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yave1964

Hurricanes year in review

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Posted (edited)

PRESEASON OUTLOOK Very rosy. After years of seemingly always barely missing the playoffs last season Carolina put it all together making it all the way to the conference finals before bowing out to Eastern Champ boston. Hope was high that a deep roster would be primed for another run.

 

FINAL RECORD 38-25-5 4th in the Metro Dismantled the Rangers in the play in round before bowing out to boston yet again.

 

STRANGE STAT OF THE YEAR Mrazek who has never been a bastion of consistency had a strange home/road split, at home he was a world beater going 15-8-0 with a 2.40 goals against, on the road he was not the same player going 6-8-2 with a 2.99 goals against.  It got so bad that in their last ten road games Mrazek only started three of them.

 

HIGH POINT OF THE YEAR A grueling Western Canada (with a stop in Colorado) trip in which they went 4-0-1 pushed them to 22-11-2 on December 19th. 

 

LOW POINT OF THE YEAR For the rest of the season they went 16-14-3, stumbling along, winning a few, losing a few. Not nearly good enough for such a talented team. The other low point would have to be the perfromance against Boston, they were overmatched and thoroughly beaten.

 

WHAT WENT RIGHT They have developed a trio of stars among the forwards in Teravainen, Aho, and Svechnikov all of whom were near point a game pace. Hamilton was in conversation for the Norris before his injury. The best shut down defender that nobody talks about in all of hockey including  everyone is Jaccob Slavin. Hamilton deserved the pub he got but Slavin is the glue of the defense and a hidden star.Martin Necas quietly has turned into a very promising young player. Pesce and Edmundson are a rugged physical second pairing on the back end who love to hit. Haydn Fleury finally established himself on the back end giving the Canes arguably the most complete back end in the game. Hell they made Reimer and Mrazek look much better than they are.Throw in late additions Brady Skei and Sami Vaatanen and this defense is almost criminal. Staal was among the games best faceoff men and with Niederreitter on his wing along with Foegele they provided nice secondary scoring among the forwards. David Ayres stole the hearts and minds of 40 year olds hoping to make it in the pros by coming in as an emergency goalie and beating the Leafs in a game. Justin Williams took the first half a season off and came back as if he didnt miss a beat.

 

WHAT WENT WRONG Jake Gardiner was signed to provide depth on the back end and was a poor fit, scoring only 4 goals and going minus 24, nobody else on the team was worse than minus 7. Dzingel, the teams other high priced free agent add didnt do much to earn his contract. They waaayyyyyy overpaid for Vincent Trocheck in a late season trade unless Vinnie rediscovers his game. In fact these three, Vinnie, Gardiner and Dzingel all have multiple years remaining on their deals which could hurt their flexibility going forward.

 

FREE AGENTS  Vatanen,  Edmundson and TVR are all free agents, the Canes would like to retain Vatanen and Edmundson both but have outstanding blueline depth regardless.Justin Williams may do the same thing again, sit out half a season or so and return in time to tune up for the playoffs.

 

OFFSEASON QUESTION MARKS How in the hell do they get past the damn Bruins? This has been a postseason nightmare for the club since their Hartford days and while they left Brass Bonanza behind they carried this tradition with them. Can they continue to spend elsewhere and walk the razors edge with average netminding in Mrazek/Reimer? Can they resign their free agent defenders? do they need to?

 

  Truthfully this is a very good team with some solid prospects ready to step in, Jake Bean is another outstanding defensive prospect, Julian Gauthier will fight for top nine minutes among the forwards, Geekie, a big corn fed Manitoba farm boy looks like he is being groomed to replace Staal soon, and the best prospect of all is under the radar Nedlojkovic in net who looks as if he will take over soon from the not so dynamic duo.  Lots to like right now with this organization. Lots.

Edited by yave1964

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