Checking the hurricane mood: Closing out a “real special year” and predicting what’s next

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As interminable as the basically meaningless period between winning the playoffs and making the playoffs felt, it’s still hard to believe that Thursday’s 6-3 win over the Devils was the last game of the regular season. of the Hurricanes.

Time flies when you break the franchise points record, or whatever the old phrase is.

Yes, despite all of our complaints about this team throughout the 2021-22 season, the Hurricanes set new single-season franchise records for wins (54) and points (116). The team they overtook in both categories won the Stanley Cup in 2005-06, with Rod Brind’Amour as captain.

“If you really think about it, it’s a chore,” said Brind’Amour, now the Hurricanes coach. “Doing it like our group did is pretty special. Unfortunately, how much do you really want to enjoy it? We want to move into this next phase, and that starts next week. To top it off, I think it’s been a really special year. We didn’t really have any down time. We had a few games where it didn’t go our way, but there were no stretches where it was bad. We just haven’t had any wins. The guys have been really special that way this year.

These are the vibes the team is feeling after a win in which they got to try odd lines and key players off the bench. What about your vibes?

Here is our last atmosphere test of the regular season.

OK, here’s the thing: you have every right to be worried about the power play heading into the playoffs. But if it makes you feel any better, the Bruins’ potential first-round opponent had been on an 0-for-39 power-play streak before finally getting a few against the Sabers on Thursday. Zero for 39! Yes, David Pastrnak was out for a lot of things, but I’m trying to calm you down about this particular time of year for a reason. It’s not that regarding. Unless you’re worried about the Hurricanes’ inability to score on the power play in previous playoffs. In this case, I will tell you that it worries me a little too.

I will not post Dougie Hamilton’s stat line from Thursday’s game. I will not post Dougie Hamilton’s stat line from Thursday’s game. I will not post Dougie Hamilton’s stat line from Thursday’s game.

You are right.

LGC is completely cool? In this economy?

Totally. That’s exactly what I’ve been focusing on for the past few weeks. How are the kids and those who have struggled this season doing as we head into the playoffs? Jesperi Kotkaniemi returned from injury on Thursday to score a goal and two assists in the First period. Martin Necas has one goal and three points in his last two games. Seth Jarvis is riding a seven-game point streak. I think the children are doing well.


Jordan Martinook, Martin Necas and Jesperi Kotkaniemi. (Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images)

“Yeah, it was actually easier than I thought to get back into the groove,” Kotkaniemi said after Thursday’s game. “I think those few games helped in Colorado before. I think it was good.

The swagger does indeed peak at the right time, and the Canes end their regular season as they started it: on a winning streak. The nine-game streak at the start of the season made the Canes the best team in the league at that time. And no team will enter the playoffs with a streak longer than its current six-game streak. Brind’Amour had that inspirational pre-game talk about adversity, and the post-stall inconsistency reversed.

A few more observations as we put the regular season in the past:

• These rods broke various records mentioned above, but I bet Brind’Amour was the proudest of the Jennings, awarded annually to the team’s goaltenders with the fewest goals against in the regular season (minimum 25 games played). It’s obviously props for Freddie Andersen and Antti Raanta, but the whole team revolves around a shot-suppression game. “It’s definitely a team award,” Brind’Amour said. “Obviously, you have to have good goalkeepers to have a good team. It’s a good little seasonal capsule. Good group commitment. We talked about it this morning, this year so far has been really special for so many reasons. That’s another.

• Regardless, Andersen finished the regular season with a 35-14-3 record (the seventh most wins in the league), a 2.17 goals-against average (second), a save percentage of .922 (third) and, by silver washer, 27.8 goals saved above expectations (third). His better-than-expected save percentage on unblocked shots was second, again by MoneyPuck. Raise up your hand if you seen that coming. (Slowly raises her hand before turning to give me another pat on the back.)

• What are we most excited about heading into the playoffs? What are we concerned about? Will we ever know who the opponent in the first round is? Let’s talk about it in the comments.

(Sebastian Aho, Seth Jarvis and Steven Lorentz top photo: Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images)


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