If you have not bumped into it elsewhere yet today, please check out Canes and Coffee’s effort to raise “coffee funds” to cover monthly expenses (boring) and also hopefully build a small budget for fun additions this summer (more exciting) in preparation for the 2017-18 season.
If you plan to help but are thinking “I’ll do it later,” please do it now. This fundraising thing is uncomfortable, so despite having more money for coffee, Canes and Coffee will sleep much better once the needle starts to move upward a bit.
With a tremendous feel-good win on Thursday to extend the Hurricanes 2016-17 season, the Hurricanes set a new franchise record with a 13-game point streak.
The point streak started humbly enough on March 9 with a home win against the Rangers. The win followed 1 of multiple valleys in the second half of the season. The Hurricanes had just posted a 1-2 mark in 3 consecutive games against the NHL’s 2 worst teams record-wise in the Arizona Coyotes and Colorado Avalanche. Before the win against the Rangers, the Hurricanes had fallen below .500, were 9 points (adjusted for games played) out of a playoff spot, were trending in the wrong direction and were more or less finished with the 2016-17 season.
Then it happened. Out of nowhere, the Carolina Hurricanes seemed to in unison find a higher gear. Jeff Skinner went on 1 of his prototypical scoring binges. Elias Lindholm became and every-night difference-maker and vaulted higher scoring-wise. Eddie Lack finally put things together in net. Justin Faulk played by far his best defensive hockey of the season. Jaccob Slavin added a higher gear offensively to his stalwart defensive play. And so on…
In short, the team seemed to be firing on all cylinders, and the numbers bear that out. Consider the following statistics from the first 12 games of the streak (might try to update this to include game 13 if I find time during the day on Friday).
Hurricanes forward scoring
Hurricanes first line scoring
Jeff Skinner has 11 goals and 12 points and is a plus 9.
Elias Lindholm has 5 goals and 7 assists. He just lost a 10-game point streak on Monday but quickly hopped back into the scoring column on Tuesday.
Sebastian Aho has 5 goals and 7 assists. He was streakier but matched Lindholm’s 12 points in 12 games. The late surge has Aho within 3 points of 50 as a 19-year old rookie.
Though they have not so much played on the same line, that makes 3 players all scoring at a point per game pace during the winning streak.
Hurricanes solid second line scoring
Jordan Staal has 3 goals and 7 assists.
Lee Stempniak has played his best hockey in a Hurricanes’ uniform and produced on the score sheet as well to the tune of 3 goals and 6 assists.
Teuvo Teravainen has 3 goals and 5 assists.
Derek Ryan was a little slow to the party but has collected 1 goal and 6 assists and currently sports a 5-game point streak with an assist in each of those games.
That makes 4 more players playing between a 50ish and 70ish pace (projected over 82 games).
Offense from the blue line to boot
Justin Faulk has 4 goals and 5 assists.
Jaccob Slavin has 3 goals and 6 assists during the point streak and also had a 5-game point streak of his own just prior to the team’s run making for a pretty impressive 13 points in 16 games in March.
That makes 2 defensemen playing at a stellar 60ish-point pace.
Goaltending 2 deep
Eddie Lack has posted a .934 save percentage in 5 starts and has been rewarded with a 4-0-1 record for his efforts. In those 5 starts, he allowed only 1 goal in 3 games, 2 goals in another and was touched up for 4 in that last game.
Cam Ward has a .909 save percentage in 7 starts (and that will go up a bit once I add in Thursday’s game) with a 4-0-3 record.
It is important to recognize that the pace right now is not likely sustainable over a full 82-game season, but it does offer a fun look at just how high the upside is for this team when it is clicking.