Ask and you shall receive.
Pre 2020-21 season concerns
A regular theme of my pre-season writing about the Canes was for the team’s middle centers to find a higher gear than in 2019-20.
I figured Sebastian Aho for a near certainty to produce in the neighborhood of a point per game for a floor and therefore be a bona fide first line scoring center. He has a higher gear yet but is in the neighborhood of that level of production.
Then past that I had Vincent Trocheck and Jordan Staal as keys to the team’s success. Staal started slow in 2019-20 and had a ‘meh’ season overall even defensively and dipped to a new low offensively. The question of whether he was fading in the second part of his career was legitimate. Vincent Trocheck’s situation was an odd one in that he played a few games after arriving via trade, then went on COVID hiatus with the league for four months and then played another few games in the playoffs. By no means was the separated, small sample size enough to make any final declarations on Trocheck as a Hurricane, but it was fair to say that his production out of the gate (twice) was not at the level hoped for when he was obtained.
10x expectations so far
Fast forward to 2020-21 and things really could not be going better with the question marks. Vincent Trocheck and Jordan Staal both have legitimate claims to being the team’s best player through 25 games. Scoring-wise so far it is as if the Hurricanes have three top line scoring centers. Trocheck is averaging exactly a point per game, and Jordan Staal and Sebastian Aho are just a single point below that mark. All three have played a role on both successful power play and penalty kill units. And all three have been capable defensively. The Hurricanes are truly in unprecedented territory at the center position right now, and I think more than any other factor that is driving the team’s success right now.
What say you Canes fans?
1) On a scale of 1-10, how surprised are you with the current level of play for the Hurricanes’ top three centers? (individually and/or in total)
2) To what degree do you think the current level of play is sustainable, and if you expect there to be some regression to the mean, how much do you think the fall off in play will be?