On a night when many doubters said the Carolina Hurricanes would lose (looking at your Wager Wire bet, Brian) (ed. note: I took the Blues +1.5, which meant I assumed the Canes would win by a goal, find the lie), the Canes knocked out the St. Louis Blues. After a pregame pep talk from the legendary Evander Holyfield, nothing would stand in Carolina’s way of the two points and taking back third place in the Metro.
The game itself featured back and forth action from two heavyweight teams that own the two best records of 2019. Thanks to a great team effort and goal scoring all across their lineup the Hurricanes came out victorious.
The Good - Getting The Job Done
St. Louis got the scoring started early and, based on how good they have been playing along with the nerve-wracking fear that the train is going to derail for Carolina at any minute, some despair started to set in early on.
That fear went away quickly as Justin Williams and Justin Faulk got the lead right back for the Canes. Brett Pesce found Williams for a one time opportunity just 41 seconds after the Blues took the initial lead and the Captain did not miss his chance.
It only just three more minutes for the Canes to go from trailing to in the lead when Faulk found the back of the net. Faulk’s goal is undoubtedly a goal that Jake Allen would like back but that doesn’t matter for Carolina, they are just happy it went in.
The Hurricanes had all the momentum at this point and PNC Arena was electric. There was a momentary lapse early in the second period that allowed the Blues to tie the game back up at 2-2 but that set up the face of the franchise with an opportunity to go win the game.
With the Canes shorthanded Sebastian Aho’s alert play forced Jake Allen to leave his net to try and play the puck where he completely failed at doing so. Aho immediately kicked in to high gear racing to the puck and scoring on an easy wrap around. This goal is all about Aho’s hockey sense and his ability to gather the puck and score in such a fast manner.
Jordan Staal added a large insurance goal in the third period and Andrei Svechnikov sealed the victory with an empty netter. But the game was turned on Aho’s goal and it seems only fitting that the franchise star would be the reason the Canes won their biggest game of the season yet.
The nitpicky analyst would say that the Canes need to do better on the two goals allowed and their power play is still struggling to find consistency.
But today is not the day to be the nitpicky analyst.
In all fairness it is becoming increasingly difficult to find anything even remotely negative about the Carolina Hurricanes (unless you’re Don Cherry).
The Great - The Surge
Hands down, best Surge of the entire year. Featuring the first ever celebrity appearance in the young history of the Surge, fans everywhere can agree Evander Holyfield stole the show. From landing the KO to seeing Jordan Martinook dragged off the ice, this is by far their best show to date.
If that doesn’t entertain you and make you feel great then you need to really question why you are so grumpy. The players love it, the fans love it, the commissioner loves it, and now we have celebrities that not only love it, but partake in it. The only thing that needs to be questioned with this version of the Surge, is how on earth do you top this next time?!?
Moral of the Story
In what may have been their best victory when you consider the opponent and standings situation this season, the Carolina Hurricanes are game by game putting the doubters to sleep. A total team effort by everyone on the ice was the only way they would grab two points last night and they got just that from everyone. Their schedule only gets more difficult over the next month but with the way this team is playing anything and everything is possible.
- We have a lot of Evander Holyfield content for you:
Champ was in the house— nino niederreiter (@thelnino22) March 2, 2019
And a big win for the boys ⚫️ pic.twitter.com/AsABpQD9KM
“It’s time to be relevant again.” pic.twitter.com/RsKTFxXtbX— Cory Lavalette (@corylav) March 2, 2019
- Sebastian Aho chatted with NHL Network after last nights game:
- This is still hard to believe:
The Canes and Blues entered the night as the 2 hottest teams in the NHL. The Canes end the night as *the* hottest team in the NHL.— Brett Finger (@brett_finger) March 2, 2019
The Canes have won 4 in a row, 7 of 8, 10 of 12, and they have an NHL-best 20-6-1 record since December 31. They're back in 3rd in the Metro.
- The Canes won the internet last night:
better to throw shirts than plastic snakes— Carolina Hurricanes (@NHLCanes) March 2, 2019
- Ever wanted to try Sled Hockey? The Hurricanes Sled Hockey team is hosting an event on March 9th so you can do just that. More details on their Facebook page here.
- The woeful Senators finally fired Guy Boucher yesterday. [ESPN]
- ICYMI yesterday, here is the Carey Price story again where he consoles the 11-year old who lost his mother to cancer. Great stuff Carey, we need more of this in the league. [NHL]
- Sidney Crosby has been named the best all-around NHL player by his peers. [CBS Pittsburgh]
- The Flyers set a new record by using more goalies in one season than any other team ever. [Bardown]
- A good look at where the contenders are at going in to the ‘stretch’ run. [ESPN]
- Every team’s strength of schedule for games remaining. Carolina is on the wrong end of this list. [NHL]
Stalking the Standings
The Canes jumped back in to third place in the Metro with Columbus being idle last night. Washington took down the Islanders which puts them in a tie for first place in the Metro with the Islanders owning the tiebreaker and having a game in hand. Elsewhere the Flyers defeated the Devils, Montreal beat the Rangers, and Buffalo outlasted Pittsburgh in overtime leaving the Penguins on the outside looking in.
- Metro 1: New York Islanders: 64 GP, 81 points, 104 pt pace, 34 ROW
- Metro 2: Washington Capitals: 65 GP, 81 points, 102 pt pace, 34 ROW
- Metro 3: Carolina Hurricanes: 64 GP, 76 points, 97 pt pace, 34 ROW
- WC 1: Montreal Canadiens: 65 GP, 77 points, 97 pt pace, 33 ROW
- WC 2: Columbus Blue Jackets: 63 GP, 75 points, 98 pt pace, 36 ROW
- 9th: Pittsburgh Penguins: 64 GP, 75 points, 96 pt pace, 32 ROW
- 10th: Philadelphia Flyers: 65 GP, 70 points, 88 pt pace, 32 ROW