In the past 10 days, the Carolina Hurricanes have:
1. Beaten the Boston Bruins in a shootout, and fully deserved the two points.
2. Gone into Nashville, played the Predators close, and lost by a goal.
3. Dominated the Buffalo Sabres in a 5-2 win.
4. Gone into St. Louis, played the Blues close, and lost 5-4 in a shootout.
For a team with more points in the standings than only the Edmonton Oilers, that’s not too shabby.
“I liked the way we played,” coach Bill Peters said after Saturday’s game in St. Louis. “We never trailed. We scored four times. Way more positives than negatives, and things are going in the right direction. You go into Scottrade Center and get a point, and you’ve got to be pretty happy.”
Tonight, the ‘Canes host the Avalanche, meaning a decent opportunity to gain another two points.
This recent run is no smoke and mirrors either; Carolina is playing legitimately good hockey. Which is to say, it’s not like when the Sabres somehow managed to win 10 of 13 in November and December — a run in which Buffalo GM Tim Murray conceded “the analytics were basically all the same.”
Unfortunately for Carolina, to make the playoffs would require a miracle. And by starting to win, they’re only hurting their chances to draft Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel.
But on the other hand, at least I’m looking good to win my bet with Halford, and that’s all that really matters.