Hurricanes edge out the Colorado Avalanche in a fantastic game between top two clubs

Brett Pesce, Carolina Hurricanes (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Brett Pesce, Carolina Hurricanes (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /
Brett Pesce, Carolina Hurricanes shooting the puck against the Colorado Avalanche (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Brett Pesce, Carolina Hurricanes shooting the puck against the Colorado Avalanche (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /

When the Hurricanes defeated the Colorado Avalanche, a message was sent through the hockey world. Colorado had been seemingly untouchable, yet, a trip to the Eastern Seaboard had shown that they were mortal. Carolina proved to be too much for the league-leading Colorado club. While it wasn’t a perfect performance from Carolina, it was a great display of everything this Hurricanes team is about.

Carolina’s penalty kill stole the show again. A perfect three-for-three in this one denying the Avalanche changes to take the lead at big times. It was effective and stifling all night long. Almost all night long, they restricted the Colorado Avalanche to almost nothing, and the more comfortable the killers got, the more comfortable the Hurricanes looked out on the ice. It’s clear that the penalty kill has fast become the lifeblood of this team.

Antti Raanta needs to be the next point of conversation. A 36 save shutout of one of the highest-scoring teams in the sport? Yeah, he’s earned it. Raanta has shown he’s more than capable of taking the crease and running with it when the Canes need him to, and he’s showing everyone that doubted him at the beginning of the season how far off-base they were. He’s been incredible, and he’s removed all doubt.

Ethan Bear has had his struggles in Raleigh this year. COVID, injuries, and just straight up being a healthy scratch have outlined some of the issues he’s had since coming to Raleigh, but he got the game-winning goal in this one, and he’s thoroughly earned it. Two of Bear’s three goals this year have been GWG’s for the Carolina Hurricanes. He’s been a fantastic pick-up for the team from the Edmonton Oilers.

Two more players to talk about in this game. One is Jaccob Slavin. Jaccob Slavin did traditional Jaccob Slavin stuff, and he was just incredible all night long. Laying the body, blocking shots, breaking up passes, just being the fantastic defenseman he is. I refuse to believe there’s anyone better in the NHL than the Colorado native. He always puts in a special performance against his hometown team.

Finally, it’s the clubs’ star forward. As this Hurricanes player recorded goal number 25 and point number 59 on the year, Sebastian Aho is just elite. There’s no way around it at this point. He’s a dominant forward who can explode in both zones and he’s just special. He’ll never get the recognition he deserves, but he’s so dang good. Aho’s slowly closing in on a lot of the franchise’s all-time records.

It was a brilliant game from the Hurricanes. They were dominant for most of it and bent but didn’t break when the Avalanche put the pressure on. Carolina’s line-up did everything they were asked to do. They played a great game, and they got their rewards from the pride of the Western Conference. Carolina sits atop the Eastern Conference and just beat the only team above them in the standings.

Question for Cardiac Cane readers: What did you think of the game?

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