This Carolina Hurricane, coming out of a tough back-to-back with a goalkeeping position absolutely ravaged by injuries across the organization, are in a special position as they head into 2022 for over a week. The team has finally regained some semblance of “health”. lineup, but the goalie position dropped to two players between the NHL and AHL. Fortunately, the team was still top-notch on the ice, snapping a five-game winning streak with a 4-3 overtime loss to Florida (with their third-line goalie in the net). The team still won 9 of their last 11 games.
However, since the coronavirus struck again, the team has had a bit of an unexpected time to act and build up their depth a bit at the goalie position. We’ll discuss that in this week’s news and rumours, as well as the upcoming schedule and the opportunity for the head coach to head to Las Vegas for an exciting weekend in February.because it sounds like the right thing to do “Love” by Rod Blinders alley.
Lafontaine heading to NHL duty?
With 3 of their 5 goalies at pro-level injuries and with no schedule for Antiranta currently “more than a few days” away, 2016 Hurricanes third-round pick Jack Lafon was announced Monday afternoon. Dan will sign a one-year entry-level contract (from “Why Jake Lafontaine left NCAA Minnesota midseason and why Hurricanes need him now”, sports, January 10, 2022).
The team then added Lafontaine to their cab squad on Monday, meaning the 6-foot-3 goalie might actually see the NHL’s crease in the near future. Brind’Amour noted that teams want to see what they have in the 24-year-old, who won the Mike Richter Award as the NCAA’s top goalie in 2021. That could mean his NHL debut will come sooner or later, especially if Ranta will be out for a long time.This gave the team a little flexibility in the bench between Lafontaine and Alex Lyon, who performed admirably but won lost to the florida panthers Saturday.
Lafontaine has had some difficulties this year, with his save percentage (SV%) dropping to 0.900 from 0.934 and 0.919 in his first two seasons at Minnesota. However, with his size and well-positioned style, he still has the NHL’s edge. Combined with the fact that he has graduated, the move makes sense from both sides. He’s guaranteed professional minutes — both at the NHL and AHL levels — and gives him a chance to earn himself some minutes next year. An $88,000 signing bonus sounds like a good deal, too.
The Hurricanes’ AHL affiliate, the Chicago Wolves, who have signed four goalies to PTOs over the past few weeks, are doing their best to wait as long as Eetu Makiniemi and Beck Warm are on the shelf. And, as mentioned, Lyon has been in Carolina since Ranta’s injury, which makes the team suddenly very thin at this position. So, instead of bringing in another player from outside the organization, they decided that the best course of action was to sign Lafontaine a few months earlier than originally planned.
It will be interesting to follow La Fontaine in the coming weeks, but there are also questions about how the goalkeeper room is going forward. He can certainly move forward with the Hurricanes’ plans, but with Makiniemi already playing extremely well and top goalie Pyotr Kochetkov eligible to sign from the KHL in May, Chicago’s goalie room could get very crowded next season. Still, this is a good question.
Another cancellation, more future issues
Tuesday night’s slant on the Philadelphia Flyers was yet another casualty of COVID-19, and there were plenty of interesting angles to look at. The Flyers currently have only three players under COVID protocol since their captain Claude Giroux pulled out yesterday – before the games I collected were called off. Also, keep in mind that there is now a taxi squad and a team can carry six additional players. So…what are we doing here?I seem to remember the Hurricanes playing two games when they were missing seven recent player.
Much has been said about this, what has been done has been done, so there is no reason to dwell on it. However, we can look to the future, considering that the second half of the Hurricanes’ already very busy schedule will get even tighter.
Teams have rescheduled seven games and none Makeup date yet to be announced. The simple goal of the NHL office already pitching it as a solution is to fill these games in the NHL’s now pointless Olympic break, but the possibility of a fit-for-all arena availability in these two weeks seems like a pipe dream. Will the regular season be extended? Will the team end up traveling a lot and just play an insanely shortened schedule? There are a lot of open questions right now, so it will be interesting to see where the league goes.
