Alex Nedeljkovic and the Carolina Hurricanes shutout the defending Stanley Cup Champions last night.
I’ll say that again just in case it didn’t sink in the first time. Alex Nedeljkovic and the Carolina Hurricanes shutout the defending Stanley Cup Champions last night. This win has propelled the Canes to 1st place in the new Discover Central Division.
In what was arguably one of the Canes’ most complete games of the season, Alex Nedeljkovic managed to secure his first career NHL shutout in just his 8th start in the NHL. Vincent Trocheck, Sebastian Aho, Cedric Paquette, and Andrei Svechnikov scored the Canes’ 4 goals in last night’s tilt; Paquette’s goal was his first as a Hurricane. How incredibly fitting that it would come against the team he just won the Stanley Cup with just a few short months ago.
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The takeaways from this game will be short and sweet, considering just how good a game it was for the Carolina Hurricanes.
I’d first like to talk about Alex Nedeljkovic and his prowess in the crease last night.
Ned played absolutely lights out last night, and his first career NHL shutout was hard-fought and well-earned if you ask me. Ned not only made the saves he needed to in the early parts of the game to keep the Canes competitive before the deadlock was broken, but he weathered the storm the Tampa Bay Lightning would unleash in their efforts to get themselves back in the game.
Nedeljkovic is quickly emerging as a legitimate NHL-level goaltender in Petr Mrazek‘s wake; I’m not entirely saying he should wholly replace Mrazek or James Reimer just yet, but I wouldn’t be entirely upset if he was a large piece of the goaltending tandem after this season and going forward into the future. Ned is only 25 years old, after all, and could easily lead the Canes’ to even further success if he continues on his current trajectory.
Next, I’d like to discuss Vincent Trocheck.
Trocheck, as I have said since the day the Carolina Hurricanes traded for him, will be a huge part of the Carolina Hurricanes’ success going forward; suffice it to say he has been a big part of the 6-headed beast that has been the Carolina Hurricanes offensive production so far this season.
Vincent Trocheck could not be a more perfect fit for the current iteration of the Carolina Hurricanes; he’s a beast offensively, and he’s incredibly defensively responsible. His forecheck is unparalleled at this point, and the man can just flat out play hockey.
I’ve sung his praises more than enough for you guys to know just how I feel about him, but he continues to astound and produce. His chemistry with up-and-coming stud Jake Bean is borderline supernatural as well.
On the whole, last night’s game can only be described with one word: dominance. From the forecheck to the backcheck, from blueline to blueline, the Carolina Hurricanes threw their weight around and absolutely dominated the defending Stanley Cup Champions last night, and they didn’t even have Teuvo Teravainen in the lineup (and likely won’t for a couple weeks).
If the Carolina Hurricanes continue to play the way they did last night, there’s sure to be some hardware waiting for them in a few months. What’s even scarier is that this group is just getting started.