3 k3ys to a win on New Years day as the Canes meet the Jackets

RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA – DECEMBER 16: Jack Drury #72 of the Carolina Hurricanes skates with the puck during the first period of the game against the Detroit Red Wings at PNC Arena on December 16, 2021, in Raleigh, North Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

When the Canes take to the ice today, the Hurricanes will be playing the first game of their 2022 calendar year as they take on the Blue Jackets in a Metropolitan division dogfight. They’re going to Nationwide Arena for their first matinee game of the year, so nice to get it out of the way before anything big happens. Moving forward from here is a difficult task, but the Canes have the squad to do it.

With the depth and star talent the Canes have, they will need to push the puck at 5-on-5. They cannot afford to let Columbus run the show for the majority of the night. They will quickly find themselves bested and beaten if they let them run the show. This Jackets team is disciplined and it can hold its own defensively, so it’s essential for the Canes to control the puck and the game. From there, you can move on to scoring at your own will.

Goaltending is going to be a large question in this game. Columbus’ young netminder is somewhat unproven, and the Canes love to rain down shots on opposition goalies. It could be very interesting if the new Russian for Columbus doesn’t know how to handle the onslaught of pucks competently and can’t find a way to keep the puck in front of him.

Finally, the Carolina Hurricanes will need to simply get pucks in deep and try to wear this Jackets team down. The Canes are the far more talented team, and they’re going to be the team that should control the play with how well their blueline holds possession. It’s not a simple game, but they will need to do it if they want to get back to the top of the division.