The NHL schedule is a weird thing. Looking it devoid of context, you would see that tonight is the second game of a two-game road trip to Long Island and north Texas, not exactly the most adjacently-located pair of locales in the league. But really, it’s a pair of one-game trips with a few days at home in between.
So forget what you think you know about a long road trip; the Canes spent just a single night in a lovely Dallas hotel and will be back home again before you wake up tomorrow morning. It’s like they never left.
- It was a little more than a month ago that these teams met in Raleigh. That was a 5-4 overtime win for the Hurricanes in a game where they blew a two-goal third period lead but salvaged a win courtesy of a Martin Necas overtime goal.
- Stefan Noesen opened the scoring in that game, his first goal against his hometown team. You read that right: Noesen grew up in the Dallas suburb of Plano, about 30 minutes north of where he’ll suit up tonight.
- The series between these two onetime divisional rivals has been lopsided in Carolina’s favor in the past few years. Since the 2017-18 season, the Hurricanes are 10-4-2 against the Stars. Yes, this is a reference to Texas’ own Dr Pepper.
- Fresh off a natural hat trick against the Islanders on Saturday, Sebastian Aho now gets the good fortune of facing one of the six Western Conference teams against whom he averages a point per game. The 19 points he’s scored against Dallas are second only to his 22 against Edmonton in his career against the West.
- On the other side, Jason Robertson is contending for the non-Connor McDavid goal scoring lead, but it’s his helpers that were the story in December: his three assists against Carolina set his season high.
- Got plans for Monday, February 20, two nights after the Canes’ outdoor game? Sure you do:
Bet you guys didn’t see this one coming pic.twitter.com/swEcBCH6MB— NC State Icepack (@NCStateHockey) January 22, 2023
- And that isn’t all for the Monday festivities. Before the Icepack takes to the field, the Canes’ alumni will get a chance to take a spin on the Carter-Finley ice. [Hurricanes]
- Max Pacioretty’s $7 million cap hit is now available to spend, but it sure isn’t burning a hole in Don Waddell’s pocket. [The Athletic ($)]
- Get hyped for three new events at the All-Star skills competition, and a special guest appearance by “celebrity goalie” Roberto Luongo. What, being the greatest netminder in the history of the Florida Panthers wasn’t enough? [NHL]
- Speaking of the All-Star Game, the Marty Party didn’t quite make it to the festivities, but Mr. Necas is no less appreciative for the effort. [NHLPA]
- Finally, we know why Jim Rutherford turfed Bruce Boudreau so ignominiously:
Bruce Boudreau's 1st NHL Goal! The goalie is Jim Rutherford (1977) pic.twitter.com/LHKmvz33Z3— Jeff the Repetitively Concussed Leafs Fan (@goaleafs) January 24, 2023