The Carolina Hurricanes are trying to make this season interesting and have now won three games in a row after going winless in their first eight. Are these wins some type of aberration or is this team capable of continuing to play winning hockey?
It's too early to tell of course, because for one reason, the three teams the Canes beat have each been struggling in their own right. Neither the Coyotes or the Kings had won a road game before coming to Carolina. The Jackets have had a ton of injuries to deal with, even more so than the Hurricanes.
But having said that, the Canes won those games the right way. They held the opposition to low shot totals, (except of the third period against the Kings), and the quality of most chances against have not been high quality, like they have been in the past.
Cam Ward has played very well but he has not had to stand on his head and steal games. For those three wins Carolina outshot their opponents, 103-76.
It's also a plus that the team is winning and the younger players are doing most of the scoring. You know eventually the goals will come for Staal, Semin, and Skinner, but until then, hopefully Lindholm, Nash, and Terry will continue to get the job done.
In each of the wins, the Canes took the first lead as well. What happens if they fall behind? It's hard to remember sometimes just how young this group is but they will have to learn to adapt and overcome adversity.
The boys will truly have arrived if they can still win games even when things don't go well.
I have to give coach Bill Peters credit, even if I have not agreed with all of his decisions. The team is playing with jump right from the opening puck drop and we have not seen that consistently on home ice in years.
It might not seem like it, but the Canes currently have a winning record at home, 2-1-1. That will be put to the test tomorrow night against an angry, (always angry) Blue Jackets squad.
Other quick thoughts from around the league...
It's nice to see Peter Laviolette doing well in Nashville so far and guess who leads that team in scoring? None other than Lindholm's teammate on team Sweden in the WJC's, Filip Forsberg who has 12 points in 12 games. Forsberg was drafted 11th overall by Washington in 2012, (the year the Canes traded the 8th overall pick, Brandon Sutter, and Brian Dumoulin for Jordan Staal).
Why did the Capitals ever trade him away for the likes of Martin Erat, (now languishing in Arizona) and Michael Latta? Erat was supposed to give the Caps a much needed push for the playoffs in 2012-13, but things never worked out.
I'm sure Washington would love to have Forsberg now. His point total would put him right behind Ovechkin's and Backstrom's 13 points each. This is one reason you really need to be careful when you try to improve your team short term.
Speaking of the Capitals, their present record of 4-5-3 is not much better than Carolina's, 3-6-2. It should be another great game when the two teams tangle in DC on Saturday night.