Carolina Hurricanes (21-17-7) vs Columbus Blue Jackets (30-10-4)
The Carolina Hurricanes face off against the Columbus Blue Jackets tonight at Nationwide Arena. The Hurricanes will use tonight’s game to try to get on the right track again. After going on a four-game win streak at home the Hurricanes dropped their last two games in an uninspiring fashion. Tuesday night in Columbus was a 4-1 punch to the gut, but last night’s 7-1 loss to Pittsburgh was a complete and utter embarrassment. Luckily the Canes have a chance to get back on the horse tonight and forget about the last two games.
The problem that has plagued the Hurricanes this year has been inconsistency. Every time they win a couple of games in a row, or have a hot streak, they turn around and follow up with games like last night. This team still has a chance to make the postseason, but they will need to learn to play more consistent on a nightly basis.
Tonight will be the third meeting with the Blue Jackets in a six-game span and will be interesting to see how the two teams come out of the gates.
Game Day By the Numbers
|7-1 L vs PIT
|2-0 L vs OTT
If you watched last night’s game, you’d think no one was hot and you’d be right to think so. But over the past several games Sebastian Aho has stood out. His all-around game has developed nicely for the Hurricanes and he is starting to adjust to the NHL. He hasn’t put up many points over the past couple games, but he looks like he is getting comfortable and could break out at any point.
After a game like last night and the past two games as a whole, the whole team deserves to be in this category. Jeff Skinner and Victor Rask stand out to me, though. Both players are putting up good overall numbers for the season, but it has all come in streaks and flashes. Neither player has a point over the past three games, including a 7-4 win over the Islanders. Skinner was benched for the entire third period last night, and Rask only saw a couple of shifts. I expect both of them to take that to heart and come out firing tonight against the Blue Jackets.
The Hurricanes still sit one point out of the last wildcard spot, with a game or two in hand on almost every team above and below them in the standings. Games-in-hand only means something if you win them, but it is a good position for the Canes.
Over his last three games, Cam Ward has given up fifteen goals. He is showing signs of fatigue and needs rest. I expect the Hurricanes to go with Michael Leighton in net tonight but we are still waiting on a decision from the team.
Bill Peters has gone with the same lineup for a while now, I expect a lineup change or two, but it is not unimaginable for Peters to put the same lineup out again.
Last night was the type of game that humbles a player, and a team as a whole, it will be interesting to see how this young Hurricanes team responds to adversity.
Follow @CardiacCane for any lineup changes and news.
How To Watch
Nationwide Arena: Puck Drop at 5:00 pm ET
Watch: Fox Sports Carolinas / Fox Sports Go app
Listen: 99.9 FM The Fan / WRALsportsfan.com