It was an enjoyable all-star break for the Carolina Hurricanes. Second consecutive All-star game having a player win the accuracy challenge. The Metropolitan Division all-stars triumphed and there’s a lot of good here to enjoy for the fans. But the team does not get to have the same rest and enjoyment. Tonight, the Canes are in Toronto as they face the Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Arena.
This is the first time the Canes will have played in Toronto since the 2020 bubble playoffs where they had their year ended earlier than they would have liked by the Boston Bruins. As two teams that share those Boston Bruins demons clash in Toronto, it will be a chance for one team to exert their dominance. Carolina comes into this game with a superior record, but that doesn’t mean a thing.
This will be the first tilt between the two teams in Toronto since the Canes lost both netminders to injury and were pressed into using a 42-year-old Zamboni driver as a goaltender to beat the Leafs $40 million offense. Carolina has a lot of good memories against the Leafs in recent years in games played in Toronto that don’t start at 1 PM EST. This is a fixture that Carolina usually plays well in.
When the Canes take to the ice for the first time since the All-Star break. Going into the break, Carolina won four in a row in six nights, including both halves of a back-to-back with travel, and were successful with their pursuit of the division lead. From there, the team maintained the lead of the Metropolitan as the season stopped to show off its star talents. It was a great start to the season for the team.
Tonight, Carolina will face one of their toughest tests as they play the Toronto Maple Leafs. One of the best teams in the NHL, Toronto is capable of frustrating the Canes if we see the Canes not playing at their best. It will take a total team effort and a great performance from the goaltenders in his former home building.