Carolina Hurricanes: Three keys to beating the Blue Jackets

MONTREAL, QC - OCTOBER 21: Derek Stepan #18 of the Carolina Hurricanes skates against the Montreal Canadiens during the second period at Centre Bell on October 21, 2021 in Montreal, Canada. The Carolina Hurricanes defeated the Montreal Canadiens 4-1. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
MONTREAL, QC - OCTOBER 21: Derek Stepan #18 of the Carolina Hurricanes skates against the Montreal Canadiens during the second period at Centre Bell on October 21, 2021 in Montreal, Canada. The Carolina Hurricanes defeated the Montreal Canadiens 4-1. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images) /
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MONTREAL, QC – OCTOBER 21: Frederik Andersen #31 of the Carolina Hurricanes tends the net against the Montreal Canadiens during the second period at Centre Bell on October 21, 2021, in Montreal, Canada. The Carolina Hurricanes defeated the Montreal Canadiens 4-1. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
MONTREAL, QC – OCTOBER 21: Frederik Andersen #31 of the Carolina Hurricanes tends the net against the Montreal Canadiens during the second period at Centre Bell on October 21, 2021, in Montreal, Canada. The Carolina Hurricanes defeated the Montreal Canadiens 4-1. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images) /

Goalie duel

Carolina is going to be in a netminders battle tonight. Columbus’ defensive system. Let’s not lie to ourselves here. Carolina is going to need to beat the Columbus system and then the Blue Jackets netminder on multiple occasions. That’s not going to happen, so they will need their own netminder to step up big time. And if you need someone to step up big, why not a big man?

I’m obviously talking about Frederik Andersen. At 6’4, Freddie doesn’t leave much of a target, to begin with, and he’s been very solid so far this season. Being a major reason the Canes have been so good to start the season, Andersen is going to be required to play one of his best games as a Hurricane if the team aspires to collect two points from Ohio tonight.

He’s been fantastic so far with his .938 save percentage and a goals-against-average of 2. He’s been outrageously fantastic. For someone who was labeled as an “unknown” by many outsiders going into the season, Andersen has been playing like he’s on a mission to prove people wrong. To say he was a human highlight reel against Montreal would be an understatement at times.

With the game shaping up to look like a shooting gallery for Carolina with Columbus looking to get spells on the break, this might be a crucial game that is looked back on if Carolina does not walk out of Ohio with two points. In the Central last year, these two were fairly equal when they played against each other. It was Carolina’s dominance against everyone else that set them apart.

Tonight, Carolina needs nothing less than two points. They travel to a very hostile building in Columbus, with a passionate fan base and a strong following. We know that Carolina is the better team on paper, but we also know that the Canes’ struggles going forward outside of their top line have plagued them in games like this. If you can’t watch the game, we’ll be tweeting about it on Twitter @CardiacCane, and let’s GO CANES!

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