The Hurricanes look to build off of an impressive win in Vegas as they go up against one of the NHL’s hottest teams.
Alternate title: Canes After Dark 2: Electric Boogaloo
We’re one game into the west coast road trip and now that I’m not a college student with no responsibilities, I see how much of a pain these late night games are. The adult world cares not for my sleep deprivation, so I must press on and tell you about how the Hurricanes match up against the Anaheim Ducks, no matter how tired I am.
Rod Brind’Amour didn’t rule out Brett Pesce returning to game action against Anaheim in his press conference on Wendesday, saying that they’ll likely make a decision on his status during the morning skate. Getting Pesce back in the lineup would be tremendous for the Hurricanes and a much needed boost to the penalty kill and the team’s play at even strength. However, if he is not ready to go, it’s safe to say that Brendan Smith will be suiting up on the third pairing once again.
The Hurricanes saw a much better performance from Jesperi Kotkaniemi on Tuesday night. The 21-year-old center spent time at his natural position and was an instant fit on his line, making plays on the forecheck and in transition to generate scoring chances. Kotkaniemi has struggled early on with the Hurricanes, so hopefully the game against Vegas will snowball into better performances from him moving forward.
Seth Jarvis has put the puck in the back of the net in three straight games, and while only one of those goals has counted, it’s clear that he belongs in the NHL. I’ve wondered how Jarvis will contend against the more physical Western Conference teams, so this will be a good test to see if he can continue to play his game even when the physicality ramps up.
The Ducks have been one of the league’s biggest surprises early on, riding an eight game win streak into the matchup. Forward Troy Terry leads the team in scoring with 21 points in 16 games, while Ryan Getzlaf is second with 18 points in 17 games. Getzlaf recorded his 1000th career point against the Washington Capitals on Tuesday night, becoming the only player in Anaheim Ducks history to reach the milestone according to ESPN.
The Ducks have had some balanced scoring early on, with seven players already hitting double digit points through 17 games. Anaheim is also benefitting from stellar goaltending, with John Gibson posting a .925 save percentage in 13 appearances and Anthony Stolarz posting a .912 save percentage in four appearances.
- The last time the Hurricanes played the Ducks, the world wasn’t faced with The Great Toilet Paper Crisis of 2020 yet. It was a simpler time, but one that saw the Hurricanes fall 2-1 to the Ducks in overtime.
- Frederik Andersen appeared in 125 games for the Anaheim Ducks from 2013-2016. I’m not sure if this still counts as a revenge game, but our Ed Sheeran-lookalike goaltender may hide some resentment there. You never know.
- You would think that a Hurricane would be deadly to a Duck, but that’s quite the opposite on the ice. The Ducks are 15-3-1 in their last 19 meetings against the Hurricanes. The Hurricanes were 0-1-1 in their two meetings against the Ducks during the 2019-20 season.
- Thirteen players on the Hurricanes’ 2021-22 roster were not on the roster the last time the Hurricanes played the Ducks. January 2020 feels like a long time ago, but it can’t be that long ago, right?
- Today in stats that probably don’t mean much: the Hurricanes have won the most games (12) through the first 14 games of a season in franchise history, surpassing the 2005-06 team’s 11-2-1 record.
- The Hurricanes boast the NHL’s best points percentage (.857) and are 6-1-0 on the road to start the season.