which sees the other teams’ best players with a good chance to score. In addition to recognizing that all 20 players on the roster plus likely 4-7 more who see action because of injuries or search for a spark during a long NHL season, it is important to recognize that the next leg up for the Hurricanes requires players who have plateaued as productive players further in their careers to continue to perform at a similar level. The crux of this article focuses on young players who have the...
Six ‘If’s’ Holding the Keys to a Carolina Hurricanes Playoff Run in 2017-18

Six ‘If’s’ Holding the Keys to a Carolina Hurricanes Playoff Run in 2017-18

After a summer to rest and recuperate, Cory Fogg makes his triumphant return and Canes and Coffee 3027-18 season debut. It is still preseason, so go easy on him in the comments. 🙂   A few days ago, in Matt’s ‘5 Things I Really Like Right Now’ article, there was a statement on the message board that really struck home with me as an excited Hurricanes fan.  Our dependable message board sage (and seemingly ridiculous early riser) ctcaniac aptly differentiated the rampant optimism about the Hurricanes, from that of years past. “In years past, the optimism seemed to be the ‘if the stars align’ type’. Now the optimism seems justified because, if only two of five/six things go better than expected, then the year will be a success.” – ctcaniac Ctcaniac is absolutely spot on and went on to list several of these possibilities that Hurricanes fans are banking on to bring us back to the playoffs.  From the continued progression of our young guns, to the potential of significant goaltending improvement,  this article will explore several of these scenarios (and others), evaluate their probability*, and discuss their importance in driving Carolina back to the happy world of sustained springtime hockey. *Probabilities are based on writer’s gut opinions with sporadic statistical support   1. If any of Elias Lindholm, Victor Rask, or Teuvo Teravainen find a new level offensively… As all avid Canes fans know from years past, we have two sources of consistent offense (Jeff Skinner and Sebastian Aho) and a whole bunch of intermittent ones. The signing of Justin Williams as a consistent 20 goal scorer helps,...