This season has already been a bit of a roller coaster for the Carolina Hurricanes. Following a 4-0-1 start, the Canes hit a skid to fall to .500, but are now on an upswing again. While not everything has gone perfect to start the Rod Brind’Amour era, there’s also a lot this team can hang its hat on.
On this Thanksgiving day, let’s take a look at five things this Hurricanes team can be thankful for.
1. Sebastian Aho- In his first season playing center full time, Aho has taken the next step forward and taken his place among some of the top players in the league. Aho is tied for 24th in the league with 24 points in 21 games, putting him on pace for 93 points on the season. That would be the Canes’ top scorer since Eric Staal’s 100-point season in 2005-06. A team that has lacked star power for years has one now, with another in the making. Speaking of which…
2. Andrei Svechnikov is coming- It’s been a slow start for Svechnikov, and that’s just fine. People are used to rookies dominating the last few seasons a la McDavid, Eichel, Matthews, Laine, etc. There’s nothing wrong with Rod Brind’Amour playing Svechnikov sparingly to allow him to learn the defensive game.
But that may be about to change. Svechnikov has been playing better and better with more confidence lately. Last night’s win over Toronto was his best game so far, as he put up a whopping eight shots, with five in the first period. Svechnikov showed off his power with drives to the net, and is eventually going to start converting those into some beautiful goals.
Svechnikov centers it, Wallmark and Martinook whack away in front, and van Riemsdyk navigates the loose puck home. 1-0 Canes over the Leafs. pic.twitter.com/gBsePQc8lG— Brett Finger (@brett_finger) November 22, 2018
Svechnikov’s ice time is about to go up, and so is his production. That’s going to be a lot of fun to watch.
3. Jaccob Slavin continues to do Jaccob Slavin things- The things Slavin does won’t show in the stat sheet, until you look at the other teams’ best players and see that they put up a goose egg. The plays Slavin makes every game, whether it be a goal-saving poke check, or single-handedly skating the puck out of trouble, are a treat for fans to get to watch. The Canes can also be thankful Slavin is in the first year of a bargain seven-year deal with $5.3 million cap hit. He’s going to be doing this stuff for Carolina for a long time.
4. Ferland’s perfect fit- When the Canes added Micheal Ferland as part of the Dougie Hamilton-Noah Hanifin-Elias Lindholm trade, they knew they were getting an element they lacked, a physical winger that can score goals. They probably didn’t expect him to lead the team with 11 goals through 21 games. Ferland has developed instant chemistry with Aho and Teuvo Teravainen, and his ability to get to the front of the net to finish the chances those two create (along with a pretty good shot himself) has been the missing piece for the Canes’ top line.
5. Fun- You had to know this was coming. Every Canes fan should be thankful for the team’s post game celebrations after home victories. It’s a way to keep people in engaged and keep fans in their seats for an entire game. It also is enjoyable to watch a young group having fun together, and reminding everyone that sports are a game, and supposed to be fun.
No doubt there a few more things the Canes and their fans can be thankful for, but those are the ones that stand out. We’d love to hear what you’ve been thankful for during this Canes season, or just about life in general, in the comments. And, most importantly, we here at Canes Country hope you and yours have a happy Thanksgiving.