Before opening night, Hurricanes’ captain, Eric Staal, stated, “This team is gonna surprise a lot of people.” I thought, “I don’t know about that, but I hope you’re right.” Here they are, though, standing at 20-18-8 with 48 points, squarely in the mix, being just one point out of a playoff spot. They are 12-5-4 since December 5th, gaining seven points on the last wild card spot and nine points in the division race. They gained 9 points on New Jersey, 11 points on Pittsburgh,and 12 points on Ottawa. They came from 21 points back of Montreal to one.
The chemistry of this team is sky high. Everybody is contributing. They have been very balanced offensively and great defensively (especially the young guns Pesce, Slavin, and Hanifin). Even Liles is impressing me. I believe the younger players like Skinner, Rask, and Di Giuseppe producing has taken the pressure off of the Staals, who are now able to play more freely. Cam Ward and Eddie Lack are on an amazing run, with Ward leading all goalies in the league over the last month in GAA at only 1.66. He has 10 straight starts with allowing three goals or less.
If they continue this play, they can possibly make the postseason. I’m trying not to get my hopes up, but it is very hard not to. Sunday’s game against Pittsburgh is going to be an important game. It will be very interesting seeing if they can keep this up. They are one of the hottest teams in the league currently along with Florida, Chicago, and Philadelphia. Eric Staal told the truth.