Carolina Hurricanes: Ten Qualifying Round Bold Predictions

Vincent Trocheck #16 of the Carolina Hurricanes (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Vincent Trocheck #16 of the Carolina Hurricanes (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /
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Defenseman Jake Gardiner of the Carolina Hurricanes
Jake Gardiner #51 of the Carolina Hurricanes (Photo by Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images) /

The Carolina Hurricanes will rely on special teams

3. The Canes will score multiple short handed goals.

It is going to take a strong special teams performance to win this series. New York lead the league in penalty minutes during the regular season so it is safe to say the Hurricanes will have a lot of time on the man advantage. While they saw improvement in that area, the Canes’ penalty kill is the better of the two special teams units.

Scoring a total of ten short handed goals on the shortened season, it wouldn’t shock me to see them convert multiple times on the PK.

Sebastian Aho was tied with the league led in shorties with four by himself. With that being said, if Carolina does end up scoring multiple times short handed, he is one of the guys I would keep an eye on.

4. Sami Vatanen and Jake Gardiner will both score a power play goal.

Both Sami Vatanen and Jake Gardiner will be competing for power play time behind Dougie Hamilton on the second unit. I feel as if both players will make the decision extremely difficult on head coach Rod Brind’amour through strong play.

I do think they will split time, at least to start, and will both score on the man advantage. Each player did so once during the regular season.

Now, having an overwhelming amount of competition on the backend, they will be forced to elevate their level of play or risk spending a game or two in the press box. This competition will bring out the best in Vatanen and Gardiner.

At their best, both go these guys are more than capable of running a power play on their own, so it’ll be very interesting to see how it plays out.

5. Morgan Geekie will pick up from where he left off.

Morgan Geekie started his NHL career on fire with four points in his first two games. This next prediction see him pick up right where he left off, producing well above expected even with limited ice time.

I know it’s been said a lot lately, but the depth on this Hurricanes team is really promising. Having a skilled guy like Geekie on the fourth line allows Brind’amour to use his entire bench, even late in games.

A much deeper team than the Rangers, guys playing on Carolina’s lower lines should be able to create a lot of solid chances. With their strong chances they should, in theory, be able to produce some offense.

Geekie was dynamite for the Checkers in the playoffs and can’t wait to see how he does against New York.