Today’s Daily Cup of Joe compiles a short list of crazy stats from the Hurricanes 5-1 start.
A potentially dire situation as relates to goal scoring and winning
As of right now, Sebastian Aho, Andrei Svechnikov and Nino Niederreiter have exactly zero goals not counting empty-netters. Had you told me that would be the case through six games, I would probably have hoped the team would somehow have squeaked out a 2-3-1 mark on the back of strong defense and goaltending. But because of the massive production from the blue line and depth scoring, all is well offensively despite a few top players starting slow at least in terms of goal scoring. It really is unfathomable where the team is in the standings right now considering the lack of goals from key players.
Jaccob Slavin as our third best defenseman?
The defense in total has been the team’s greatest strength, so there is not really a single negative story to tell here. But for fun, if I wanted to rank the Canes defensemen through six games, Dougie Hamilton wins the top spot for his elite scoring forward-like prowess offensively. And though I recognize the potential for debate here, I think I would put Pesce second by virtue of his incredible defensive play. So despite also getting off to a strong start, I think it is actually possible to say that Jaccob Slavin is the team’s third best defenseman so far despite also getting off to a strong start.
Blue line scoring!
As noted above, the engine that is driving the Hurricanes’ train right now is the blue line. In only six games, the defensemen have scored nine goals. That represents an 82-game pace that has the six defensemen averaging 20.5 goals for a full season, and that is without Joel Edmundson and Haydn Fleury scoring yet. Put another way, the 2018-19 Carolina Hurricanes were among the league leaders in blue line goal scoring with 48. Right now, the team is on pace for 123 goals. That is a lot!
With Dougie Hamilton leading the way
Dougie Hamilton is leading the way on all fronts offensively. His four goals and four assists represent an 82-game pace of 55 goals and 110 points. Obviously that pace will slow (or otherwise he will be inducted into the Hall of Fame while still playing), but the start is still impressive.
Ice cold start for Sebastian Aho
Early in his career, Sebastian Aho has been a slow starter offensively but has generally collected a decent number of assists before the switch flipped on his goal scoring. But in 2018-19, Aho actually started with points in his first 12 games of the season. In addition, if my quick check is correct, Aho had only one three-game stretch without a point. So if you feel like Aho’s start is way off any kind of norm, you would be correct.
The third line
In addition to the defense, the other scoring catalyst has been the third line. Ryan Dzingel, Erik Haula and Martin Necas have combined for eight goals and six assists. If maintained for the full 82-game season, the pace would net an average of 36 goals, 27 assists and 64 points for the line. Impressive depth scoring to say the least!
With three starts each, it has been night and day what goalies Petr Mrazek and James Reimer have faced. In three starts, Mrazek has seen an average of only 23 shots per game. The highlight was the Hurricanes holding Tampa Bay to only two shots in two periods plus most of overtime. On the other hand, Reimer has faced an average of 40 shots per game. Best bet is that this is random, but until that proves true, it is worth watching.
What say you Canes fans?
1) Did any of these early stats catch you by surprise?
2) Who has other statistical ‘wows’ from the Canes first six games?