Pucking Sunshine – Metro Hell Week Edition
Today, we meet under very different circumstances than last week. Before, we were riding the high of a four-game winning streak and home ice dominance. Now, we are on a four-game losing streak and everything seems to be going wrong. This was arguably our toughest stretch of the season as we faced the top three teams in the Metropolitan Division. For a young team that has struggled on the road this year, last week was always going to be a challenge. With that aside, things ended up much worse than the majority of us thought they would. With all the gloom and through all of the negativity that surrounds a tiny skid, let’s take a look and find the things that we can herald as beacons of hope.
1 – Sebastian Aho
The kid just keeps going. Earning 3 points (2g, 1a) during this four-game stretch, Aho continues to be productive and consistent on the ice. His very high hockey IQ allows him to have terrific down-ice vision and make smooth offensive zone entries. He keeps showing up in my posts because he seems to be doing basically everything right. There’s not much more praise I can heap upon him. We are incredibly lucky to have The Fish here as he develops. He is growing into an incredible player and the fact that his growth is going to occur in Raleigh is a huge boost to this team.
For the third consecutive year, defenseman Justin Faulk will be heading to the NHL All-Star Game to represent the Hurricanes. Faulk is a wonderful representative for the organization. His skill on the ice as well as the way he handles himself with the media and fans creates a great image of who this team is.
While he was bestowed the honor this year, he may be helping us by deflecting the spotlight off of the most deserving player, Jaccob Slavin. In the long run, keeping Slavin out of the All-Star can help with contact negotiations and also keeps him off the radar of other fans who would come clamoring for him to join their organization. So, thanks to Faulker for protecting Slavin, and congratulations on earning a trip to LA.
3 – Free Agent Signing
I probably should have covered this last week, but it’s better late than never.
The Canes partnered with Make-A-Wish of Eastern North Carolina to create a memorable day for seven-year-old Chase Bass. As he battles cancer, the organization granted his wish to play street hockey with Jeff Skinner. After taking in practice from the bench, Chase led his team of himself, Ward, Skinner, and Stormy to victory while leading scoring and tallying a hat trick. Shortly after the game concluded, GMRF called an emergency press conference to announce that Chase had been signed to a one-day contract with the team.
No matter whether they win or lose or if attendance is up or down, this is what matters. Taking time out of their day to give one child the most memorable day of his life, the Canes stepped up (as they are always eager to do) to give back to the community and the fans that support them. If you haven’t seen the video package that CanesVision prepared on Chase’s day as a Cane, you can watch it here.
With the All-Star break dead ahead, lets make sure to #PackthePNC tonight and get a win. Then be sure to pick up tickets to the 1/31 game against the Flyers through Ticketmaster or the box office. Remember, lower level tickets are only $27. So, arrive early, raise hell, and wear red.