Carolina Hurricanes Making a World of Difference at 2017 World Championship

Mar 27, 2017; Raleigh, NC, USA; Carolina Hurricanes forward Jeff Skinner (53) waits for the face off against the Detroit Red Wings at PNC Arena. The Detroit Red Wings defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 4-3 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 27, 2017; Raleigh, NC, USA; Carolina Hurricanes forward Jeff Skinner (53) waits for the face off against the Detroit Red Wings at PNC Arena. The Detroit Red Wings defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 4-3 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports /

Hurricane Players enjoy playing for National Pride

For Seven of the Carolina Hurricanes players who are in the IIHF World Championship, their second season has begun.  While some Caniacs have been enjoying the NHL playoffs.  Others have just turned off hockey all together and moved on to enjoying the summer.  For me, I have moved on to my favorite hockey this time of year, World Championship IIHF hockey.  Of course, that will change when the Hurricanes are back into the playoffs (next year).  I love to watch NHL caliber players representing their country’s and play for national pride.  I do understand that it’s not each country’s top players due to the NHL playoffs, injuries and not interested players.  But that’s what makes it even better.  Take Carolina’s Eddie Lack.  Eddie would normally not get this chance if Henrik Lundqvist was available.  Or the EVER disrespected Jeff Skinner for Canada.  I guess the Canadians have something against Olympic caliber figure skaters turn NHL goal scorer.  It’s not the right NHL image or something?  I have never figured that one out yet.  I digress…

How are the Hurricanes World Seven been doing?

I know it’s early in the preliminary round which consist of seven games for each country’s team.  But it has been an exciting beginning for some of the Carolina Hurricanes players. With only three game of hockey so far at the IIHF World Championship this is what Hurricanes fans need to know.

Carolina Hurricanes
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Carolina Hurricanes

Team Sweden

I want to start with team Sweden due to four Carolina players on this team.  Whether you are grading the U18’s, U20’s or the Sweden world hockey Olympic team, Sweden is no worse than 4th.  At this point and time in the hockey world standings Sweden is a hockey powerhouse.  So why is there four Hurricanes on this team?  You guessed it! This tournament is a great place for top teams to develop the future.  When the Swedes look to the future they see Victor Rask, Elias Lindholm to carry the torch.  Although Eddie Lack’s numbers and performance in Carolina doesn’t standout and show an All Star in the making.  Many around the league and world believe that Eddie’s talents are better then what we have been seeing in Carolina.  So the Swedes are developing the future hence the Hurricanes Swedes are a big part of that plan.

How are the Hurricanes Swedes Doing?

After three games we have seen some good results from our Canes.  Joakim Nordstrom is playing 3rd/4th line duties and has one assist and a -1 for a team that is 1-1-1 with 4 points.  Victor Rask started out quick and came out of the gate with four points (1g, 3a) in the first two games.  He ran into a brick wall against the US in game three with no points.  Then there is Elias Lindholm. Lindholm has only 1g, 1a in the first two game but came out strong against the USA.  The Hurricanes Lindholm led Sweden with two goals against the USA but did have a notable moment late in the game which sealed it for the US when Elias was called for a boarding penalty.  It was a much deserved and bad mistake by Elias Lindholm especially late in a close game.  As a Caniac, I hope this was a life lesson moment that we don’t have to experience in the future.

Noah Hanifin

Carolina’s defenseman Noah Hanifan is actually having a good tourney so far.  I know he doesn’t have great numbers but he is not playing top four minutes.  I have been able to watch two of the three games and think Noah will be seeing increased minutes down the line. Hanifin through three games does have one assist and maintains a +1 point status.  Not bad for a team that is building its defense on the go.  The USA is a team that is full of young players that are learning on the run.

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Sabastian Aho

The pride and joy of the young Hurricanes is having a decent tourney.  He came out of the gate strong with 1g, 1a in the first game against Belarus and then nothing in a losing effort to France.  Wow, Finland lost to France Ouch! The 3rd game of the tourney against Czechoslovakia was going well with a 3-0 lead until the bottom dropped out.  Finland ends up losing in the shootout 4-3.  Aho did end the game with an assist to bring his personal stats to 1g, 2a, with an -1 plus\minus.

The best for Last: Jeff Skinner

If you have been following the IIHF tournament at all, you would know that Canada is again the tourney juggernaut.  What is a great sign for Hurricane fans is that Jeff Skinner is really having a great tourney.  After three games Jeff Skinner stats are:  3g, 4a for 7pts and a tourney leading +8 plus/minus.  Skinner has been playing with different combinations of the top two lines. It doesn’t seem to matter who Canadian coaching puts him with he is producing.  Skinner really has been proving to everyone that he is a top ten goalie scorer.

Next: Could the Canes Use Offer Sheets on RFA's This Summer?

Magnificent Seven

Actually it would be better to call it the magnificent six due to Eddie Lack not getting much playing time so far.  I believe Eddie will get his chance real soon if Sweden keeps on struggling.  The Swedes can’t complain one bit about their Carolina connection due to both Rask and Lindholm contributions to the stat sheet regularly.  Nordstrom is playing solid and will improve on his numbers for sure.  Hanifin and Aho I believe will pick up their play in the last four games for their respective teams and end with some good preliminary round stats.  But what I am most excited about is Jeff Skinner’s Red Hot Numbers.  There is a good chance that he could lead Canada to the gold medal and be in contention for the MVP of the tourney.  Would that be a nice feather in this cap and for the Carolina Hurricanes.