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I love the Carolina Hurricanes and you should too

There is one thing about tomorrow night’s Leafs vs. Hurricanes game that makes me sad: one team has to lose. The best we can all hope for is overtime and then when they don’t score in overtime they forego the shootout by agreeing to share the extra point, with each team receiving 1.5 standings points for their efforts. And then they all hang out on the ice for a bit taking selfies and stuff and then I cry.

While I’m aware that this is a Leafs blog, I think this is a great opportunity to write about my newfound love for the Carolina Hurricanes. So, without further adieu, here are five reasons why the Carolina Hurricanes should be your second favourite team.

5. They finally stopped starting Cam Ward 

And they replaced him with Scott Darling at the low cost of a third round pick. Darling’s career numbers in a relatively small sample size are sparkling, although he hasn’t been great early on this season. Heading into this season Darling had played 75 career regular season games with the Chicago Blackhawks. During that time he posted a .932 5v5 sv%, 1.2% higher than his expected save percentage, which is based on shot location, according to corsica.hockey. That is good. He’s also been through some things, which gives all the more reason to want him to succeed as the Hurricane’s starting goaltender.

4. Ron Francis and Bill Peters

It’s appropriate that one of the least discussed all-time greats is now one of the least discussed good NHL general managers for the same organization. Also, I’m from Sault Ste. Marie so I’m a little biased toward Ronald. Based on the moves he’s made, Francis also seems to have a good relationship with the team’s head analytics dude, Eric Tulsky, which deepens my bias. Most teams hire people for that role and even employ full departments and then don’t seem to listen to them at all. Bill Peters is low-key one of the best coaches in the league. The Hurricanes have been a positive shot share team since his arrival despite some very “meh” rosters and their penalty kill has been far and away the best in the league in that department. These are a couple of areas I believe coaches have a big impact on.

3. The defence 

All their defencemen are really good and also really young. Jaccob Slavin and Brett Pesce are one of the best shut down pairings in the league and they’re both 23-years-old, Noah Hanifin is having a fantastic year and is only 20. Justin Faulk is the old man of the blueline at the age of 25. They’re going to be very good for a while.

2. The Aho-Staal-Teravainen line

I’m obsessed with this line and they’ve been on an absolute tear of late.

You get the idea. They’re incredible.

1. Jeff Skinner

I have a serious man crush on this dude and his skating ability. I’m obsessed with watching Skinner play hockey and if I ever have children I’m putting them in figure skating in the hopes they can learn similar skating techniques.

I want to watch every second Jeff Skinner ever spends on the ice. My friend Rachel wrote this amazing piece based on Skinner and Jeremy Bracco for  the Athletic and it is incredible. Below is one of the videos she put together for it. This video made me cry real tears.

 

I could list 500 reasons why the Hurricanes are perfect, but I’m going to keep this one short. The moral of the story is that I hope both teams get along and have a lot of fun and that everybody leaves healthy and happy.