One of the most difficult stretches of the entire season begins tonight for the Carolina Hurricanes as they head north of the border to take on the Toronto Maple Leafs. 22 hours after this game, the Canes will play in Philadelphia before going to New York to start a home-and-home with the Rangers. Following that, they get these very same Maple Leafs at home, then Boston, Tampa, and then back on the road to Detroit to finish out March.
While April looks easier on paper, Carolina has to survive and get to the start of the new month first, all while trying to adjust to life without Andrei Svechnikov.
But as Rod Brind’Amour would say, one game at a time and that starts tonight in Toronto against a very good Maple Leaf team. Toronto has four guys who would lead the Canes in scoring topped by Mitch Marner who has 86 points in 67 games played. The Leafs have been particularly dangerous at home only losing seven times in regulation inside Scotiabank Arena.
For Carolina, they will hope to build off their win on Tuesday night against Winnipeg which snapped a three game stretch where they looked very subpar and included being shutout twice. The matchup to watch will be on special teams as Toronto has the third best powerplay in the NHL whereas Carolina has the second best penalty kill unit.
- Toronto has won three consecutive games against Carolina including a 3-1 victory inside PNC Arena on November 6th.
- Mitch Marner leads Toronto in assists with 62 which is 23 more than Carolina’s leader Brent Burns who has 39.
- Carolina has not allowed a power play goal in 12 straight contests which is one game shy of the franchise record.
- This is the second straight year where Carolina and Toronto have faced off on St. Patrick’s Day. Toronto won 3-2 in Toronto last year.
- Brind’Amour stated after practice on Thursday that Jalen Chatfield will hopefully play in one of these back-to-back games. Jordan Martinook, who took a gnarly collision on Tuesday and then missed the Canes Corner event on Wednesday, is expected to play.
- A little fun for the Canes at Picture Day:
Picture day peek-a-boo with Pyotr pic.twitter.com/ObCQWcn9AH— Carolina Hurricanes (@Canes) March 16, 2023
Picture day with Jarvy is an adventure pic.twitter.com/zqEEZZI3n6— Carolina Hurricanes (@Canes) March 16, 2023
- Jeff Daniels joined Canes Cast this week to discuss how to handle developing young players. [Hurricanes]
- Canes Announce NHL Stadium Series Economic Impact. [Hurricanes]
- NHL games on ABC, ESPN+, TNT experiencing significant ratings increases. [NHL]
- Why are suspensions down in the 2022-23 NHL season? [ESPN]
- NHL GM meetings: Gary Bettman talks playoff format, expansion, salary cap and more. [Yahoo]
- Bettman signals NHL is willing to negotiate on larger 2023-24 salary cap increase. [Daily Faceoff]
- Vincent Trocheck vows Rangers won’t get ‘pushed around’ in NHL playoffs. [NYP]
- Blues’ Jordan Binnington to sit out 2 games for Wild scuffle. [ESPN]