Welcome back. This is the first 8 game review of the season and things are smoking hot!
First 8 games - 7 wins, 1 loss. 14 points
I’ve been doing 8 game reviews for awhile now. 10 a season for several years now. Things are damn good right now.
First in Pacific
Big lead on Las Vegas
Powerplay is 1st in the NHL
Penalty Kill is 3rd in the NHL
3 scorers in Top 12
Connor and Drai are 1 and 2 in pts
Connor and Drai are tied for 2nd in goals behind Ovi
Connor, Drai and RNH are 1,2,3 for assists
Koskinen is Top 10 for goalies (.933 save percentage)
There used to be a time when I did these that I’d complain about us always facing the other teams backup and losing. Well most teams won’t be giving us their backups this season. We are 3rd in the NHL for Goals for. Our Goals against is 21st. We are one of the best offences in the NHL so far this season. We score often and a lot.
The D is, once again, led by Tyson Barrie in scoring. The big revelation is that Bouchard is already on the Top Pair with Nurse. It needs to be said. Keith and Ceci have been good through 8 games. Steady and consistent. They have the worst starts of any pair on the team. Routinely starting a couple of feet from our Goalie. They’ve been near even at 5 on 5 and helping with special teams. Good solid minute munchers so far.
The Forwards have been molten hot. 5 guys at a .ppg pace or higher. Kassian and Foegele with some nice secondary scoring.
Tipp has been splitting up McDrai. Tipp has brought back the DRY line.
Benson and McLeod have gotten some games in. Skinner is getting reps.
We no longer have scheduled losses. There is really not a team in regular season that should be a scheduled loss like the old days.
We are beating the teams we should. This hasn’t always happened. Some of the games were ugly but they all got us 2 points and a W.
Ilya Konovov with his first AHL win
Dimitri Samorukov is back!
A solid third line!
Yamamoto scored last night. That ends a 25 plus goal less drought. He routinely plays with some of the best players on the planet and his scoring has dried up. I’m hoping last night’s goal sparks him and gets him going.
Our 4th line has no identity. It’s just a random mishmash of 5 guys playing ‘spin the wheel’.
Smith and Koskinen have both had 1 stinker game so far this season (Anaheim and Philly).
Nurse has had some bobbles. 2 of the last 3 games has seen him looking bad on a goal against.
Remember our amazing Goals For, Goals Against, PP and PK numbers? Well our 5 on 5 is still not the best. We have scored 17 goals (12th in NHL) and allowed 16 goals (13th in NHL). Our 5 on 5 is plus 1 and not in the Top 10.
We are outscoring our problems with a molten hot Top 6 and molten hot PP
Connor and Drai are covering up for a lot of our misgivings at 5 on 5
Our D in general is quite leaky. We pass much better. We are definitely more experienced on the back end.
Our third line has been a little lost the last 3 games. I love that line but they’ve struggled a bit.
I will be leaving this part here for every review. In fairness, there really isn’t much ugly right now. Currently, Holland is looking like a genius. I still think the moves below will become problematic for us. So far, I couldn’t be more wrong.
Holland ‘win now’ guys (bold is 30 or over):
Kassian (3.2), Turris (1.6), Ryan (1.25), Shore (.85), Keith (5.5), Barrie (4.5), Ceci (3.25), Russel (1.25), Smith (2.2), Archi (1.5), Stalock (.75) and Neal/Sekera/Lucic buyouts (5).
That is over 30 million dollars in cap space!
Returning next season will be Kassian (3.2), Ryan (1.6), Shore (.85), Keith (5.5), Barrie (4.5), Ceci (3.25), Smith (2.2) and Neal/Sekera/Lucic buyouts (5) for 26 million next season
Imagine if we traded Barrie for Foegele last season, kept Bear and never signed Barrie? We’d even have an extra 2.5 million in cap and our right side could be Bouch, Bear and Ceci. Still could’ve signed Hyman and Ryan.
Eight game, eight win. Amazing start into this season for the Hurricanes. And Ethan Bear is a big reason why Carolina has been playing so good this season so far. Yesterday, Bear had one assist and Carolina outplayed the Blackhawks with him on the ice. Underrated defenseman. pic.twitter.com/xlLQ7kuMKL— Andy & Rono (@HockeyStatsCZ) October 30, 2021
What does Connor have to do to draw a penalty?