So I just finished writing a long and detailed article entitles “Seeking heroes…and taking the next step” only to see it seemingly disappear into the ether of the internet. If this is what the internet looks like post net neutrality, I’m quitting. 🙂
More seriously, I do not have the energy to re-write that article right now, so I will instead pull out something else that I have some scribbled notes on.
In the NHL, there is enough parity that there is no such things as a sure win. Bottom teams beat top teams on a fairly regular basis. But good teams do seem to have an uncanny knack for winning most of the games that they should and also rebounding and cutting losing streaks short.
For the young Carolina Hurricanes, I would say that this is still a work in progress. Right when the team was surging and trying to play its way back into the 2016-17 season, it somehow managed to lose to bottom dwellers Arizona and Colorado.
The 2017-18 season has featured a few puzzling losses to. The team entered Thanksgiving week generally playing good hockey only to lay an egg twice before eking out an overtime win against Nashville salvage something from the week.
The Hurricanes near-term schedule features a couple important rounds of games that the team needs to win. It starts with a huge match up in Buffalo on Friday night. The Sabres are near the bottom of the NHL, are 3-5-2 in their past 10 games and played and traveled on Thursday night to boot. The game looks favorable for the Hurricanes and could push the road trip’s record to a respectable 2-2-2. Or the game could prove to be a huge disappointment and see the team return home with a 1-3-2 mark. Games like this can swing trajectory and either eliminate or create new bouts with adversity that can weigh on a team over the course of a long 82-game season.
And then after a few more games on the road, the Hurricanes again get a run of three straight home games during the holidays. After what will probably prove to be a treading water at best run of nine games with eight on the road, it is critical that the team capitalize on its next batch of home games.
Can the Hurricanes find the right combination of soundness, determination and high level of play to methodically crank out wins in these games? That is what we will be watching starting on Friday night and continuing over the next few weeks.