With Sunday’s hard-fought 2-1 win over the San Jose Sharks, the Hurricanes closed out a busy four days leading up to the 2022 NHL All-Star break with three wins. On a points per game basis, the Carolina Hurricanes are currently first in the Eastern Conference and second only to the Colorado Avalanche across the entire NHL.

Obviously things are going incredibly well at the midway point of the 2022 NHL season.

Today’s Daily Cup of Joe takes a look at what is working so far for the 2021-22 Carolina Hurricanes.


1) Goaltending

Frederik Andersen is a mid-season Vezina Trophy candidate. Antti Raanta has been solid as his backup. And Alex Lyon stepped in when needed as a #3 and gave the Canes a chance to win. Consistently solid goaltending gives a team to pick up points pretty much every night even when the team does not have its A game, and that is critical to being atop the standings. I would put goaltending atop the list of many good reasons for the Canes’ success thus far.


2) Top players performing

The players expected to lead the team have done so. Sebastian Aho is playing at nearly a 100-point pace. Andrei Svechnikov has taken a step forward and is playing at a point per game pace. Jaccob Slavin and Brett Pesce continue to anchor a blue line that is sold. The ceiling for a team is set by how well its best players perform, and the Hurricanes leaders have been on point all season.


3) Good health

The Hurricanes have been minus key players for a few games here and there because of COVID which is par for the course across the NHL, but otherwise the team has been pretty healthy and been able to ice something close to the regular roster for most games. While the success during the ‘next man up’ peak of COVID was admirable, it is much easier to sustain winning with the NHL roster intact. In general, that has been the case for the Canes.


4) Scoring depth

The Hurricanes have five players on pace for 20 or more goals. The team also has another four players with either eight or nine goals. It would take good health and a second half push by some players, but as of right now it is within the realm of possibilities that the Hurricanes could finish the season with a whopping nine players scoring 20 or more goals. That scoring depth goes a long way to making sure the team can find enough scoring even on nights when the top players do not crack the score sheet.


5) Consistent effort

Arguably the biggest trademark of Brind’Amour hockey is the team’s consistent effort level. The team has had games, though not many, in which played poorly or just made too many errors. It happens. But the number of games where the team just looks flat and/or cannot muster the effort needed to win an NHL game is miniscule. Because of that, the Canes are in almost every game and have the chance to pull out a win with a short burst of scoring. The result is the ability grind out points even on nights when they do not catch the breaks or bounces to make it easy.


What say you Canes fans?


1) If you had to identify the top reason for the Canes’ success thus far in 2021-22, what would it be?


2) Of the five that I listed, how would you rank them?


3) Are there others that you would add to my list?


Go Canes!

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