- Yesterday’s news today: Hurricanes 3 - Bruins 4 (OT), Checkers Offensive Explosion. Also since Calvin de Haan was able to return to the lineup, the Canes reassigned emergency recall Haydn Fleury to Charlotte prior to last night’s game.
- Whalers jerseys will now be retired for the season, after a 1-0-1 record. Can’t get enough of them? Here’s a chance to snag the first batch of game-worn versions, benefitting the Hurricanes Foundation [NHL Auctions].
- The Canes have a scheduled day off today, so it’s unlikely there will be any news forthcoming on the status of Micheal Ferland until the team resumes practice tomorrow. Ferland left Tuesday night’s game in the first period with a reported upper body injury after a booming hit on Marcus Johansson followed by a fight with David Backes.
- Last season, the Canes goaltending was among the worst in the NHL. Now, it has them in a playoff spot. Goaltending coach Mike Bales is an important reason for that turnaround [ESPN].
- How Justin Williams went from “Excuses are for losers” Dec. 29 to “This game is ours now!” March 3 as the Hurricanes rose from losing record to third in the Metro [The Athletic $].
- Yesterday we reported the NC State Club Hockey Icepack needs help funding their trip to compete in the National Championship. Thanks to generous donations they are well on the way toward their fundraising goals, but if you’re interested in helping and also attending Friday’s game against the Jets, here’s a special ticket offer.
Use this link to purchase tickets to the @NHLCanes game on Friday against the Jets. https://t.co/afxDxhZL5T, The Canes are offering lower level tickets for $40, for each ticket purchased, they'll donate $5 to our trip to Nationals in Frisco, Texas #silencethedoubters #TakeWarning pic.twitter.com/CribitCTju— NC State Icepack (@NCStateHockey) March 6, 2019
- The NHL general managers are meeting this week in Florida. With only minor issues on their agenda, they spent day one looking at tweaks to help increase scoring, speed of play, and player safety [NHL.com].
- There is a large and impressive group of young players (one by the name of Sebastian Aho) coming out of entry-level contracts this off-season. Will this finally be the summer of the RFA offer sheet? [The Athletic $]
- Congratulations to beloved former Hurricane Matt Cullen, who played in his 1500th career NHL game on Tuesday [Penguins.com].
Matt Cullen on seeing the locker room fully dressed in Cullen jerseys: "I like seeing Sid in a '7'. I like that." pic.twitter.com/Vew5C2yZnP— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) March 6, 2019
7,051 skaters, including Matt Cullen, have suited up for at least one game since the NHL formed in 1917.— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) March 5, 2019
Since Cullen's debut, 3,467 skaters have played at least one game, not including him.
Cullen's NHL career has overlapped 49.1% of all skaters to ever play a game.
More ⬇️ https://t.co/8KtGgynlj1
Useless Stat of the Night: Bob Boughner and Mike Sullivan are two of nine active coaches who have played an NHL game with or against Matt Cullen: pic.twitter.com/i7cJnjDF3m— Seth Rorabaugh (@SethRorabaugh) March 5, 2019
Stalking the Standings
At one point last evening the NHL scoreboard showed four Metro teams tied at the end of regulation with 1-1, 2-2, 3-3, and 4-4 scores. Unfortunately the three teams not named the Hurricanes won their games, gaining an additional point in the standings. The Penguins also gained an ROW winning in overtime (the Islanders and Blue Jackets both won in a shootout). In the late game, the Canadiens won in regulation, setting up a three-way tie between the Canes, Pens, and Habs with 66 games played and 79 points. By virtue of the ROW tiebreaker, the Canes remain in third place in the Metro but by the slimmest of margins.
- Metro 1: New York Islanders: 66 GP, 83 points, 103 pt pace, 34 ROW
- Metro 2: Washington Capitals: 66 GP, 83 points, 103 pt pace, 34 ROW
- Metro 3: Carolina Hurricanes: 66 GP, 79 points, 98 pt pace, 35 ROW
- WC 1: Pittsburgh Penguins: 66 GP, 79 points, 98 pt pace, 34 ROW
- WC 2: Montreal Canadiens: 66 GP, 79 points, 98 pt pace, 34 ROW
- 9th: Columbus Blue Jackets: 66 GP, 77 points, 96 pt pace, 36 ROW
- 10th: Philadelphia Flyers: 66 GP, 72 points, 90 pt pace, 30 ROW
As far as rooting interests for tonight’s games, the Capitals vs. Flyers is the only one with direct implications for the Canes. On one hand, there are advantages to the Canes staying close to the Caps in the battle for the second Metro spot. On the other, there are advantages to the Canes keeping the Flyers on the outside of the wild card chase. So call this one a push, just don’t let it go to overtime.