Look, the Hurricanes have won six of their first nine games and they’ve done so while not firing on all cylinders. Their star center has managed only two goals and three points. A top-six winger who is expected to be a prominent fixture is also stuck at three points. Not ideal and, in years past, this may have spelled doom for the team.
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Not this year.
While Sebastian Aho and Nino Niederreiter have struggled, Andrei Svechnikov has had a phenomenal start. Erik Haula and Ryan Dzingel have clicked with the team right off the bat. Dougie Hamilton has been a star at both ends of the ice. Jaccob Slavin and Brett Pesce have been, well, themselves. For every shortcoming, there has been a response.
Yes, some of these torrid starts will even out over the course of the season but so will the struggles. This team has the talent, character, and work ethic to make sure of that. So they’ve lost two games in a row, two very unimpressive outings. Two games that raised my blood pressure but ultimately mean very little in the grand scheme.
As fans of this franchise, we have all too often grown accustomed to expecting the worst, looking for the black cloud behind every rainbow. I can’t fault anyone for that because I’ve been along for the same ride, but this isn’t 2014-15 team.
I know the California trip wounded our collective confidence, but it’s over. This team has 73 games left to fulfill their promise and there are plenty of reasons to believe that they will.
So take a breath, there’s no need to panic.
How do you feel after the dismal California swing? Who do you think has had the biggest impact on the Hurricanes’ early-season success?