While most Carolina Hurricanes fans are hoping the alarm isn’t about to go off and wake them, they’ve been enjoying a four-game winning streak.
After some shaky ground for a while, Carolina has put a few wins together and are starting to look like an actual NHL team again. If that sentence sounds familiar, it’s because it’s been written before — by a lot of people. This isn’t the first run the Hurricanes have gone on this season, and more than likely won’t be the last.
The issue with these streaks is that they are so often the breath of fresh air separating longer and very embarrassing skids. Nobody is going to argue with their squad putting together a winning streak, but it cannot be exception to a horrifying rule.
Carolina can play, and there’s no question about that. Their abundance of talent is the most frustrating part of these streaks because it makes fans think, “Where has this been all season?” Why are the Hurricanes suddenly deciding to play like this now, when it really would have been handy two months ago?
Two things remain constant about Carolina’s performance: Jeff Skinner and Anton Khudobin. They have been absolute rocks for the team in the last few games. Khudobin could be named the team’s regular starter at any point in the week, and almost nobody would question the decision. Not only is he making saves by the bunch, but he’s doing so in the clutch. Providing the dependability that Cam Ward apparently cannot is why Khudobin draws a paycheck.
Then you have this kid they call Skinner. Short of radioactive spider bites, there seems to be no explanation for his recent explosion other than “he’s really good at hockey.” In the last 16 games, Skinner has scored 16 goals. That’s more than being really good at hockey, and whatever it is needs to be extracted and put in the rest of the team’s water bottles.
However, all the praise in the world means nothing if the Hurricanes return to their previous festival of failure. Whatever needs to be done to make this level of play stick must be done. What simply cannot happen is for Kirk Muller to allow the level of performance to slip back to the disgusting level it was at before. Nobody says they can never lose again, but they should maybe start making it the exception.