In case you are late to the party, the Carolina Hurricanes held an exorcism in New York City last night. That exorcism was to rid the demons that haunted them every time they visited Madison Square Garden to take on the New York Rangers. Year after year those very demons would rear their ugly heads, allowing blowout losses, goals from center ice, and generalized heartbreak in Raleigh.
The last time the Hurricanes won in MSG Rod Brind’Amour was still a player and the Canes were only one season removed from a playoff run. But ever since that October 2010 night, a curse was placed on the Canes and they had been unable to break it until last night. With their 3-0 victory over the Rangers the Hurricanes have officially broken the curse and rid themselves of those wretched demons.
The Good - Foeg Daddy
At the start of training camp Warren Foegele stood out as a guy who did everything right. He never took shifts off, he contributed offensively, and he was eager to learn. He started the season hot offensively but then went through a drastic cooling off period. Yet every night he continued to grind and work hard trying his best to make something happen. It’s common to see Foegele win a race to beat out an icing or out-skate an opponent to a loose puck, but for so long he went unrewarded for those efforts.
All of that is exactly why it seems perfectly natural for Foegele to be the guy who scored the game winning goal to break the curse of MSG. He is everything a Hurricane should be and he was rightfully rewarded for that last night.
The goal itself was a simple one created by a great pass from Saku Maenalanen and Foegele quickly got the puck on net to beat Henrik Lundqvist.
Thanks to Petr Mrazek’s outstanding goaltending this was all the Canes needed to claim victory. Andrei Svechnikov and Brock McGinn would add empty netters but it was Foegele’s goal that won the game.
The line of Foegele, Maenalanan, and Greg McKegg has been solid for weeks now and there is clear chemistry between the three. If Jordan Staal returns this season you would figure one of these three would be the odd man out, but for now lets enjoy one of the best bottom six lines the Hurricanes have had in years.
Could the Canes have scored more last night? Absolutely. Could we be nit picky and grill them on it? Certainly.
But they just broke the dreaded MSG curse so any transgressions along the way are forgiven.
The Great - The Second C Stands For Goalie
The Carolina Hurricanes do not win last night without Jaccob Slavin, period. He saved three pucks that were loose near, or inside, the crease, from going in the net. As the most underrated defenseman in the NHL, Canes fans have grown accustom to Slavin’s elite play, but last night beat every expectation of #74.
Jaccob Slavin is insane— Carolina Hurricanes (@NHLCanes) February 9, 2019
*This is a regularly scheduled tweet* pic.twitter.com/7e9rJ73pTJ
The second "c" stands for "Vezina". pic.twitter.com/64G60pqaqK— Brett Finger (@brett_finger) February 9, 2019
The second "c" stands for "I didn't even think that was humanly possible but okay". pic.twitter.com/orCqEbx3hg— Brett Finger (@brett_finger) February 9, 2019
We’re all with Brett on this one, if Slavin won’t get the national respect for a Norris nomination he at the very minimum deserves the Vezina.
In all seriousness, Slavin saved the game for the Hurricanes last night - literally. He is the backbone of the defense and one of the leaders of the team. Combine all of that with his contributions to the Raleigh area and you have yourself one of the faces of your organization. He may not score like Sebastian Aho, but there’s an argument to be made that he is almost as valuable to this team as Aho is.
This five game road trip has started out as great as it possibly could have for the Hurricanes. They now sit one point back of a playoff spot and they aren’t showing any signs of slowing down. They have beaten the Penguins on the road, fought off a challenging comeback by the Sabres, and ended the dreaded MSG curse. With a day to rest in New York, they will get back at it tomorrow afternoon against the Devils. The hardest three games are behind them but they cannot let off the gas now - especially when it seems very realistic at this point for 10 points on this trip.
Soak in the fun, enjoy the moment, and be thankful the curse has been broken. But truthfully, should we be surprised they managed to do it? They already broke the Vancouver curse this season. Now this one at MSG. There’s only one more curse to break and the way the Hurricanes are playing, it is starting to seem more and more likely that one may get broken as well. With that in mind we leave you with something to think about:
The Hurricanes have won 28 of their first 55 games this season. That's their second-highest win total through 55 games since the franchise relocated to Carolina - trailing only the 2005-06 team.— Brett Finger (@brett_finger) February 9, 2019
And while we’re riding high, one more for the road:
Canes are 6 points out of the division lead— zeke lukow (@zlukow) February 9, 2019