The Hurricanes Are Back on Track

Jamie Kellner

After winning the Metropolitan Division last season and advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals, hockey pundits and fans alike figured that the Carolina Hurricanes would be Stanley Cup contenders this season.

Things certainly did not start that way. The team dealt with several injuries, got inconsistent goaltending, and saw better performances from teams in their division, such as the New York Rangers, New York Islanders, Philadelphia Flyers, and Washington Capitals.

It appears that things settled down for the Hurricanes as the puck dropped in 2024. As of this writing (Wednesday, January 3), the Hurricanes are second in their division, fourth in the Eastern Conference, and ninth in the league with a record of 21-13-4 for 46 points.

The team’s return to normalcy was very much apparent in their 6-1 victory over the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night, January 2nd. Their offensive stars shined, they got quality goaltending, their special teams got the job done, and they did not allow the Rangers to generate many quality scoring chances.

There are several reasons why the Hurricanes are back to being one of the better teams in the NHL. For starters, their offense is starting to come alive.

The team is currently fifth in the league in goals scored. They have scored 129 goals in 38 games while also being fourth in the league in shots per game, as they are averaging about 33 (33.3) a game.

Offensively, this team is led by Sebastian Aho. Aho, 26, currently leads the team in goals (15), assists (28), points (43), game-winning goals (four), and shots (104).

Aho has a great shot, is very creative when he has the puck, knows how to create space for his linemates, and is usually there to score a big goal or be a part of a big play when his team needs one the most. When Aho’s going, so is the rest of the offense.

Following Aho are the likes of Seth Jarvis (27 points), Michael Bunting (26 points), Martin Necas (26 points), Brady Skjei (24 points), Stefan Noesen (23 points), and Andrei Svechnikov (23 Points). It should be noted that Svechnikov has 23 points in 23 games, as he missed a bunch of time with an injury.

Another reason why the Hurricanes are currently having a lot of success is because of the play of their special teams. As of this writing, the team has the league’s fifth-best power play (27.3 percent) and ninth-best penalty kill (83.1 percent).

The Hurricanes special teams are such an important part of their game. They have a lot of offensive weapons that can cash in with the man advantage, and they also have great penalty killers who are excellent at forcing turnovers and creating shorthanded opportunities.

The team is also starting to get some quality goaltending. With Frederik Andersen still recovering from his blood clot and Antti Raanta just recently called back up from the AHL, the team has gotten some excellent goaltending from Pyotr Kochetkov.

Kochetkov, 24, is currently 10-7-0-3 with a 2.53 goals-against average, a .904 save percentage, and one shutout. He has especially been good in his last three starts:

– December 27, 2023: Stopped 35 of 37 shots in a win over the Nashville Predators.

– December 30, 2023: Stopped 25 of 27 shots in a win over the Toronto Maple Leafs.

– January 2, 2023: Stopped 28 of 29 shots in a win over the Rangers

Of course, when talking about the Hurricanes having success, you have to mention head coach Rod Brind’Amour. He knows how to keep his team together and keep them playing hard by never giving up and doing everything they can to win games.

There is a lot of hockey left to be played, so if the Hurricanes can continue to be/get healthy and play consistent hockey, they will be extremely tough to beat when it matters the most.

We Got The Jack Inside The Rink

In episode 8 of the Inside The Rink podcast, Matty and Smitty are joined by new co-host Conrad Jack. After the long hiatus, we get back to hockey with a PACKED episode!Matt Rempe & the Devils vs. Rangers Line BrawlCould the Vancouver Canucks squander a playoff opportunity? Have the Winnipeg Jets finally figured out their lines?Flyers Head Coach John Tortorella is a sound byte MACHINEOvechkin is on his way to 895, Who is next?McDavid joins elite company with 100 Assists in a seasonRyan Hartman was suspended 3 Games, was it worth 3 games??Can Auston Matthews hit 70 Goals this season?The Eastern Conference Wild Card race is heating up, who lands the two playoff berths?For all of your hockey news and more from the show, visit us at and watch us on YouTube! How to support us and our sponsors:TicketmasterColumbia Sports ApparelESPN+ SubscriptionFanaticsDraft Kings – CODE ITR
  1. We Got The Jack
  2. Episode 7. Player Safety First!
  3. Episode 6. Early Trade Season
  4. Episode 5. Longing For The Chiarelli Years
  5. Episode 4. Ottawa’s On Fire

Patrick Hoffman

Patrick covers the NHL for Inside The Rink. He has previously covered the league for The Ultimate Hockey Fan Cave, WTP Sports,, Kukla’s Korner, Spector’s Hockey, NHL Network Radio blog,, The Fourth Period, Stan Fischler’s “The Fischler Report”, as well as a slew of others.

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