1. Blue line stays together as a unit
Inconsistent play from the blue line at the beginning of the season cost the Canes on multiple occasions. It also made it tough for Darling to get comfortable in the starting role, and hopefully it continues to improve from hereon out.
The improved play from Justin Faulk and the breakout season from Noah Hanifin are two of the major reasons for the strength that is the defense right now for Carolina. Faulk is now second among Carolina’s defensemen in points, with 11.
A real positive story for the Canes this season is Hanifin. He leads all Canes defensemen, by far, in points. His 20 points, and seven goals, puts him in the picture for a spot on the Metro All-Star Team next month.
Jaccob Slavin and Brett Pesce are also playing better as the top defensive pairing. Pesce is also generated more opportunities in the offensive zone, which is helping everyone else around him. All these are positive signs for the team heading into the stretch run of 2017-18.