The Carolina Hurricanes Win The Central Division

Carolina Hurricanes

Carolina Hurricanes

 

 

This is one of the great stories of the entire season. We all know how good the Carolina Hurricanes have been over the last two seasons. Two years ago, they ended a 10-year playoff drought. The run was so impressive they made it all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals. Along the way, they also eliminated the defending champion Washington Capitals in seven games. That run was the start of something really special for this Carolina Hurricanes franchise.

Unfortunately, the Canes season has been cut short in back-to-back years at the hands of the Boston Bruins. In those two series, they have a combined 1-8 record. This season they look to change those losing ways in the playoffs. They have put together a team that is well balanced at all three positions on the ice. Their forwards know how to score, their defense knows how to hit, and they have three solid goaltenders between the pipes. As a result, they officially have the best record in the Central Division and have home ice through the first two rounds of the playoffs.

 

 

Goaltending

The Hurricanes have had goalie trouble for many years before this stretch of amazing play. Cam Ward was a great story back in 2006 to lift the Hurricanes to their first and only Stanley Cup Championship. When he was past his prime, it was a mad scramble to find a new goalie to lift this team out of rock bottom. They have certainly found quite a few candidates with the trio they have right now.

Petr Mrazek has been on this team for a few years now and has been sensational for this team. When he went down with a major injury this year, the Hurricanes turned to a young rookie to help with backup James Reimer. Alex Nedeljkovic has been everything and more for this Carolina Hurricanes team. He has posted a record of 15-4-3 and has put up a 1.89 GAA and a 0.932 Save Percentage. Those numbers are insane for a rookie. If Kirill Kaprizov wasn’t having a phenomenal season, I would have Nedeljkovic up there for the Calder Trophy winner.

Don’t overlook the performance of James Reimer either. He has been great since the injuries to Petr Mrazek. This season, he has posted a 15-5-2 record with a 2.66 GAA and a 0.906 Save Percentage. The Hurricanes have a major choice ahead for which goalie will lead them on a potentially deep playoff run.

 

 

Dougie Hamilton’s Fantastic Season

A few years back, we saw a blockbuster trade between the Calgary Flames and the Carolina Hurricanes. The main pieces in the trade include Noah Hannifin going to Calgary and Dougie Hamilton going to Carolina. The trade has worked wonders for both teams, but it seems the Hurricanes are getting more than they expected with Dougie Hamilton.

Hamilton is a season to remember for the Carolina Hurricanes this year. In 54 games played this season, Hamilton has put up 10 goals and 32 assists and is a +23 on the year. He has become a complete leader for the young Hurricanes group. With the amount of experience he has in the playoffs, it could go a long way for a team like the Carolina Hurricanes when the playoffs start. He may not be the most liked person in Boston, but Carolina can’t get enough Dougie Hamilton for their team. He will need to continue his incredible offensive season in the playoffs for Carolina to continue to dominate.

 

 

Who Will Carolina Play In The Playoffs?

Right now, there are only two options for the opponent of the Carolina Hurricanes. Those two teams are the Dallas Stars or the Nashville Predators. At the moment, the Predators are in the fourth seed with 60 points in the standings. The Stars are right behind them with 58 points. Both have two games remaining on the season.

The only way Dallas can get it is if the Predators earn only 1 point in their final two games and the Stars win both of their games. It is highly unlikely, but we have seen crazier things happen this season.

In terms of records against each team, the Carolina Hurricanes have been very successful against each team. The Hurricanes are 6-1-1 against the Dallas Stars and 6-0-0 against the Nashville Predators. Regardless of who they play, this Hurricanes team will be teh heavy favorite when the series starts in Raleigh.

 

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