As the Carolina Hurricanes enter 2023, they will be doing so as the hottest team in the entire NHL.
Prior to the New Year, the Hurricanes won a franchise-record 10th straight game. They are climbing up the Eastern Conference standings, and there are plenty of reasons why. Carolina also boasts a 16-game points streak, the longest in the NHL this season.
Martin Necas is having a breakout season. Necas is leading the attack for the Canes with 15 goals and 20 assists in 36 games. With plenty of hockey left to play, Necas is on pace to smash his previous scoring career highs. In Necas’ last five games, he has tallied two goals and three assists.
The 23-year-old has always had the skill, but this season has shown commitment to play a complete game. Everything is coming together in what is sure to be an All-Star season for the center.
Carolina also has veteran Brent Burns to thank. Even at 37 years old, he is still finding a way to impact the score sheet. So far this season, Burns has four goals and 22 assists while also boasting a +/- of 7.
If there is one issue the team has, it’s goaltending. Veterans Frederik Andersen and Antti Raanta have struggled, forcing Carolina to utilize young goaltender Pyotr Kotchetkov. Kotchetkov has been the Canes best goalie. The 23-year-old is 10-1-4 this season with a .928 save percentage and a 1.94 goals-against average.
Luckily for Carolina, Raanta has caught some fire with two straight shutouts. If he maintains a high level of play in 2023, the Hurricanes will have quite the goalie tandem.
Carolina is currently chasing the Boston Bruins for the top spot in the Eastern Conference. With only six points separating the two teams, a tense battle could arise as the 2022-23 season draws to a close.