Storm Surge

Hurricanes’ ‘Storm Surge’ celebration is sadly coming to an end

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The Carolina Hurricanes are still fighting for their Stanley Cup Playoff hopes with six games remaining in the NHL regular season. Thursday’s game against the Washington Capitals is another huge one as the Canes seek to end a postseason drought dating back to 2009.

Win or lose, what will happen following the game will be memorable. The ‘Storm Surge,’ which has infuriated out-of-touch dinosaurs around hockey all season long, will take place one final time for the year, according to captain Justin Williams.

They’ve played baseball, done the limbo, used Andrei Svechikov as a human bowling ball, brought back “Duck Hunt,” and watched as former boxing heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield “knocked out” Jordan Martinook, among a number of other post-win celebrations. They pissed off Brian Burke, and Don Cherry’s disapproval with the ‘Storm Surge’ inspired the “Bunch of Jerks” t-shirts.

It’s been glorious.

“We felt at the end of games a little stick wave was getting a little monotonous and getting a little tiresome and quite frankly, a little bit forced,” Williams explained to Sports Illustrated earlier this season. “So we wanted to do a little bit more. We started off with something small and slowly we’ve been having a lot more fun with it.”

The ‘Storm Surge’ has been a rousing success for a market that has seen a lot of bad hockey over the last decade. After falling short of expectations the past few seasons, Carolina is in the hunt for a playoff spot and the fan base is full of excitement.

If you weren’t a fan of the ‘Storm Surge,’ well, they weren’t meant for you, as the team put it succinctly last month:

It’s a post-win tradition that’s connected the players and the fan base during a season that has re-energized a market that needed a jolt.

We can’t wait to see what ‘Storm Surge’ ideas they come up with next season.

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

The Buzzer: Hurricanes fish for another win celebration

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Three Stars

1. Robin Lehner

Both the Islanders and Coyotes had incentive to win on Sunday, but only the Isles could score any goals, as Lehner continues his fantastic season.

Lehner earned his fifth shutout of 2018-19 by stopping all 31 shots by Arizona. He’s pushed his excellent save percentage to .928 on the season, improving to a 22-12-5 record. On a day full of strong goalie performances – even by those who lost, such as Philipp Grubauer – Lehner stood out as the brightest of the bright.

It’s truly remarkable to see the goaltending the Isles have enjoyed from Lehner and Thomas Greiss.

2. Josh Anderson

It’s tempting to run with the goaltending theme, as Sergei Bobrovsky‘s up-and-down season persisted with another very “up” moment: a shutout, his seventh of 2018-19. Yet, Bob only needed to make 21 saves against the lowly Canucks to do so.

Of the Blue Jackets who contributed to an absolutely crucial win, Anderson had the best game, scoring two goals and one assist.

The first of Anderson’s two goals ended up being the game-winner, while he enjoyed a +4 rating, fired three SOG, and delivered one hit. He was also reasonably close to a hat trick, but just missed on that attempt.

It turns out the Blue Jackets can be pretty dangerous when they get at least a few bounces.

3. Braden Holtby

The Capitals maintained their lead on the Metro Division title despite Lehner pitching a shutout because Holtby was his steady self.

Holtby stopped 35 out of 36 shots in this win, only allowing a power-play goal on Sunday. After losing despite only allowing two goals in his last appearance against the Wild, Holtby improved to 28-19-5 record on the season. With two more victories, Holtby will generate his fifth consecutive 30+ win season.

How did the Hurricanes celebrate their latest win?

Carolina went fishing. Goofy-fun:

Highlights of the Night

Duncan Keith already impressed in containing Nathan MacKinnon during an overtime one-on-one chance, and that outdid himself with a tremendous game-winner:

[More on that game here.]

Lehner’s been a revelation for the Islanders this season, and he could do worse than showing this clip when it comes time for contract negotiations:

Factoids

Scores

WSH 3 – PHI 1
NYI 2 – ARI 0
CAR 2 – MTL 1 (OT)
CHI 2 – COL 1 (OT)
CBJ 5 – VAN 0

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

March Madness is theme of Hurricanes’ latest win celebration

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When you think of March Madness, it won’t take long for the Duke Blue Devils and North Carolina Tar Heels to come to your mind, especially if you’re living in the Carolinas. That apparently isn’t lost on the Carolina Hurricanes.

The team’s latest celebration evoked the NCAA’s beloved college basketball tournament, as the Hurricanes distanced themselves from the East’s bubble teams by thoroughly defeating (the very much West-bubble-dwelling) Minnesota Wild 5-1 on Saturday.

It was a great performance, with Teuvo Teravainen playing the role of MVP via one goal and two assists.

If Teravainen was the star, then call Trevor van Riemsdyk “The Human Hockey Highlight Reel,” as he showed some solid ups with his dunk during this fun celebration:

The Hurricanes are only going deeper into the “prop” stage of these win celebrations, and let me tell you: I’m all for it, and not just because it annoys the crustiest of crusty old hockey men.

Carolina now holds the first East wild-card spot with 89 points in 74 games played. The Montreal Canadiens are behind them in the second WC spot (87 points in 75 GP), making things only tenser for the struggling Blue Jackets, who remain out of the top eight with 84 points in 74 games played.

More and more, it looks like the Hurricanes will avoid another trip to hockey’s NIT (which would be the golf course, or maybe the hockey championship tournament overseas?), as their grip tightens on a playoff spot.

If things go really well, maybe the Hurricanes could celebrate a big win by cutting down the nets?

via Getty Images

Hey, they might as well file away ideas if they keep winning at this pace.