Andrei Svechnikov, not even the fastest skater on his own team, messed around and won the title as the league’s fastest. Seth Jarvis and Martin Necas, among others, jetted off to the Riviera Maya for a few days. Brent Burns apparently decided the time was right to try his hand as a short-order cook.
But now the bye week hijinks are behind us, and the stretch run for the Carolina Hurricanes begins tonight when the New York Rangers come to town for the first time this season.
The Hurricanes went into the All-Star break with an eight-point lead in the Metro. After a week off, that lead dwindled to four points, but with the teams behind them having exhausted their games in hand over the past five days, now it’s the Canes who have a games in hand cushion, a mostly healthy roster and a showpiece event on the horizon.
- This is the Rangers’ first appearance in Raleigh since Game 7 of the second round of last year’s playoffs. I am duty-bound to mention this, and having done so, let us never speak of it again.
- It’s the second game of the year between the clubs. The first one took place at Madison Square Garden on January 3. Given where it took place, you already know what happened. (The Rangers won 5-3.)
- Former Ranger Jesper Fast will skate in his 600th NHL game tonight, appropriately. Former Ranger Brady Skjei will register his 499th. So close, yet so far away.
- That loss to the Rangers a month ago snapped the Canes’ 11-game winning streak and 17-game point streak. Wouldn’t you know it, but the Rangers pop up on the schedule again just as the Canes are riding another long pair of streaks: ten straight with a point and eight wins in a row. How convenient. Thanks, NHL schedule monkey. You the real MVP.
- Since last we saw them, the Rangers swooped in and picked up Vladimir Tarasenko from the Blues. He scored his first goal for the Rangers in their 6-3 win over the Kraken yesterday.
- Be aware that this game is being picked up by NHL Network, which means if you rely on ESPN+ to watch Canes games, the game will be blacked out unless you have a TV or streaming package that carries NHL Network, regardless of whether you’re in market or not. You’ve been warned.
- Come hang with The AP’s Stephen Whyno (one of the true good guys on the NHL media circuit) and grab a copy of his book. Spoiler: the Hurricanes feature prominently.
One week from today! Capitals and Hurricanes fans going to outdoor game and Raleigh folks, join me at London Bridge Pub downtown from 5-8 p.m. I’ll be signing copies of my EBUG book. Come say hello and meet celebrities like @OvertimeScottB. pic.twitter.com/EeWI8QDcsa— Stephen Whyno (@SWhyno) February 10, 2023
- It’s a big week for Cam Ward: Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Thursday, outdoor game on Saturday. [NHL.com]
- A handful of Canes players have played in outdoor games before, and they have advice for the first-timers. [The Athletic ($)]
- The trade deadline is three weeks away, and it seems all but certain the Canes will make a move. But when, and for whom? [N&O]