Before the NHL season began, I thought the Carolina Hurricanes would be a playoff team. They hit a bad stretch at one point this season and it looked like they were going to be on the outside looking in once again. Well, first year Head Coach Rod Brind’Amour has his squad knocking on the door of the postseason for the first time since the 2008-2009 season.
Carolina was the number six seed that season. They upset the number three seed New Jersey Devils in the first-round in seven games. They also upset the number one seed Boston Bruins in the second-round in seven games. The Hurricanes were then swept away by the number four seed Pittsburgh Penguins in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Carolina is having fun and they have been doing post game dramatics and even have shirts called “Bunch of Jerks.”
The Carolina Hurricanes are a team that feel like they could make some noise in the postseason. Carolina is currently in the first wild card in the east with a 40-26-7 record with 87 points. They would face the Washington Capitals in the first-round if the season ended today. The Hurricanes are only seven points back of Washington with 9 games remaining.
Mathematically speaking, Carolina could still get the number one seed in the Metropolitan Division, but the odds are that it won’t happen. I think they will either be the number three seed or the first wild card team in the east.
The three most likely first-round match ups for the Carolina Hurricanes will either be the Washington Capitals, New York Islanders, or Pittsburgh Penguins. I think Carolina will get enough points to avoid the Tampa Bay Lightning in the first-round.
The Hurricanes went 1-2-1 against the Islanders in the regular season. They are currently 0-1 against the Capitals, who they will still play two more times. Carolina is also currently 2-1 against the Penguins and they still have to play them one more time.
Sebastian Aho leads the team in points with 79. He has scored 30 goals and recorded 49 assists and his plus/minus is 24. Teuvo Teravainen has scored 18 goals and recorded 49 assists so far this season, his plus/minus is 25. Justin Williams has scored 22 goals and recorded 25 assists however his plus/minus is -7.
Micheal Ferland has played in 62 games and he has scored 17 goals and recorded 19 assists. His plus/minus is 15. Carolina was looking to shop him before the trade deadline, but they decided to keep him around and use him as their own “rental.”
Rookie Andrei Svechnikov has scored 18 goals and recorded 16 assists. His plus/minus is -1. Dougie Hamilton leads the Carolina Hurricanes blue line with 14 goals and 19 assists. His plus/minus is -1.
Petr Mrazek and Curtis McElhinney have nearly identical stats in net. Mrazek’s record is 19-13-3 with a .909 save percentage and a 2.50 GAA, along with four shutouts. McElhinney’s record is 18-9-2 with a .913 save percentage and a 2.59 GAA, along with two shutouts. If Carolina were to reach the playoffs, I think Mrazek would be their game one goalie .
If this team makes the playoffs, they will be a tough out. The Hurricanes have a bright future ahead of them after this season. Carolina has not won the Stanley Cup since 2006 and Rod Brind’Amour was the captain of that team, much like he is the the captain of the Hurricanes this season, only this time its from the bench not the ice.