Now, the Hurricanes are far from the only team dealing with this issue, so there’s no reason to make excuses. Anyway, the team seems to be doing a lot better when they’re playing a lot, definitely better than they tend to, with a long break (of course, against Calgary last week, the five-day break lasted only for a while, Suddenly, they look like “crutch” again). So instead of resting all the time, it’s better to settle into a calm and maybe they can find a real groove in the second half.
Brind’Amour to coach Metro Division All-Stars
It wasn’t voted or decided in other interesting ways — simply put, the coach of the best team in each division on Jan. 10 would win the nod — but nonetheless, Brind’Amour will receive another honor jacket. The fourth-year head coach will (presumably) have the opportunity to lead Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin, Artemi Panarin and the rest of the Mets Division All-Star team in February On the 5th in Las Vegas to participate in the NHL All-Star Game. star game.
With a 144-73-22 record and three straight Stanley Cup playoff appearances with a young, rapidly improving team, Brind’Amour continues to cement his status as one of the best coaches in all of hockey. No, it doesn’t seem like the kind of thing that would make him jump for joy or get particularly excited because I believe he’d rather use his off time to go to the gym with his kids like any other off day he gets (not that I actually know what he does in his free time, but that seems like a good guess, right?). For some of the league’s stars, however, the opportunity to get along with the Carolina bench owner and gain insight into why his team is so good, so consistent, might have something to say.
Now, I’m not saying, like Panarin or anyone else, just sign with the Hurricanes just because he said “your turn” to jump the board for a good game of pond hockey (though it would It was hilarious to see Team Metro go all out and win every game 10-0 because they were so impressed with his intensity and leadership). Still, it’s really cool to see the Hurricanes earn some notoriety after the team has gone through an incredible turnaround under Brind’Amour as well as general manager Don Waddell and owner Tom Dundon. They deserve all the accolades they get these days, and probably more.
Hurricanes still finding rhythm
The Hurricanes will finally play against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday night. Carolina has beaten them twice this year — scoring 12 goals in the process — so it’s going to be a good game with the potential to get back on track quickly. They will then face the previously surging Vancouver Canucks, both of which will be played at PNC Arena. Then the Boston Bruins await next week, a game that most Hurricanes fans will be watching, and certainly not taking much stock as a barometer of the team’s playoff hopes.
With a challenging but very interesting schedule on the horizon, our fingers are still crossed that we won’t have to deal with any more schedule disruptions for a while. Unfortunately, this is still the world we live in, and COVID has caused layers of clouds to hang around the league. As this all goes on, we don’t really feel like we’re going into the final stretch of the season anytime soon, but usually, by January, coaches and general managers think so. Days and games are quickly pushed off the schedule, playoff games are heating up, and teams are starting to realize what they have, what they don’t have, and how they can improve at the trade deadline or prepare for the future quickly approaching.
With so many games having to be rescheduled, it hasn’t felt that way this year. But, for the Hurricanes, who are finally almost healthy at the start of the season and basically the icing on the cake for their team on paper, watching the team — and the front office — work over the next few months will will be fun. Can Brind’Amour find a line he likes and stick to it? What about Power Game Units? What does a hurricane really have in Ranta? Or Ethan Bear? Is Seth Jarvis a top six player now? Does his arrival, combined with the addition of Jesperic Kaniemi, give the Hurricanes enough firepower to take the next step? Many questions remain unanswered. But if Carolina can find their rhythm and build up their excellent first 33 games, hopefully the virus protocol and the NHL schedule will allow us to have them by April.
Guys, my name is Brandon Stanley. I cover the Carolina Hurricanes and Los Angeles Kings at THW. I was born and raised in Raleigh, North Carolina and have been playing hockey since I could stand up. When I was younger, I traveled all over North America with the Little Carolina Hurricanes, and the sport has always been my greatest passion. I also did a podcast called Tracking the Storm with two other writers (one of them, Alex Ohari, is also a writer for THW). This pod covers everything from the prospectus to the game recap and everything in between. I’m always available to chat about anything hockey related, so don’t hesitate to tweet or DM me on Twitter @bwstanley26!