Carolina Hurricanes: 3 keys to victory vs. Blue Jackets

RALEIGH, NC - MARCH 30: Joakim Nordstrom #42 of the Carolina Hurricanes battles for a loose puck along the boards with David Savard #58 of the Columbus Blue Jackets during an NHL game on March 30, 2017 at PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina. (Photo by Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images)
RALEIGH, NC - MARCH 30: Joakim Nordstrom #42 of the Carolina Hurricanes battles for a loose puck along the boards with David Savard #58 of the Columbus Blue Jackets during an NHL game on March 30, 2017 at PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina. (Photo by Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
4 of 4
Next
RALEIGH, NC – SEPTEMBER 29: Carolina Hurricanes left wing Sebastian Aho (20) during the 2nd period of the Carolina Hurricanes game versus the Washington Capitals on September 29, 2017, at PNC Arena in Raleigh, NC. (Photo by Jaylynn Nash/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
RALEIGH, NC – SEPTEMBER 29: Carolina Hurricanes left wing Sebastian Aho (20) during the 2nd period of the Carolina Hurricanes game versus the Washington Capitals on September 29, 2017, at PNC Arena in Raleigh, NC. (Photo by Jaylynn Nash/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

1. Sebastian Aho stays hot

If Carolina is to ultimately make a run this season, it will be through young stars like Sebastian Aho and Jeff Skinner. Aho sparked the Canes with two assists against the Wild, including a nice spin-o-rama assist to Victor Rask late in the third period.

The Blue Jackets also have a very good young core that will challenge Carolina. Columbus brought over Artemi Panarin in a trade with the Blackhawks for Brandon Saad. That trade has paid dividends for both teams Panarin leads the Jackets in points.

Skinner and Aho were the two leading scorers for the Canes last season. Now, Skinner should be motivated to prove he should have been named a captain for Carolina by Bill Peters. Meanwhile, Aho is already showing he can take another step forward this season.

Next: Canes: preview, predictions vs. Blue Jackets

The creativity and skill that Aho, Skinner, Rask, Lindholm, etc. bring to the Canes attack is something very few NHL teams can match. It could give the Canes the edge they need to defeat a very solid Metropolitan opponent like the Blue Jackets.