The Hurricanes drop the puck tonight with a new captain and a different roster as they try to build on last season’s playoff success. Opening night has no shortage of story lines as they host the Montreal Canadiens in Raleigh.
- On the topic of story lines: you may recall the Canadiens tendered an offer sheet to Sebastian Aho on July 1st. The Hurricanes matched the offer shortly thereafter.
- Hurricanes defenseman Haydn Fleury’s younger brother, Cale Fleury (87th overall in the 2017 NHL Draft), will make his NHL debut tonight in Raleigh after a very impressive training camp. Their parents will be in the building tonight:
This will be an awesome night in Raleigh. #Canes#Habs https://t.co/hmZZb8byje— John Fleury (@JohnFleury3) October 1, 2019
Haydn Fleury jokingly said Cale still looks like the baby of the family but "once he puts the gear on he's anything but." For the record, Cale is 6-1, 205. Haydn is 6-3, 208.— Chip Alexander (@ice_chip) October 2, 2019
- Tonight marks the first game of the Jordan Staal captaincy era. Staal served as “co-captain” alongside Justin Faulk during the 2017-18 season, but he will be the only Hurricane wearing a “C” tonight.
- Plenty of new faces are slated to make their Hurricanes debuts tonight. Among them are Erik Haula, Ryan Dzingel, Joel Edmundson and Jake Gardiner.
- Sounding the siren tonight: none other than Cam Ward. The recently retired goaltender won 20 games in his career against Montreal, and memorably rode to the rescue to beat the Habs in four straight games after the Canes were down 2-0 in the first round in 2006.
- Here is the timing for the festivities tonight:
- After Tuesday’s practice the Canes hit the paintball course for some team building and decompression:
Nothing like a little paintball for some team bonding ahead of opening night! pic.twitter.com/8Q2sLXxTx1— Carolina Hurricanes (@Canes) October 2, 2019
- This is a pretty great story:
Gaetan Haas found out yesterday he was playing tonight. He then feverishly helped book flights for his parents, brother and uncle to come from Switzerland. They land in Edmonton at 4:30 p.m. and will be in the rink for his NHL debut.— Jason Gregor (@JasonGregor) October 2, 2019
"I've waited 27 years for this." He smiled.
- It should come as no surprise which team leads the ESPN rankings of the NHL’s blue line groups. [ESPN]
- Maple Leafs Auston Matthews scored two goals last night in the home opener against Ottawa, joining elite company as he became one of four players in history to score in each of their first four season opening games.
- Here’s a recap of the NHL’s opening night: [CBS Sports]