After an incredible weekend in Raleigh, the Carolina Hurricanes look to ride the momentum from the memorable event into the end of the regular season.
Not enough can be said about the atmosphere and overall presentation at Carter-Finley Stadium on Saturday.
Raleigh was put on the hockey map with that crowd and performance from the players against the Washington Capitals.
Sure the Capitals were a little depleted but the Canes came at them from the start and never made it possible for the Capitals to get back in it.
Make no mistake, the crowd played a huge part in the quick goal by Jesperi Kotkaniemi.
As they say, the rest is history.
Now the stretch run begins for the first place Hurricanes and the schedule this week presents three very winnable games.
As the end of February approaches, the NHL trade deadline looms on March 3rd at 3 P.M. EST. The fireworks have already begun with several teams starting early to build towards the playoffs.
Top names like Bo Horvat, Ryan O’Reilly, and Vladimir Tarasenko have been moved thus far and players like Timo Meier, Brock Boeser, and Patrick Kane are sure to be moved before the deadline.
Speaking of O’Reilly and Tarasenko, their former team the St. Louis Blues visit Raleigh tomorrow to open the week of games for Canes.
Obviously, the Blues have made a decision to re-build this roster and obtain as many assets as possible. This is never an easy thing for the players that remain with the team for the remainder of the season.
It would not be surprising to see the Blues deal additional players before the puck drops tomorrow night.
This presents an opportunity for the Canes to ease back into the schedule after the immense height of an outdoor game with that result mind you. The intensity of that game will be difficult to duplicate in the regular season.
The game against the Blues is not given by any stretch but never a bad thing to play a team that just lost its two best players.
From Tuesday on, the Canes will host the Ottawa Senators on Friday and the Anaheim Ducks the following evening on Saturday.
It is a sure thing to expect to see two different goaltenders from back to back. Rod Brind’Amour will be very careful with his goal tending situation down the stretch.
The standings will surely make an impact on Brind’Amour’s decisions as well.