With any team, in any sport, at any level, there is going to be hand-wringing by fans, whipped into a mass panic about something. This year, for the Canes it’s been the power-play and the lack of offense from the big names.
Injuries have been another concern. A tough, if not very tough, road schedule is another cause for tumult. But, juries heal, and no team besides the Arizona Coyotes can stay on the road for long.
For some the team has struggled more than they should, but to many of us here in Raleigh they have played solid hockey, though rough patches, and there are brighter days ahead.
And this is exactly what GM Don Waddell reminded Canes fans of throughout the article.
Look just where the team is at this point!
Second in the Metro Division behind an upstart (and bound to cool) New Jersey Devils team.
The Canes have a fantastic problem in the goaltender department with Pyotr Kochetkov playing absolutely tremendous in his first full season in the NHL, and Freddie Andersen due back sooner than later.
Veteran players like Jordan Martinook, Jordan Staal, and Brent Burns have stepped right into the roles that were meant to play, providing offense and puck presence.
Younger players like Jesper Fast, Seth Jarvis, and Jesperi Kotkaniemi continue to improve peppering in goals and valuable assists.
More offense is coming as Max Pacioretty continues to practice with the team. Sebastian Aho will be back soon, and Teuvo Teravainen will find a pace.
As if that is not enough, Martin Necas has played unreal.
Yes, the Canes had a slump. Yes, they lost a few games (several in OT) to some teams they could have beaten.
BUT….as Waddell pointed out time and time again, the Carolina Hurricanes are in a very good spot, and he is prepared to “push in the chips” necessary to make a strong Stanley Cup run.
I for one, am confident in what the team has shown and that he means what he says.
Up and down the roster, there are players who can pick up the load for making a hard run into the playoff. Veterans like Martinook, Staal and Brent Burns, to rookies like Pyotr Kochetkov, to the young guns like Fast, and Jarvis, the Carolina Hurricanes have the depth and skill.