It was quite the Wednesday morning in North Carolina. While much of the right side of the state was covered in a slight dusting of snow, Carolina Hurricanes fans woke up and remembered that the night before their team beat the second place overall Colorado Avalanche.
From Greenville to Greensboro, the fans have spent the day rejoicing — and rightfully so.
Hockey fans are a touchy bunch and perhaps the most opinionated and argumentative fan base in all of sports. You get a hockey fan to admit they’re wrong and that you have a point, you just scratched a diamond. It happens as often as never. On top of that, hockey fans just love raining on other fans’ parades. Which is why it’s no surprise that as much as the fans in Carolina rejoiced, social media was quick to remind them of their 22nd place spot in the NHL standings and overall losing record in the woefully mediocre Metropolitan Division. Again, hockey fans tend to be kind of player haters.
Perhaps, just for one day, Hurricanes fans deserve a pass. Carolina not only took down Colorado, but did so in solid fashion. While the Avalanche have been alongside the San Jose Sharks and Anaheim Ducks putting up just absolutely inhuman numbers, Carolina stood toe-to-toe with one of the best and was able to trade punches, handing Colorado their first road loss of the year. This is massive for a team that just two weeks ago were on a five game skid.
For three solid periods, Carolina was doing nearly everything right. The defense was absolutely shutting Colorado down. At one point late in the second the Hurricanes were ahead in shots 21-9. For a team that has been averaging slightly more than 30 shots per game while giving up 34, to hold onto that type of shooting advantage shows the defense has woken up. On top of this, Carolina took a total of two penalties the whole game. Just two. Previously, the penalty situation had been a mess, but with this new discipline the scoring lines were able to do work.
Doubling down on the Haterade, many have said this was just one game, what about the rest of the season?
Carolina is now on a five-game points streak, having only fallen to the Minnesota Wild in shootouts earlier in the homestand. Stand-in goaltender Justin Peters has been unbeaten in regulation in his last four outings. So what? Last month Peters was playing in the AHL. Last week he shutout the New York Islanders and has improved his saves percentage nearly 10 percent in five games.
Then there’s this kid they call Road House.
Nathan Gerbe suddenly jumped to share the team lead for overall points, notched two assists against Colorado, and there’s those 14 takeaways (TkA). Carolina simply would be nowhere without Gerbe. When you’ve got a guy putting in an average of 23 shifts a game, leading in points, dropping gloves with guys twice his size and putting on passing clinics, it’s hard to imagine the squad winning without him.
No question about it, Carolina fans have earned their day to crow. After putting up with an embarrassing skid from mid-October until last week, knocking off the number two team in the league calls for a bit of celebration.
The Hurricanes just beat a very good Colorado Avalanche team and are on a five game point streak. Watch in person as they try continue their streak and get your Hurricanes Tickets today.