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Game Day: Hurricanes vs. Islanders Opening Night 10-10-14

New front office. New coaching staff. New faces. New challenges. New slate. Welcome to Opening Night #Canes101014.

Jamie Kellner

Carolina Hurricanes vs New York Islanders
October 10, 2014 - 7:00 pm ET
PNC Arena - Raleigh, NC
TV - Fox Sports Carolinas
Radio - 99.9 FM The Fan
SB Nation Rival Blog - Lighthouse Hockey

Fancy Stats*

Hurricanes Islanders
Record (2013-14) 36-35-11 34-37-11
Points 83 79
Division Rank 7th Metro 8th Metro
Conference Rank 13th EC 14th EC
Streak Won 2 Won 3

Power Play % 14.6% 17.8%
Penalty Kill % 81.7% 78.1%
Goals/Game 2.50 2.63
Goals Against/Game 2.76 3.18
Shots/Game 31.2 30.9
Shots Against/Game 30.9 30.0
ES Goals For % 47.5% 45.0%
ES Corsi For % 50.3% 49.4%
PIM/Game 7.9 12.4

Goaltender Ward Halak
Record 10-12-6 29-13-7
ES Save Percentage .909 .926
GAA 3.06 2.25

Goaltender Khudobin Johnson
Record 19-14-1 17-4-3
ES Save Percentage .934 .932
GAA 2.30 2.10

*Stats posted are for 2013-14 season; after tonight's game will pull in current season.

Game Notes

  • The Ron Francis/Don Waddell/Bill Peters era begins today and with it brings new hope and new challenges. On the hope side, there appears to be a very thoughtful, clear, deliberate long-term plan for the organization with a player development and coaching strategy wise enough to execute it. This is not insignificant and is a valid reason for optimism. But that hope is not without some real challenges: a relatively unchanged roster that underwhelmed last season, major injuries before the first puck drops, predictions from the hockey media that the team will be a bottom feeder in the standings, and frustration among a fanbase that hasn't sniffed a home playoff game in five years. Can this roster perform up to the level of confidence they have been given by their management? The hand has been dealt and now it's up to the guys who skate onto the ice tonight to play it.
  • Making their Hurricanes debuts are Brad Malone (COL) and Jay McClement (TOR) who were acquired in free agency. Tim Gleason makes his return after being traded to the Maple Leafs mid-way through last season. With their families watching in the stands, Patrick Brown (free agency, Boston College) and Victor Rask (2011 draft, Checkers) will make their NHL debuts.
  • The Islanders were aggressive in the off-season and are expected to be much improved over last year's last-place finish in the Metro Division, starting with the acquisition of goaltender Jaroslav Halak's rights at the 2014 draft (subsequently signed to a four-year deal). They pounced on forwards Mikhail Grabovski and Nikolay Kulemin and goaltender Chad Johnson early in free agency, and pulled off blockbuster trades at the end of training camp for defensemen Nick Leddy and Johnny Boychuk. Captain John Tavares is eight months removed from a season ending knee injury and should be ready to resume his role near the top of the NHL forward ranks.
  • The Canes have fared for the better in the recent match-ups against their Metro Division rival, boasting a 3-1-0 record last season, having won six of the last seven regular season games, and most recently defeating the Islanders 4-2 in a preseason game on September 24th.
  • What the heck, it wouldn't be Hurricanes Hockey if there weren't a ton of back-to-back games on the schedule, might as well get one out of the way early. These two teams will turn around and face each other again tomorrow night on Long Island.

Projected Line-ups

Hurricanes (depth chart)

Jiri Tlusty - Eric Staal - Alexander Semin
Nathan Gerbe - Victor Rask - Elias Lindholm
Brad Malone - Jay McClement - Patrick Dwyer
Chris Terry - Riley Nash - Patrick Brown

Andrej Sekera - Justin Faulk
Ron Hainsey - John-Michael Liles
Jay Harrison - Tim Gleason

Cam Ward
Anton Khudobin

Injuries and Scratches: Jordan Staal (IR, broken fibula), Jeff Skinner (concussion), Brett Bellemore, Ryan Murphy

Islanders (team website)

Cory Conacher - John Tavares - Kyle Okposo
Mikhail Grabovski - Brock Nelson - Ryan Strome
Josh Bailey - Frans Nielsen - Nikolay Kulemin
Matt Martin - Casey Cizikas - Cal Clutterbuck

Nick Leddy - Johnny Boychuk
Thomas Hickey - Travis Hamonic
Brian Strait - Griffin Reinhart

Jaroslav Halak
Chad Johnson

Injuries and Scratches: Matt Carkner (IR), Calvin de Haan (IR), Michadl Grabner (IR, sports hernia), Lubomir Visnovsky (IR), Colin McDonald, Eric Boulton, Matt Donovan

Off The Post

  • A lot has changed since the last time the Hurricanes were in the playoffs [N&O] and it's time to generate some good news on the ice [N&O].
  • Tim Gleason is happy to be back with the Canes [WRALSportsFan].
  • The Canes are 'pumped up' for the season opener [].
  • The Hurricanes have an uphill battle to make the playoffs [WRALSportsFan].
  • Bill Peters goes over his plans for Opening Night in yesterday's post-practice audio [].
  • Food, fun, and a Q&A with the Canes at the Season Ticket Holder BBQ [RaleighCo].
  • This week's Cheaters Never Win podcast features Opening Night insight from Lighthouse Hockey [Section328].
  • If you're going to tonight's game, and you opted for electronic ticketing, the Canes have posted some FAQs on the e-ticket process. There's a South Plaza party before the doors open, and all fans attending can pick up a free Hurricanes scarf at the door [].
  • We'll have the game thread ready to go by 6:30 pm. See you there.