A little over the month into the season, let us dive into the Carolina Hurricanes roster to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses.
The Carolina Hurricanes sit 3rd in the Metropolitan division at 9-4-1, but as all fans will tell you, it has been anything but smooth sailing. There have been many ups and downs throughout the young season. One of the major strengths so far for the Canes has been their blue line. As expected before the season, the top six D-men have been among the best units in the league.
Dougie Hamilton leading the team in points, Jaccob Slavin and Brett Pesce doing what they do best. Joel Edmundson and Trevor van Riemsdyk continue to look like one of the better third pairings. Jake Gardiner has been great on the powerplay. All around good from the backend.
Another positive part of the Canes roster has been their 3rd line. This line is made up of Ryan Dzingel, Erik Haula and Martin Necas. They have looked great together, Haula leads the team in goals. Dzingel has looked like a positive addition to the team, more as a playmaker than a scorer. Martin Necas is reminding us all why he was drafted 12th overall in the 2017 NHL entry draft.
One of the weaknesses of this Canes team has been in the top 6. They have five really good top 6 calibre guys. However, rotating Warren Foegele and Brock McGinn in the top 6 is not something that will dish out long term success. There is still a desperate need for an improvement to the top end of the forward core. Sebastian Aho, Andrei Svechnikov, Teuvo Teravainen, Jordan Staal, and Nino Niederreiter are great.
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Another major weakness for the Canes so far this season has been newly acquired backup goalie James Reimer. Reimer has had some games where he has looked stellar, like facing more than 50 shots against the Florida Panthers and only allowing three goals, but his performance against the New Jersey Devils, where he gave up a couple of goals he shouldn’t have, has truly outlines his time in Raleigh so far.
It has been an eventful season so far, but there is room for improvement within the team on the ice. Defence headlines the Canes position of strength, whereas goaltending (as per usual) seems to highlight the teams issue. A top 6 winger and a goaltender acquisition though, and this bunch of jerks may just turn into a potential league wide Juggernaut.
Question for Cardiac Cane readers: How do you think the Carolina Hurricanes will do throught the rest of the season?