The Carolina Hurricanes through the first nine games found themselves a few wins and a few losses. The next nine games should have them hungry for more.
The Carolina Hurricanes will be stumbling into the next nine games of the schedule coming off a two game losing streak and losing three of the last four games. But after a week off to rest, recuperate, and get back into fighting shape, this team gets to look forward to a schedule that seems almost too good to be true.
The next stretch of nine games is an excellent one for the Carolina Hurricanes. Unlike the first nine games of the season that were crammed into a tiny 16 day window, the Hurricanes will get to stretch out the next nine games across 19 days, not counting the six day gap between the last game of the first nine and first game of the next nine.
They will also enjoy one a single set of back to back games, both at home, compared to THREE in the first nine games. That alone along with the rest of the scheduling should give the Carolina Hurricanes, which have been fantastic in the first portion of the season, and even bigger edge against the upcoming opponents. But it gets even better from here.
The Carolina Hurricanes get to play six of those nine games at home in front of a friendly PNC Arena crowd compared to only four in the first nine games. Thats six more chances for a Storm Surge after a game, something the team is accomplishing at a 75% rate so far. (Who would have thought that we would be talking about the rate of post game celebrations at home?)
Even after all of that, it still gets EVEN BETTER for this team. Over the next nine games the Carolina Hurricanes will face off against eight different teams. Half of them will be Metro Division rivals where the Hurricanes can cut themselves a bigger stranglehold on a divisional playoff spot with another two in the conference.
But it gets EVEN BETTER. Of those eight teams only ONE currently has a better than 0.500 point percentage and they are one of the teams they get to host at home over this period. That would be the Calgary Flame who will be hosted on the 29th of this month. They are currently 5-4-1 with 11pts and will play three more games before coming into PNC arena.
Of the other seven only ONE is at a point per game. That would be the Columbus Blue Jackets who are the Hurricanes next opponent on the road. They are Currently 3-3-2 with 8 pts and will faceoff against the Maple Leafs in Canada tonight before welcoming the Jerks into Nationwide. They already fell to the Leafs and Carolina will be looking for some revenge on Thursday.
Of the next six teams the Detroit Red Wings and New Jersey Devils are the only ones with more than five points! How perfect is it that those two teams are the only back to back games over the next nine games to kick off November?
The Red Wings are a mess, losing the last four games and only scoring a single goal in the last three. After starting the season off strong at 3-1-0, they are doing some serious soul searching. They will play five teams with a combined record of 23-12-6 (!!) before facing off with the Hurricanes.
Speaking of hot messes, meet the New Jersey Devils. They are 2-4-2. The two OT losses went to shootouts. Half the other four losses were shutouts. The wins came in their last two games against the Rangers and the Canucks, who they beat with the least amount of goals you can score in game, 1-0. Yikes. They only have three games until they face Carolina in the second half of their own back to back.
Chicago and Philadelphia are the only two teams on the upcoming schedule with 5 points going into tonight. They are both 2-3-1 having only played six games each. They faced each other to kick off the season in the NHL Global Series in the Czech Republic and will finish the series with each other before meeting the Carolina Hurricanes.
Chicago Will be the next home game this Saturday, the 26th. They will face off with the Golden Knights and the Flyers before flying to Carolina. After dropping the first three games of the season they managed to win the next two before dropping a bad game to the Washington Capitals. This matchup will be the team’s first road game outside of the Global series. No Cam Ward this time though.
The Flyers won’t be seen until the 5th of November so who knows what their record will be by the time the Hurricanes go visit them. They will have 7 games between now and then including a matchup against the Golden Knights tonight. Even with Calgary’s record they will be the toughest out in the next nine game as they Ice a very good roster.
What is there to say about the New York Rangers? While they only played six games so far they have not added a point to their total since October 5th! Even with ridiculous gaps in their schedule where they could get healthier and practice more, they failed to win a game since facing the Ottawa Senators! They also haven’t scored more than two goals since either.
Good news for them is that they don’t face the Hurricanes until the 7th of November with seven opportunities to crawl up from just the 4 points they currently have. Bad news? They have to face some of the toughest teams in the league in that time span. They also face a rest Carolina team on the back end of a back to back.
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After facing the Rangers the Carolina Hurricanes get to take a strange bye week where they still play two games. Yes this is the home and away series with the Ottawa Senators. You really have to feel bad for Sens fans as they watch their team descent into madness. 3 points in 7 games is not a good look but the Hurricanes need to make sure to take the easy points and not fall into a trap like they did last year.
So just how many points of the available 18 can the Carolina Hurricanes snag in the upcoming nine games of the season? While it’s not realistic to think that the Hurricanes will go 9-0-0 it’s also not unfeasible to think they could. None of these teams really have a roster that could give the Hurricanes any real trouble.
They only ones that could beat them is themselves as evidence by the last time they faced the Blue Jackets. That said, it would be realistic to think they could grab at least 14 of those points in some sort of fashion and sit at 26 points only 18 games into the season. That might be more than enough to catapult them back into the top of the league’s standings where they rightfully belong.
Question for CC Readers: How many points do you think the Hurricanes could snag in the next nine games?