The COVID-19 pandemic has been a hallmark of the world since its widespread fast movement in 2020. Because of this pandemic, we have seen multiple shortened NHL seasons, as well as a number of different solutions to allow play to continue, however, currently the solution is seemingly just taking a break until after Christmas.
Before the Christmas break, the Carolina Hurricanes were having an amazing season which saw them on top of the league in points on numerous occasions, as well as being in the top three in the league going into the break, with the fewest games played of the group on top of the table. As well, the team has the most wins in the league and has moved a lot of players who seemingly were low on the list of bests in the league back to the former glory, and in some cases to a better season than they had ever had before coming to the team.
One such player is goalie Frederik Andersen, who is currently among the top three goalies in terms of goals-against average, with only Charlie Lindgren placing ahead of him, which makes sense especially because Lindgren has only played five games. In comparison, last season Andersen was fairly low down on the list of top goalies in the league, especially due to his injuries. Since coming to the Hurricanes, he has seemingly bounced back and made a resurgence into being one of the best performers in the NHL.
As well placing fairly high after a catastrophic season previously is Anthony DeAngelo, who made waves after having an apparent outburst which later saw his contract with the New York Rangers being canceled, as he caused conflicts with teammates and others around the league. The Hurricanes took a huge risk signing the player, due to his negative image, but the risk has seemingly paid off as his performances have been some of the top in the league this season. While this doesn’t clear up his image, he seemingly has realized that he needs to better himself, and has both apologized for his actions and started to show some change in himself.
Finally, in terms of new additions, former Montreal Canadien Jesperi Kotkaniemi has started to make a name for himself among the Hurricanes, maintaining a positive +/- rating and scoring 13 points, which, if the season were to go the full 82 games, would put him on pace for the most goals since his entrance to the league.
Fans were largely excited to see the player join the team, even viewing the creation of the “All Finnish Line” as a move which could only possibly be positive, but that currently doesn’t see as much playtime, between injuries, COVID protocol, and performance differences which saw the players move up and down the lines. Overall, he looks to be a great addition to the team and looks as though he could benefit from the youth development of the Hurricanes organization.
Overall, when looking at the team, there is a lot of depth in the organization, as well as a budding youth system, which could see them remaining strong for seasons to come. The Hurricanes look very ready to make a solid cup push at the end of the season and have further seemed like some of the toughest competitors to come up against during regular season play.
Hopefully, the return to play will be just as good for the team, as it is a difficult transition to make between not playing any games during the middle of the season to playing at full strength again, the one upside is that players will have time to recover from their current injuries, which should see an interesting dynamic, as it gives more time for players to recover without missing games, which will likely see the stats of some players looking more like an ideal season without injuries occurring.
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