After another tough loss to an undermanned New York Rangers team on Monday, the Carolina Hurricanes return home and get right back on the horse Tuesday night against the Boston Bruins.
The game features two teams heading in opposite directions. Despite losing leader and captain Patrice Bergeron to a broken foot on February 24, the Bruins are 7-3 in their last 10 games and are second in the Eastern Conference trailing only Tampa Bay. The Hurricanes on the other hand are a meager 3-7-2 since mid-February and almost assuredly are positioning for the NHL draft lottery at this point.
But there is no white flag in a professional sports’ season, so the Hurricanes and whatever portion of its fan base has not run off to baseball, NCAA basketball brackets and tourney or something else still has 13 more games on the 2017-18 schedule. My pro tip for this time of year is to identify and focus on a couple fun things to track down the stretch. After the Valentin Zykov incident from Monday, I will not suggest watching for AHL call ups though that could come into play soon.
I would love to see Bill Peters finally commit to a run of Sebastian Aho at center, and Aho/Teravainen in general continues to be worth watching.
‘What I’m watching’ for the Carolina Hurricanes versus the Boston Bruins
1) Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen
Like I said, the young Finnish duo continues to be one of the best stories going right now and is worth watching. Teravainen just joined Aho hitting the 20-goal mark. On Tuesday, I will be watching to see if they can continue to produce offensively.
I would expect to see Cam Ward back in net on Tuesday. I will be watching for two things if that happens. First is to see if some time off has him sharp again. He played well in a back-to-back set two weekends ago, but then seemed to fade in terms of sharpness trying to play three games in four days and then four games in six days. I will also be watching to see if he can be a stabilizing force for a team that is a bit scattered right now.
The Hurricanes seem to be reaching another low right when the end of the season is near, and it is possible to just pack it in for the season. But there are 13 games that must be played and seven of those games are on home ice at PNC Arena where the most faithful of fans will still be in attendance. I will be watching to see how individual players respond to adversity and who rises up to lead in difficult times.
The puck drops at 7:07pm at PNC Arena.