How signing Frederik Andersen has transformed Hurricanes into Stanley Cup contenders

Each Stanley Cup contender has to have an elite presence in between the pipes. After signing Frederik Andersen within the offseason, the Carolina Hurricanes have discovered simply that.

The Hurricanes have gotten off to an extremely sizzling begin with a 10-1-0 document and so they path solely the Florida Panthers for probably the most factors within the league. It has been no secret that the Hurricanes have been one of many most-gifted offensive groups that the NHL has to supply up to now few seasons.

  • 2021-22 season: Scored 41 objectives (sixth in NHL) and averaged 3.7 goals-per-game (third in NHL)
  • 2020-21 season: Scored 175 objectives (tenth in NHL) and averaged 3.1 goals-per-game (third in NHL)

The Hurricanes’ deep ahead group consists of the likes of Andrei Svechnikov, Sebastian Aho, Vincent Trocheck and Teuvo Teravainen. Svechnikov has been an absolute drive this season with a team-leading 15 factors (7 objectives & 8 assists). From high to backside, all 4 traces are able to placing the puck within the internet.

Nonetheless, the defensive finish of the ice has been the place Carolina has struggled up to now — till now.

After reaching the Jap Convention Finals within the 2008-09 season, the Hurricanes missed the playoffs in 9 consecutive seasons previous to the 2018-19 marketing campaign. The Hurricanes have been capable of win their opening spherical sequence in every of these postseason appearances, however issues went awry after that.

The Hurricanes defeated the Nashville Predators in six video games within the first spherical of the 2021 postseason. Carolina adopted that up with a dreadful efficiency during which they have been defeated by the Tampa Bay Lightning in simply 5 video games.

One of many greatest points for the Hurricanes all through that sequence was instability on the goaltender place. The workforce break up the duties between Alex Nedeljkovic and Petr Mrazek. Mrazek struggled surrendered eight objectives in two begins in the course of the sequence in opposition to the Predators. Nedeljkovic gave up six objectives in three video games, however the Hurricanes nonetheless weren’t keen to decide to the younger netminder with a long-term contract.

So, the Hurricanes determined to commerce Nedeljkovic to the Detroit Red Wings and the franchise was immediately available in the market for a goaltender. Carolina then turned to an outdated good friend in Andersen, who the workforce drafted again in 2010.

The choice to signal Andersen has proved to be an distinctive one.

In 10 video games, Andersen has amassed a 9-1-0 document to associate with a 1.73 goals-against-average, which is the fourth-best mark within the league. The 32-year outdated netminder has additionally allowed one aim or much less in six of his begins whereas recording one shutout. He is allowed greater than three objectives on only one event.

Andersen turned in one more sensational efficiency in Tuesday’s 2-1 time beyond regulation victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Hurricanes goaltender turned apart 17 of the 18 pictures that he confronted in opposition to the heralded Lightning offensive assault. He was named the NHL’s Third Star for the month of October after having a 7-0-0 document, 1.29 goals-against-average, a .956 save proportion and a shutout in seven begins final month.

“It is only a signal that it has been going properly for the workforce,” Anderson said after receiving the honor. “We have been taking part in arduous. I believe we’re proud of the best way the primary month went, however we all know that it doesn’t suggest an excessive amount of but. Each day, we attempt to get higher.”

Andersen at present leads all NHL goaltenders with 9 wins and ranks fifth with a .939 save proportion. He additionally grew to become the seventh goaltender in NHL historical past to earn wins in his first six video games to begin off a season. 

After 5 seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Andersen seems to have discovered his residence in Carolina. Andersen did have success with the Maple Leafs. In 5 seasons, the veteran netminder compiled a 267-74-36 document to associate with a 2.79 goals-against common and .914 save proportion. 

Nonetheless, Andersen by no means had anyplace close to the kind of success in Canada that he is at present having fun with with the Hurricanes. 

“In fact there is a distinction (in stress), particularly with media and stuff like that,” Andersen stated concerning his time in Toronto. “However I believe there’s stress in every single place. Each workforce is on the market making an attempt to win. We now have stress inside ourselves and we wish to get one of the best out of one another. So I believe there’s undoubtedly stress in every single place, it is only a matter of controlling it.” 

There’s clearly loads of common season video games remaining earlier than the Hurricanes can anoint themselves the category of the Jap Convention. However up up to now within the 2021-22 season, the Hurricanes have defeated among the convention’s most gifted groups within the Boston Bruins, New York Islanders, Lightning and Maple Leafs. 

If Andersen can proceed his stellar stage of play all through all the season, there isn’t any doubt that the Hurricanes might have an opportunity to hoist Lord Stanley’s Cup this summer time. | How signing Frederik Andersen has reworked Hurricanes into Stanley Cup contenders


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