5 Things Nobody Saw Coming From Carolina Hurricanes

1 of 6

5 Things Nobody Saw Coming From Carolina Hurricanes

Nobody Saw
James Guillory - USA Today Sports

If there's anything certain about an NHL season, it's that nothing is certain.

Nobody is immune and that includes the Carolina Hurricanes. While the rest of the league has their own little situations like Alex Ovechkin getting hurt, Max Talbot getting traded and the San Jose Sharks unlocking a cheat code – Carolina has been slammed with the unexpected.

While the preseason held some ambiguous promise, nothing is ever assured until October. However, if in October someone had said that by Veteran's Day, the Hurricanes would have two hurt goaltenders, be relying on two players who had no contract last season, and that the defenseman with the best stats on the team still can't buy his own beer – that person would be incarcerated for their own safety.

Plenty of things came out of nowhere in the first month and a half of the season. So much so that it's almost hard to believe the second week of November is only just starting. In a month and some change, Carolina has been through a roller coaster of events that most teams would deal with through the whole season.

Through it all, the Hurricanes have managed to hover around fourth in the Metropolitan Division. Should they somehow manage to keep treading water through the Olympics break, the Playoffs are still possible. If Carolina can somehow patch together a playoff run -- having gotten such a rough start -- it would go down in franchise history as one of the biggest turnarounds ever.

What are the biggest surprises so far in this relatively new season? Here's five of them.

2 of 6

5. The Top Line

top
James Guillory - USA Today Sports

When you put Eric Staal, Jiri Tlusty and Alexander Semin on the same line, that line should be going completely beast mode on the rest of the conference.

This is not the case, as the top line has been missing their gear and have had issues getting into the pocket with each other. Whether it's Staal and Semin's styles not clicking together, unfamiliarity with each other, Mercury in retrograde -- something's not right.

When this line had all the expectations of the world on them, they somehow have been coming up short.

3 of 6

4. The Inconsistency Of Justin Faulk

Faulk
Brace Hemmelgarn - USA Today Sports

There's just something about this kid, Justin Faulk.

Fans love him, coaches love him, teammates genuinely enjoy his company; the only problem is his lack of consistent output. While Faulk has had some momentary flashes of brilliance, he's had equally as rough "what was he thinking" moments.

Faulk was expected to be the top defenseman in the absence of Tim Gleason. However, it's one of the oddest things to look and see he isn't -- it's 20-year-old Ryan Murphy.

4 of 6

3. Radek Dvorak's Second Wind

dvorak
Tom Szczerbowski - USA Today Sports

At the beginning of this season, if you asked Radek Dvorak the status of his career in the NHL, he had no answer for you. Was he retired? Was he active? Was he in the minors?

Playing on a Professional Tryout (PTO) contract, Dvorak had to earn his spot during camp. For a veteran with career starts numbering in the thousands, this is more than just a little weird. But the gamble has paid off in spades.

Dvorak has been all over the place, establishing himself as one of the biggest clutch shooters on the team. His strength and experience have bled across the roster and will lift the play of everyone around him as the season goes on.

5 of 6

2. The Goaltending "Situation"

goalie
James Guillory - USA Today Sports

Get it out of the way now. Cam Ward is not getting traded.

That being said, absolutely nobody could have predicted that not one but both of the Hurricanes goaltenders would be hurt at once. Ward was not performing all that great, but still wasn't doing all that poorly either. His backup, Anton Khudobin was actually the better goalie of the pair. That vanished when both goalies went down with lower body injuries on the same road trip.

Justin Peters and Mike Murphy were called up from Charlotte to fill the need for an actual goalie. Peters hasn't been horrendous, and actually bagged himself a shutout already. While these things help, Carolina will be much better off when the goaltending is once again left to the guys getting paid for it.

6 of 6

1. Nathan [Expletive] Gerbe

road house
Brace Hemmelgarn - USA Today Sports

If you suddenly appeared in PNC Arena, you might think Nathan Gerbe's middle name, actually is profanity.

This is because nobody can believe what they're seeing with him. Every time he hits the ice, magic happens. With a team beginning to sag around the edges a bit, "this kid Gerbe" is exactly the infusion of energy Carolina needs. His hockey sense, rink vision, and sense of chemistry is unparalleled on the team. Not since Mike Commodore rocked the bathrobe and 'fro has PNC Arena been so enamored with a new player.

In one of the oddest shows of respect ever, whenever Gerbe makes a big play, drops gloves with someone twice his size, or makes an inhuman pass -- all the fans can say is "Nathan. Freaking. Gerbe."

Except it's the other word.

Around the Web