Happy Martin Luther King Day!
“The time is always right to do what is right.” –MLK
Today’s Daily Cup of Joe has a short list of Canes trends both positive and negative.
Where it matters
First and foremost, after a generally tough week and rough stretch that reaches back even farther, the Hurricanes now have a one-game winning streak and two-game point streak. The NHL season is a long one that has its ups and downs even for good hockey team. Being able to scratch out a few points to stop the bleeding and make progress points-wise despite the recent struggles could prove to be huge come April.
James Reimer is 3-0-1 in 2020 for a four-game point streak. He has recently been the duct tape holding the team together such that it has not just exploded recently. As noted in my game recap yesterday, Reimer is 2-0-1 in his last three starts for five points in the standings despite receiving only a single goal for support in each game (not counting an empty-netter).
The blue line minus Dougie Hamilton
The Hurricanes continue to struggle a bit offensively which is definitely an area where Dougie Hamilton could help, but defensively the blue line has been pretty solid in two games minus Hamilton. The breakdowns that the Hurricanes have had in the two games minus Hamilton have been more by the forwards. The sample size is tiny, but so far the blue line has been competent even if maybe light on offensive help.
Since winning a wild 5-4 game against the Flyers on January 7, the Hurricanes have scored a meager seven goals in six games not counting a pair of empty-netters. Though Reimer has somehow made this work for points in three games recently, winning with a goal per game is obviously not sustainable.
The Hurricanes have not scored a power play goal since January 3 and are 0 for 19 in the eight games since. (Someone check my count/math, as I did manually late at night.) There is an element of luck to this, as I think the power play has been good at times despite not scoring. But in the midst of a scoring drought currently, a bit of special teams scoring goes a long way.
Traveling the East
The Hurricanes have lost five consecutive road games against Eastern Conference foes, all in regulation, which makes for 0 for 10 points in those games. The deciding factor for making or missing the playoffs could well be the Hurricanes ability to beat familiar foes from the Metropolitan Division and broader Eastern Conference.
What say you Canes fans?
1) Which, if any, of these trends surprise you?
2) Who has other trends, positive or negative, to add to the list?