On a semi-regular basis, we'll take a look at post-game fan votes from the Canes Country Rank 'em polls to see what they reveal about our Carolina Hurricanes and fan sentiment.
We broke out the first set of rankings after a lackluster 1-3-2 season-opening road trip. Through these last 11 games, the bulk of which were played at home (with three quick turnaround road trips and one back-to-back situation), they amassed a record of 6-3-2, picked up 14 points, won a shootout, logged a shutout, and head back out on the road today on a four-game winning streak. That’s.... pretty good.
And the team’s improved performance showed up in fan rankings. 74% of all votes logged during "the home stand" (which includes all 11 games played starting with the home opener) were upvotes. 76% of the votes for forwards were favorable, 72% of votes for defensemen were favorable, and votes for goaltending jumped the most, improving 24 percentage points (from 50% to 74%).
A few random musings.
There must be something to wearing that ‘A’. Victor Rask, who wears a letter on the road, came out of the first six road games with the best overall stats, but another leader emerged during the home stand.
Jeff Skinner wore an ‘A’ for the first time in his NHL career in the home opener against the Rangers, and showed it off by coming within a jersey clip of a hat trick. Most recently he showed off his slick skills with a highlight reel deflection off his skate for the equalizer against the Canadiens on Friday. Fans rewarded Skinner by giving him the most upvotes (882), the best vote differential (824), and the best vote differential per game (+75) during the 11-game period.
From goat to hero with the most improved performance. It took 14 games, but as of the win against the Capitals on Nov. 12, Cam Ward broke even on fan vote differential. After the road start and accompanying dismal save percentage, Wardo spent the last three weeks playing like it was the 2009 playoffs again, and he was rewarded with second star honors from the NHL last week. But more importantly, he helped get the team back on a winning track, and for that he vaulted from the worst vote differential per game (-73) to the fifth best (+52) during the home stand.
At the 17-game mark, we have a new leader. The line of Rask, Skinner, and Lee Stempniak was hot fire when the season began, then became a victim of their success when Bill Peters broke up the line in an attempt to balance out scoring. Stempniak has seen his production trail off a bit, bumping him out of the top five in cumulative rankings. In his place you’ll find Jordan Staal, who recently achieved all-around beast mode in just about every on-ice situation, vaulting him into the top five. Rask dropped a bit as well, though he remains in the top five in a solid third spot, and Brett Pesce lays a solid claim to fourth.
That said, let’s hear it for Jaccob Slavin, who edges out Skinner to move into the top overall spot in fan voting. Slavin has been the team’s rock on defense. He plays the hardest minutes, goes head-to-head against the toughest competition, plays in all situations, and does it in a virtually mistake-free manner befitting a veteran much less a 22-year-old in his second professional season.
Following is the current voting summary. Not a lot of surprises so far, but if you have any questions or want to dig into any of the other details, let me know.
Canes Country Rank 'em Results - Cumulative through Nov. 20, 2016
|Di Giuseppe, Phil||11||537||137||400||61.27||36.36|
|Most Upvotes||Slavin (1388)||Skinner (1306)||Rask (1289)||Pesce (1201)||Staal (1119)|
|Fewest Downvotes||Tennyson (23)||McGinn (34)||Ryan (42)||Slavin (92)||Pesce (114)|
|Best Vote Differential||Slavin (+1296)||Skinner (+1149)||Rask (+1141)||Pesce (+1087)||Staal (+863)|
|Most Votes/GP||Lack (99)||Ward (93)||Skinner (91)||Slavin (87)||Rask (85)|
|Best Vote Diff/GP||Slavin (+76)||Skinner (+72)||Rask (+67)||Pesce (+64)||Staal (+51)|
|Most Downvotes||Hainsey (-626)||Lindholm (-500)||Nordstrom (-492)||Ward (-453)||McClement (-453)|
|Fewest Upvotes||Murphy (54)||Ryan (173)||McGinn (197)||Tennyson (206)||Nestrasil (224)|
|Worst Vote Differential||Hainsey (-143)||Dahlbeck (-124)||Murphy (-91)||McClement (-1)||Nordstrom (+23)|
|Fewest Votes/GP||Murphy (50)||Nestrasil (50)||McClement (53)||Ryan (54)||Tennyson (57)|
|Worst Vote Diff/GP||Murphy (-23)||Dahlbeck (-14)||Hainsey (-8)||McClement (0)||Nordstrom (+1)|