Wednesday was another rough day for the NHL at large with the release of the results from the investigation of sexual assault of a young player by a Blackhawks video coach.
That it happened is horrible.
How the NHL is addressing/not addressing it is worse.
There will always be bad people who do bad things, but when an organization covers things up and treats it like a PR challenge instead of something that needs to be faced up to and rooted out, it creates fertile ground for it to happen again.
Against the dark background and gloomy NHL clouds, the Hurricanes have what could be a fun hockey weekend. The team is a perfect 5-0-0 with three home games in a little bit less than four days with the 1pm start on Sunday.
Below are some watch points for the three-game weekend.
I have been busy the past couple days, so I have not seen if Brind’Amour has announced a starter for Thursday and/or Friday, but Raanta figures to make his Canes debut in one of the two games though the possibility of instead or in addition playing against his prior team in the Coyotes on Sunday is also a possibility. Brind’Amour waiting this long seems to suggest that the split between Andersen and Raanta might be more old school #1/#2 than the more common 50/50-ish split between a #1A/#1B tandem that is more common today. But regardless, a team needs to have two capable goalies, so seeing Raanta in his first regular season action is definitely worth watching.
By the end of the weekend, the Canes will be eight games deep into the 2021-22 season which leaves only one more game before Seth Jarvis would burn the first year of his entry-level deal. All along, the point has been to get Jarvis as much NHL exposure as possible without doing that. Even if he does not play in an NHL game before departing, the stint with the NHL club was better than another 8ish games in juniors. He has already mastered that and will get more than enough this season. But is there a chance that Jarvis sees NHL action? With a 5-0-0 start, the Hurricanes have margin for error right now, but the more significant thing might be Brind’Amour’s stubbornness (in a good way) about not changing the lineup during a win streak. If the Hurricanes lose a game this weekend, could that crack the door open for Jarvis to get at least a single NHL game before departing for juniors? We will see in the next four days.
An early measuring stick in the Boston Bruins
The Boston Bruins are a team in transition a bit right now with the departure of Tuuka Rask and David Krejci and the Bruins 3-2-0 start is nothing spectacular, but I still think the game could be an interesting checkpoint for the Hurricanes. The Bruins offer another challenge for the Canes reworked defense to stop Bergeron, Marchand and Pastrnak who have given the Canes trouble in the past and also top to bottom depth that makes every shift important.
A chance to break into the goal column
Despite the team’s success and bounty of goals, the Canes are still without a goal from the blue line and also Martin Necas. Three consecutive home games would be good timing for a break through on either or both fronts.
What say you Canes fans?
1) Will we see Seth Jarvis in an NHL game before he departs for juniors?
2) Will the blue line or Necas break through with a goal this weekend?
3) What else are you watching for over the run of three quick home games?