The Carolina Hurricanes are looking to end the 2019 preseason with a .500 record at the Caniac Carnival fan event. More important than the outcome, however, is how well this group can sync up during this 2019-2020 dress rehearsal.
Most people don’t put too much stock into the preseason. These games are not necessarily vital to a team’s regular season, but it can help a team get out of the gates fast; ultimately allowing a group to find their identity before the rest of the league does. The Carolina Hurricanes are no different.
The Carolina Hurricanes preseason so far has been a mixed bag. Two up, three down, head coach Rod Brind’ Amour has made it a point to recognize this as an opportunity for guys to get comfortable playing with each other, and to build the necessary chemistry for early season success.
Perhaps this finale, facing off against a team that Carolina knocked out of the playoffs, holds more importance to these Hurricanes than other NHL teams. A historically slow starting offense, these players have to figure out that side of the puck.
Six goals in five games surely isn’t what the staff wanted offensively, while eight goals against hasn’t displayed this teams present talent. Their shortcomings so far should force this team to come out Sunday afternoon with some urgency.
Washington, on the other hand, has put together a very productive preseason campaign. They have yet to score less than three goals in one game and have put up a total of 19 goals on a 4-1 record. This is a veteran team with many familiar faces, their chemistry is in place and has them poised for early success in the regular season
There are a lot of important decisions that are riding on both last night’s loss to the Predators, and this game against Washington. The backup goaltender battle is still very much ongoing, and there seems to be some decisions for Brind’amour to make with the bottom six. Julien Gauthier has been especially good during this preseason and should capitalize on his opportunity tonight.
Offense remains a point of concern for this team as Jordan Staal’s goal against Nashville was the first time any of the real heavy hitters on the Hurricanes showed up in the stat column. The numbers don’t tell the whole story but getting a few goals on the board could go a long way come October 10th.
PNC will be a packed house this Sunday. The Caniac Carnival, an event for the fans that waives the fee for admission, has give Caniacs every reason to come out and support the team. a regular season atmosphere, and a need to iron out the kinks, the Hurricanes should excel against a Washington team they know well.
A win would carry good locker room vibes into this coming season, but whatever the outcome, this is just another step on a long road for this team.Defeating a division rival before the start of the season will really give the fans something to really be excited for.
Question for CC readers: Just how excited are you for this season?