Times have been tough of late for the Carolina Hurricanes but Tuesday brought some much-needed happiness for Caniac Nation. The leaders stepped up on this team to contribute to a 4-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators. The last stop on the Canadian road trip is complete with a win.
After losing to the Vancouver Canucks and dropping four straight in Canada, the players held a meeting with just the players present. The coaching staff has expressed the frustration from some players but did not call anyone out.
Being a leader does not mean that you have to have a letter on your sweater or be a grizzled veteran in the NHL. Leadership is not defined by goals and assists. That is the beauty of this great sport.
After an important occurrence like a players-only meeting, getting out in front early and building some confidence is always good. Unfortunately, that was not the case against Ottawa. More credit is given to this group for not going with the trend and shaking off the early deficit.
It would have been easy to chalk this one up as unlucky on the road and go through the motions to complete the game and move closer to getting home. This group has never shown a lack of commitment, which has made this losing streak more concerning. That was wiped away Tuesday.
The leaders lead the way and scored four unanswered goals to comfortably put away the hosts. The team regained its form and Sebastian Aho did what was necessary to separate the Canes from the Senators. It is never a bad thing to have your best player come out and score two goals after a players-only meeting.
Martin Necas has taken some heat from the fan base this year for some lazy play and a drop in production. He gives everything he has night in and night out, despite the critics. His speed and skill are unmatched on this team and his positive performances usually coincide with a Canes win.
Top line players like Seth Jarvis were extremely relieved after the game and being able to plug in a goal for the boys was important to Jarvis.
The defense played consistently and smartly, moving the puck up the ice but making sure they were available to defend in front of Pyotr Kochetkov. Kochetkov responded in a big way after giving up the first goal. He takes losses harder than anyone and you can tell this game boosted his confidence.
As Tripp Tracy eluded on the broadcast, the confidence in stopping Brady Tkachuk was truly a treat to watch. The confidence to stick up for himself and chirp back to the always cheerful Tkachuk took a lot and brightened the locker room for sure.
Moments like the penalty shot stop are big and could be looked back on when this team continues to turn things around. Next stop is Detroit before heading home. Much hockey to be played in Raleigh in the coming months which will be welcomed by this group.