Today’s Daily Cup of Joe offers a short collection of random Canes notes.
1) The layoff
With a quick three-game sweep of the New York Rangers, the Hurricanes find themselves with an extended layoff before the next game. With a bunch of potential games on Sunday to close things out for the qualification round and the Bruins and Capitals (one of whom will be Canes next-round opponent) also slated for Sunday, best guess is that Hurricanes first game will be next Tuesday. That makes for a full week off between games. While that is not ideal there are a couple positives. First, with the need to win a whole extra round, the break and fewer games should be a positive in the long run. Second, with the Hurricanes returning after a long layoff and successfully finding the ignition switch in the first playoff game, there is reason to believe that the Canes can navigate a one-week layoff.
2) The importance of Dougie Hamilton or Brett Pesce
I touched on this indirectly in yesterday’s Daily Cup of Joe. For the long haul of the 2020 NHL playoffs, I think the Hurricanes need either Hamilton or Pesce back in the lineup. As is, I think the Hurricanes are generally competent, but I think also vulnerable to a good team.
3) Picking a foe
Shortly after the Canes won the series against the Rangers, I posted a Twitter poll asking which team Caniacs preferred. The results were an interesting mix.
After Thursday’s action, the Hurricanes are now set to play either the Boston Bruins or the Washington Capitals. But I will consider all four teams anyway. I think some view the Flyers as an answer to ‘Which of these does not belong?” for the four Eastern Conference bye teams. With two more wins in the round robin against good teams, one has to at least consider the fact that the Flyers really are an upper echelon team. The Bruins were the regular season best in the Eastern Conference so far have struggled to two straight losses i the round robin. The Lightning are an interesting option. on the one hand, many consider the Lightning to be among the best in the NHL. But they also faltered to the tune of a surprising four-game first round sweep in 2019. And there there is always the Capitals.
I really like the idea of facing a challenge in the Washington simply because I think there is so much to continued gains to be had by playing a division rival. I most fear Boston even though the team has struggled in the round robin so far.
What say you Canes fans?
1) Are you concerned about the Carolina Hurricanes long layoff heading into the next round of the playoffs?
2) Of the four possible opponents for the next round (Yes. I realize it is now only two.), who would you choose and why? With it now down to the Bruins and Capitals, who would you choose?
3) Who else has random Canes notes/thoughts that they are willing to share?