Should the Carolina Hurricanes meet up with the New York Islanders in the first round of the Stanley Cup Play-Offs, Carolina’s defense has the Islander’s defense Waffle Housed: Scattered, Smothered, Covered, Capped and Chopped. And it is as plain as the menu, even an inebriant can read it at 3:00 (am Or pm matters not) But In case you are intoxicated and find yourself at a Waffle House, there is bound to be at least someone to go over the menu, line by line. So that is exactly what we are going to do dear Caniacs. Pairing by pairing with simple stats, we’re going to show how no amount of high test coffee will help the Islanders defense against the Canes.
Defensive Line 1 for the Carolina Hurricanes
Brent Burns and Jaccob Slavin have combined for 18 goals and 57 assists. With Brent Burns setting the Hurricanes single season points record for defensemen, it is no small wonder this is Carolina’s top pairing. Slavin has pulled his weight as well with flashes of dynamite play. Consider this line the Saturday morning crew at the Waffle House, they are good, make a mean cup of coffee, and maybe have the same number of teeth.
Defensive Line 1 for the New York Islanders
Adam Pelech and Scott Mayfield together have lit the lamps 9 times and helped with 30 more. Just reading their scoresheet might not give a fair assessment, so pardon me if I misspeak here. Pelech has appeared in 51 games this year and has 18 points. He is averaging over a shot a night in those 51 games so suffice it to say he can make the batter…and maaaybe the waffles but not both. Scott Mayfield’s stats read a little better. He has 19 points in 72 games. He also has 77 PIM. How this guy is +4 is about as miraculous as the floor at a Waffle House ever being clean enough to eat off.
Defensive Line 2 for the Carolina Hurricanes
Brady Skjei and Brett Pesce are, goal wise, Carolina’s best defensive line. Skjei is one of Carolina’s top scorers on the year sporting 15 thus far. Pesce has played tremendous defense while helping with 22 helpers on the year. If the Burns/Slavin line is Saturday morning crew, Skjei and Pesce are the Friday nighters. Good, can handle it if things get rough, and not terribly bad looking either, though one you have to squint at harder than the other.
Defensive Line 2 for the New York Islanders
Alexander Romanov and Ryan Pulock have just 6 goals and 45 points together. Romanov has 72 games under his belt this year managing just 2..(1,2) goals on 93 shots. If goals were pennies, he’d need 23 more just to play a food themed song on the Waffle House jukebox, and it be a Waffle House in 1979. Ryan Pulock is better, but just by the difference between medium bacon and regular bacon. He does have 5 PPP, so maybe he is the guy that ONLY makes the bacon.
Defensive Line 3 for the Carolina Hurricanes
Shayne Gostisbehere and Jalen Chatfield are the crew assigned for the natural disasters. They are going to be there, feed the FEMA folks and the power company guys the best Waffle House food they have ever eaten and then some. Period. Together this line has the most points on any Hurricanes defensive line with 49 (counting Gostisbehere’s whole year) Gostisbehere has almost as many assists as New York’s third line together.
Defensive Line 3 for the New York Islanders
Samuel Bolduc and Noah Dobson are newly assigned as a pairing so their numbers are skewed. We’re going to call this the training line, since Bolduc is a rookie with par numbers in the AHL and Noah Dobson is decent. But like any training duo, it is made up of one person doing ALL the work and the new person better left to maybe taking out the trash. This line (again Bolduc as ONE NHL game) has 14 goals and 29 assists. But if I were Noah Dobson I would be taking all the tips.
Defensively the Hurricanes have the Islanders covered like syrup on a waffle should the Canes and Islanders meet up in the first round. The only questions are what to put in your grits, and how much sugar do you think you need to make Waffle House coffee palatable.