Speed is the Name of the Game
The Carolina Hurricanes and Rangers each rely on top speed
The Canes front line has 13 years among the three players. Known as the SAT line, the Hurricanes’ top line consists of Andrei Svechnikov, Sebastian Aho, and Teuvo Teravainen. The trio has combined for a total of 190 points in the 2019-2020 season thus far. Out of a total of 597 points so far, the SAT line accounts for 31% of these points.
As Jason Mariani predicted earlier this year, the SAT line has gotten better. Despite some brief struggles towards the end of the season, this line has dominated the Canes scoring and turned into a fan favorite pairing over the course of this season.
It’s simply not enough to have three excellent players. Without the proper chemistry, top players can’t produce and fall short of their potential.
It’s hard to underestimate the chemistry of these three players, especially the stellar connection between Aho and Teravainen. This throwback from a January 17 2017 contest against the Columbus Blue Jackets is just one example of how Teravainen excels at setting up Aho. Teravainen leads the trio in assists at 48 so far this season.
Sebastian Aho was on track to his best season yet before the season was paused. Svechnikov has almost doubled his points from last season with 61 points compared to 37 points last season. I have no doubt that this line will be the story in the postseason this year.
Phillip Giuseppe appears to be the weak leak in this top-line thus far as this is his rookie year as a Ranger. He has produced four points in twenty games during his time as a Ranger. Caniacs should take note that he spent 2015-2018 as a Carolina Hurricane.
Buchnevich and Zibanejad have both had the best seasons of their careers this year. Zibanejad was on a 6 game point streak, including a 5 goal effort against the Washington Capitals when the season was paused.
An important facet of this top line’s play that I have observed after watching numerous parts of game footage is that they will capitalize on mistakes. It is important that the Carolina Hurricanes D clears pucks carefully because this line produces point after point off of loose pucks.
Zibanejad wreaked havoc in the latter half of the Ranger’s season, so it is important that the Hurricanes don’t let him find his feet and become comfortable in the game.