The day after (GM)RF was designated for assignment from general manager to president of hockey operations, the Canes came out and beat the Chicago Blackhawks.
A one-goal decision against an unusually downtrodden Blackhawks team might not appease many Caniacs. I understand that, but let’s celebrate the unique things that we got to witness last night, where it felt like things fell into place nicely.
First: Chicago native Scott Darling had a pretty good game in net in front of his former home crowd for the first time.
After allowing a quick goal, a sixth-minute redirect from Brent Seabrook to Tomas Jurco, Darling cleaned up his act. He stopped all but one of the next 21 shots, and even the Hawks’ second goal had a question mark of whether a whistle should have been blown.
Either way, after two first-period goals, Darling, helped by his defense, was able to help thwart the Blackhawks’ attempts to buffer their lead, and man it’s nice to see him with less than two goals allowed and his first win in a span a day short of a month.
And if Dancing Darling doesn’t make you smile, I don’t want to see the tar that fills your heart.
But Darling wasn’t the only former Blackhawk—Klas Dahlbeck, Joakim Nordstrom, Teuvo Teravainen and Trevor van Riemsdyk were also part of that brotherhood.
As a unit, they didn’t make as strong a statement as Darling, but a couple hit them where it hurt: Teravainen took the shot that Sebastian Aho tipped to win the game, and Dahlbeck wasn’t afraid to throw the body, with seven hits.
But my favorite “stars aligning” moment of the night: WE SCORED OUT THE BOX!
It feels like other team’s scoring out of the box on us is just an unwanted membership benefit in the Canes Experience™.
The Carolina Hurricanes in a nutshell: get a power play, keep the zone for the entire two minutes, don’t score, give up a goal to the guy coming out of the box. Some things never change.— Brian LeBlanc (@bdleblanc) February 3, 2018
But thanks to the Elias Lindholm - Justin Williams link-up, we got to drink from the chalice of judiciary irony when JW scored an easy breakaway out of the box in the second period.
That felt...well, just about how fun I’d imagined it to be. Now, maybe we can quit giving those up so damn often.
Lastly, we can’t mention anything about stars aligning than a win the day after GMRF became just RF.
Did his promotion-that-was-really-a-demotion inspire the Canes to put up 40 shots and get a much-needed road win? I don’t know, but it at least feels like it matters.
This win started a stretch of seven games which features at least four “manageable” opponents on paper—Chicago, NYR, Coyotes and Oilers. Hopefully the fortuitous alignment lasts for games to come, but it needed to start last night or else it had the feeling of being curtains for the Canes. Instead, they still have a fighting chance. They’ll need help, but it isn’t over yet.
Surprise Storm Advisory!
- New GM, who dis? A look at potential candidates. (We’ll have our own later today.) [TSN]
- Moving on can be hard, but Tom Dundon gave some thoughts to Tom Gulitti on the process. [NHL.com]
- Also, if you want to see if he sticks to the same points AND you have an Athletic subscription, here’s another 1-on-1 with Dundon, this one with Pierre LeBrun on the other side. [The Athletic ($)]
- Finally, Quote of the Week goes to Scott Darling after his 3-2 win at Chicago.