The Metropolitan Division: Part III – The Carolina Hurricanes
With the 2013-14 season looming closer, we’ll be taking a look at the new and old Division match-ups in the new formed Metropolitan Division in this weekly blog. The third team we look at is the last of the three teams to join the Devils’ Division: the Carolina Hurricanes.
- Carolina at New Jersey: Wednesday, November 27, 7:00 PM
- New Jersey at Carolina: Friday, November 29, 7:00 PM
- Carolina at New Jersey: Saturday, March 8, 7:00 PM
- New Jersey at Carolina: Saturday, April 5, 7:00 PM
The Devils and Hurricanes will face off against each other in an early home-and-home series, then not see each other for another 4 months. Getting points out of those first two games will be crucial for both of these teams as they look to rack up as many early-Division points as possible.
The Carolina Hurricanes made good use of their first-round pick in the 2013 draft, taking Elias Lindholm 5th overall. In addition to this, they were able to acquire veteran defenseman Andrej Sekera in a trade with the Buffalo Sabres and signed free agent Nathan Gerbe.
This past week, Devils’ coach Peter DeBoer made two things very clear when addressing the media: 1) Martin Brodeur would still be the team’s #1 goalie, and 2) Bryce Salvador will still be the captain of the team. While neither of these was really in question, it will give some comfort to fans afraid that Schneider would take over completely for Marty. That being said, DeBoer is more than happy to have a strong alternate goalie in Schneider, especially with a league-high 22 sets of back-to-back games.
The Carolina Hurricanes finished last season at 19-25-4 (42 pts), a record that wasn’t helped by starting goaltender Cam Ward’s injury. Ward tore his MCL in March and finished the season with a 9-6-1 record. The Hurricanes wound up splitting their season evenly between Dan Ellis, Justin Peters, and Ward, with each starting 16 of the 48 games.
The Devils did not fare well against the Hurricanes last season, losing 2-of-3 meetings while being outscored 11-9. Johan Hedberg went 0-1-0 while Brodeur finished 1-1-0 and was even able to score a power-play goal in the first period of the final match-up, which resulted in a 4-1 New Jersey win. The Devils gave up 4 power-play goals against the Hurricanes last year, something they’ll definitely look to improve on this season.
It seems like the Devils have always had some issue with the Hurricanes, regardless of how either team is doing in the standings. I’m sure I don’t have to remind you of the 2009 playoffs. In the past two seasons, the Devils are 4-3-0, which isn’t terrible, but isn’t as good as the Devils would like against a team that finished 12th in the East in 2012 and 13th in 2013. While the early back-to-back series will be interesting, the final meeting between the two on April 5 will be a must-watch as well. The Devils face-off against the Capitals the night before, making that weekend a crucial one late in the season for the Devils.
Posted on September 5, 2013, in Devils Army, Devils Army Generals, Game Preview, New Jersey Devils, New Jersey Devils Fans, NHL and tagged Cam Ward, Carolina Hurricanes, Corey Schneider, Devils, Martin Brodeur, Metropolitan Division, New Jersey Devils, NHL. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.