The Canes got ahead early, scoring both of their goals in the first period of the game, and held on to beat the abundantly talented offensive charge of the Oilers.
Some thoughts on the Sunday matinee win:
Carolina got on the board first just under 12 minutes into the game, as Teuvo Teravainen wristed home a wonderful pass from Andrei Svechnikov.
This is the definition of team hockey. Sheesh. pic.twitter.com/gjqb5L7Qk9— Carolina Hurricanes (@Canes) February 27, 2022
And then five minutes later, Teravainen centered one for his fellow Finn Sebastian Aho, who blasted it home to make it 2-0.
We're hosting a passing clinic today, apparently pic.twitter.com/6I8u4F1R4F— Carolina Hurricanes (@Canes) February 27, 2022
That goal felt quite familiar for Hurricanes fans, who have grown accustomed to seeing Aho and Teravainen link up spectacularly in Raleigh since Aho made his NHL debut in 2016.
In fact, Sunday’s power-play tally between the two was the 171st time they have linked up in their NHL careers, tying them atop the Carolina Hurricanes’ all-time leaderboard with the partnership of Kevin Dineen and Ron Francis (who got to 171 in eight seasons together, two more than Aho is at now in his career).
When Aho and Teravainen are working together, they are sensational. It’s a tandem that has dominated the Metropolitan for the past few years, as they seem to play off of each other with such great ease and composure.
“Cool,” said Aho about the record. “He’s a great player and fun to play with. Hopefully we score a lot more.”
It’s hard to look over the past few years and pick out a favorite goal between the pair. There’s so many exceptional highlight-reel passes and finishes to choose from.
My personal favorite, though:
I mean, this is just silly. Teuvo Teravainen is something else. pic.twitter.com/Tir7T7AR6H— Brett Finger (@brettfinger) December 18, 2019
As for the record itself, it’s a cool number to confirm what fans already knew: that this duo is as good as any that’s ever played for the team.
And did Teravainen and Aho know about it during the game?
Well, yes, thanks to another Finn.
“Actually, KK told me in the middle of the game and I was like, ‘Okay, let’s just focus on the game.’ I don’t know how he knew,” Teravainen said.
You Go, We Go
Speaking of Aho, here’s a wild one for you:
*A note on this: The number is actually 17-0, not 18-0*
It’s not rocket science to suggest that you need your best players to be your best players to win games, but this is a bit absurd.
When Aho scores a goal this year, the Canes win. That is it. It’s quite literally as simple as that. And how does that compare to some of the other top goal scorers in the league?
Here's a list of win percentage for NHL players with at least 15 goals in games where they score a goal.— Canes Stat Boy™ (@CanesStats) February 28, 2022
Sebastian Aho 17-0
Landeskog 19-0-1 pic.twitter.com/whxbhVSxfV
The Carolina Hurricanes have top-to-bottom talent and a roster that is built to make a deep, deep run come postseason play.
But as is the case for every single team in the league, regardless of how deep the lineup is, the Canes have to have their top guy contributing in order to get where they want to go.
That top guys for the Hurricanes is still Aho, who scored Sunday in a win for the 17th time this season. Yes, the Canes are still 20-11-4 in games where Aho doesn’t score because they are good, but it does say something that they don’t lose when he does.
“It’s really not a secret, he’s just a good player,” said Teravainen. “He thinks the game fast and skates well. He’s just a good player.”
Steady, Steady Freddie
At this point, I’m not sure that Frederik Andersen is phased by anything.
He was fantastic once again Sunday, stopping 29 of 30 shots faced en route to his 29th win of the season.
Andersen’s 29 wins are the most in the league. He’s third in the NHL (among goalies with 20+ games played) with a .930 SV%, and his 2.03 GAA is tied for second.
Every single time Andersen takes the ice for the Canes, it feels like you know what you’re going to get. He’s calm. He’s collected. He doesn’t get rattled.
And most importantly, he gives you more than a chance to win a hockey game.
“He stops the puck,” said Rod Brind’Amour. “He’s calm in there, so he makes you feel calm. Even when you have a really good chance coming at you, the way he plays it makes you feel like, ‘Oh, that wasn’t as good of a chance.’ Makes you feel like it’s not going so bad. I think he calms the group down with the way he plays and obviously he’s stopping the puck at a high rate. That helps.”