Believe it our not, but this author holds an advanced degree in Education. As part of teacher training, we are taught to report back to students often and announce their progress or lack there of. The idea here is that students are able to adjust, seek out ways to improve OR affirm they work and keep up with progress. After just 7 games, the Carolina Hurricanes are 3-4-0 and off to the worst start in the Brind’Amour tenure as head coach. Still there have been some very bright spots. With all that in mind, here is a run down of the Hurricanes’ grade after JUST 7 GAMES.
A’s: 100 to 91
95: Teuvo Teräväinen- Turbo time started early this year, and we are not all glad to see him back. With 4 goals and an assist, this has to be one of if not the best start to the season we have seen from TT in years. Here’s to hoping this is a sign that Teuvo has returned to his usual form
94: Seth Jarvis- This might be a little lower than the 7 points (4 goals and 3 assists) Jarivs has posted, but the diminutive FO% is his only weakness. It might take a minute for him to get good at this, and frankly it is interesting to see. Give some diversity to the line up. Still, the season is off to a great start for #24.
93: Stefan Noesen- 6 points in 7 games from Noesen is a pleasant, but not wholly unexpected surprise. Maybe the best news of those 6 points are the 5 assists as part of a lukewarm offense. With emanate shake-ups, it might be that Noesen is left off the line-up card soon, BUT this strong of a start cannot help his claim to his spot on the ice for the time being.
92: Martin Necas, Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Jaccob Slavin. Slavin could be higher by a little. His goals from the defensive front have been great. Necas and Kotkaniemi both have had good starts and through 7 games have shown progress.
90: Brady Skjei and Brent Burns– Both have helped produce from their pairings as offensive defensemen. Burns has been stuck on the ice for perhaps and unduly high number of goals against the Canes. Skjei is likely missing the stable play of Brett Pesce, but his pairing with Jalen Chatfield has been solid.
89: Jalen Chatfield, Michael Bunting and Jordan Staal– Chatfield has played very well when given the chance. His being promoted to the 2nd defensive pairing is a boost and proof positive that he can play that mistake free hockey you would expect. Bunting started out great, but has faded to the background. His 5 points really reflect his quick start, but we haven’t heard much from him lately. Jordan Staal has been successful through 7 as the face-off king, but that is about it. The powerplay has been paltry as well
88: Sebastian Aho- 2 goals in 4 games is respectable, and I think a sign of the times that Aho is maturing into a leadership roll that might see his goal totals lower. Still that role is Staal’s and Aho need to produce.
87: Jordan Martinook and Jesper Fast- The J-Line being the only stable line on the offensive side was supposed to lead to maybe a touch more offense than what has been seen. Fast broke out quick and is sitting at +3 so far. Carolina could use the Jesper Fast of the playoffs, but if that takes minute, then it will be worth it. Martinook has been on the ice with energy per his usual. He had some particularly good chances last night in Tampa. Maybe not as strong a start as some night have hoped, but still the energy is there and his season thus far has been solidly respectable
86: The Goalies- It only took these first 7 games to convert me away from “All goals are on the goalie.” Last night’s 3-0 against Pyotr Kochetkov is exhibit A for the case. None of the three goals were much on him. Defensive break-downs in front him did not help. The same can be said for Raanta’s starts. Even, brace yourself, Freddie Andersen has been plagued by some lame goals that were not his fault. I would still say he needs to step up when he hits the ice again.
85: Brett Pesce- From everything we have seen, this is right where Brett Pesce should be. He does his job, and does it well. Provide some diversionary offense and solid defense. The Hurricanes have definitely missed his steady hand, and will be better when he returns.
80: Jack Drury- Through 7, Drury would have been much lower had he not stepped in to stop Nick Price’s fist with his head a few times last night. Answering the bell when Carolina’s “grit” was in time-out jumped his average up. In fact it would be much lower had he not volunteered as tribute
60: Tony DeAngelo- 3 points is hardly worth him. The PK he was brought in to revamp has already been shaken-up and he has been moved to PK2. No goals after 7 games is hardly the offensive production the Hurricanes were promised. He would be much lower but I don’t want to hear it from his fans.
59: Brendan Lemieux- 31 PIM is 6 games with a goal. Enough said. This guy is a penalty magnet on a team that needs to play 5 on 5 hockey for 56 minutes of every game. He needs to be in the press box or relegated to the AHL
50: Dmitry Orlov- This guy gets 50 for signing his name right. He is -11 and was at one point in the bottom 10 for NHL defensemen in that category. I cannot think of anything positive to say about him, and I am pretty sure he runs with scissors and eats paste.
Absent From School That Day
Andrei Svechnikov– Everyone and their uncle is excited to see Svechnikov back on the ice, but no one is looking to rush the process. All of the talk of an opening night start might well have been bluster, and I for one am glad it passed. A healthy Svechnikov will mean the heaviness and offense is really back. Likely it will take some time for him to be back all the way, but that is time well spent.
It’s only been 7 games. The offensive side of the game will get it’s act together and produce goals. Defensively, the Canes can improve in the bottom pairing by benching Orlov and giving Coghlan a chance with Chatfield.
Some adjustments, and time will have the Hurricanes back in fine form. It’s just been 7 games.