In case you didn’t know, the Carolina Hurricanes are now 4 points up on the New Jersey Devils in the Metro Standings after the 4-3 shootout win over the Montreal Canadians. 4…points….up.
And there are just 20 games left in the season. Carolina does have a game in hand over the Devils, but no one really wants that to be a factor. The tilt between the Canes and the Flyers in Raleigh will be the first of 20 big-time games over the next month and a half.
As Flounder got into Delta House because “we need the dues”, the Canes need a win because “WE NEED THE POINTS!”
The Flyers have almost nothing to lose for the rest of the season. 6th might be the best they can finish in the Wild Card hunt, but sitting at home eating plain crackers will be what Philadelphia is doing at the end of the season. Coming off their 5-2 woodshed experience with the Tampa Bay Lightning, Philadelphia will be perhaps, how you say?, feisty, coming into Raleigh. And a feisty Flyers is not what Carolina needs. Especially with this kind of Tank Top garbage going on.
I am not sure what I loathe more? The act itself or John Tortorella’s shock at TDA being kicked out.
Besides the extracurriculars, the Flyers are not all that great. None of their top scorers Travis Konecny, Kevin Hayes, Scott Laughton, or Owen Tippett are on what anyone might call a heater. The four have produced 10 points in the last 5 games with 7 of those being goals.
As a team, only seven of their skaters are over 0 in the +/- column, which not only speaks to their on the ice performances, but John Tortorella’s inability to coach anything higher than the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center at Meadowview’s JV squad.
On the other hand, Carolina is playing good, to very good hockey, even GREAT hockey depending on who you ask. The 4-3 shootout over the Habs was not their best game, but that happens.
Carolina’s “4th line” of Stefan Noesen, Paul Stastny, and Derek Stepan made themselves known in Montreal. Stastny and Stepan both had assists and Noesen set up the goal that Jesper Fast scored on. As good as that line was, the Hurricanes had good games from the Staalwart Line as well. Jesper Fast had a big goal to tie the Habs at 3-3 in the 3rd.
But there was not a bigger line for the night than that of Jesperi Kotkaniemi’s. No awarded points, but there was this.
The Hurricane’s need the points. Four is a lot, but you want more. Especially as there are only 20 games left in the season. Their ability to keep away from the Flyers’ kneecapping tactics and play there game is going to be paramount to winning.
When at full strength, the Hurricanes put points on the board.
Also, as the Hurricanes have shown at different points in the season, any line or single player can put the team on their skates. Big games are possible from any spot on the ice against the Flyers, but look for Jesperi Kotkaniemi, or Jesper Fast to pick up points. Seth Jarvis might pull his cape from the closet again, and there is always the chance Jordan Martinook pops on the board.