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What Went Wrong?

2019-04-21

The Hurricanes season ended on Saturday after a 2-1 overtime loss to the New York Islanders. This is the second time in three years the Hurricanes have gotten eliminated in the first round. 

 

Each game was close, two games went into overtime, so what went wrong?

 

These two teams were obviously close on paper. The Islanders didn’t start playing good hockey until February. There’s no question with the roster the Islanders have, they should not have been the second wild card team. The Canes simply got unlucky with their opponent after winning the conference and coming up just a point shy of the President’s Trophy.

 

The big issue in the series was depth. The Hurricanes simply didn’t have any.  7 Hurricanes failed to record a single point. The surprising one, and one that probably hurt the Canes the most was Dylan Larkin. Larkin went pointless in the 6 games and was -3. Coach Mike Yeo moved Larkin to the top line next to Barzal and Simmonds in hopes it would spark Larkin and the whole offense. But that clearly backfired, as the Hurricanes failed to score an even strength.

 

Goaltending was the glaring issue this time around. Roberto Luongo didn’t play great at times, but also wasn’t as bad as he’s been in years past. When the team he needed him most, he showed up in game 6, making 23 saves on 25 shots. It was the scoring that was invisible at the worst possible time. 

 

Now it’s time for the Canes to take a few weeks to regroup, and see what the next move is. Is Mike Yeo on the hot seat? Sure, he’s had some bad luck in the playoffs, but he also boasts an insane regular season record of 114-38-12.

 

The Hurricanes will lose James Neal, Radim Vrbata, and Thomas Hickey to free agency, assuming they don’t try to resign any of them.  There are also a couple big names in free agency that the Canes could try to target to help them get past the hump next year.

 

 A few guys that could come in and try to fight for a roster spot are Oskar Lindblom, Kenny Agostino, and Michael Dal Colle. This means Chandler Stephenson’s spot on the roster is definitely not secure. Stephenson didn’t score a single goal all season.

 

Now that the Hurricanes will not win the Cup, they retain their first round pick. Depending on how the playoffs shape up, they will pick somewhere in the mid 20s. 

 

This season was a tremendous one for the Hurricanes. But ultimately they disappointed once again. GM Mike Giletto refused to talk to the media following the game 6 loss. Wayne Simmonds was overheard in the locker room screaming, “the f***ing Islanders? They were in last place in January. We were better than this. Let’s regroup, have a good summer, and let’s come back with a vengeance next season.”

 

Ironic, because Simmonds future is up in the air. With just one year remaining on his contract, the Hurricanes may decide to trade him. There’s definitely a lot of uncertainty with this Hurricanes team in the future.

 

Until next year.. This is the Storm Tracker, signing off.