With 10 goals in their past 2 games and 17 in the past 4, the Hurricanes are suddenly a scoring juggernaut. Here is hoping it continues. It is amazing what some finishing and a hot skilled scorer can do to turn the prospects of a team on a dime. Jeff Skinner is leading the way with an outburst of 6 goals in 4 games, and the team has won 3 of 4.
One game is obviously too early to declare a trend, but just as interesting could be the goalie spot. Eddie Lack had a strange game on Friday. He seemed to be fighting the puck and having all kinds of trouble finding it early. But through some combination of being good on first saves, help from his defense clearing rebounds and a bit of luck he weathered the storm early, was actually staked to a lead and got better as the game went on. Personally, I would come right back to him even with the back-to-back hoping he is on his way to finding some rhythm, but he should at least see the ice again Tuesday.
Here is what I will be watching on Saturday against the Coyotes:
1) Momentum or blip
I mentioned this before Friday’s game. Right now, the Canes seem to have more things working than at any other point during the season. Jeff Skinner is finishing at a real high rate. The power play has put up a few goals recently and the 1 Friday was not even courtesy of a Justin Faulk blast. Eddie Lack put up a 1 goal against game Friday and was especially good late when Anaheim tried to push back. All of the things working are something between 1 (Lack) and 3-4 games deep (Skinner, power play, etc.). Is it an inevitable random event that is bound to happen over the course of an 82-game season? Or is the team on to something with more legs?
2) Eddie Lack (if he starts)
I have not seen a starting goalie declared for tonight (someone holler if I missed it), but if Eddie Lack gets the back-to-back start, I will be watching anxiously to see if he can take another step forward. The result both in terms of the win and also the single goal he gave up were both big positives on Friday, but his game was still a bit all over the pace in terms of rebounds, wandering around the crease a bit and having trouble finding pucks at times. But just maybe the win and good result is the confidence builder that he needs combined with more regular ice time to form a solid base and build upward from here.
3) Jeff Skinner
In the past, he has proven capable of carrying the team offensively for 6-10 games when he hits a groove. He seems to be in 1 now. At least for now, gone are the games of 5-6 decent scoring chances but not goals. Here are the games of just needed 2-3 decent looks at the net to net a goal or 2. Here is hoping that he is in 1 of those grooves and that it ends up being a long one. I was a bit early in terms of the scoring, but just maybe I was not too far off base when I suggested that this could be a break out season for Skinner in terms of finally taking the necessary steps defensively to go with his high end scoring. You can read that post from November 16 HERE.
4) The kids on D
This continues to be my favorite ongoing story for the 2015-16 season and is pretty much a cut and paste for what I am watching in each and every Canes game. 🙂
The puck drops about 9pm Raleigh time tonight with the Canes trying to push to 4 wins out of their last 5 games.