After a tremendous home finale on Saturday that saw the Hurricanes fall short on the scoreboard in a 5-4 shootout loss but still offer up a night to remember honoring Bryan Bickell, Sunday on the road figured to be a quieter finale and departure from the 2016-17 season. But somehow the team managed to top even Saturday when Bryan Bickell scored starting the shootout and helped push the Canes to a 4-3 shootout win.
If you want to feel good about NHL hockey, check out the video on the team’s web sit that shows Bryan Bickell scoring to start the shoot out and then the team surrounding him a few minutes later after Brock McGinn scored in the shootout to notch the win. The summer is unfortunately going to be another long one, but short of making the playoffs, this weekend could not be topped in terms of a feel-good send off.
Short recap of Hurricanes 4-3 shootout win over the Flyers
Whereas many a Hurricanes win of late has featured the Jeff Skinner show offensively, Sunday night in Philadelphia was all about Brock McGinn. He finished top shelf after a nice keep in on the forecheck and pass from Derek Ryan in the first period and then again in the third period on a nifty deflection of a Noah Hanifin shot/pass from the point. He put the puck in the net for the third time as the final shooter in the shootout sending the Hurricanes rallying around Bryan Bickell.
The in total was a back and forth affair that also saw Sebastian Aho close out the season with a goal and relatively high volume of shots and scoring chances.
‘What I’m watching’ follow up
If you missed the game preview and want to catch up, you can find it HERE.
1) Sergey Tolchinsky
He did not score in regulation and also failed to score in the shootout in the second of his 2 games in the NHL. He did not look bad this past weekend, but I would not say that he made a huge impression that will carry over to training camp next fall.
2) Chasing milestones
Sebastian Aho did collect a goal, but none of Jeff Skinner, Justin Faulk or Sebastian Aho hit the milestone he was chasing on Sunday. Skinner will have to settle for tying his career high in points, and Aho came up 1 point short of 50.
3) NHL draft ranking
Winning in a shootout was perfect head-to-head versus the Flyers. By giving the Flyers a point, the Canes finish behind them at least in the #10 spot. As I write this the Kings are tied with Anaheim. If the Kings win, the Hurricanes will rise to the #9 spot for first round lottery percentages and draft order in subsequent rounds. If the Kings lose the Hurricanes will fall to #10.
4) Bryan Bickell
But getting back to what is most important, Sunday and the weekend in total was a special 1 for the Carolina Hurricanes and its hockey community. Thank you to Bryan Bickell for letting us be a small part of it.
Let me finish by saying thank you to everyone who spends a part of his/her Carolina Hurricanes hockey time at Canes and Coffee. I already put up Monday’s Daily Cup of Joe with broader comments on the season and our plans for the summer.