With Andrei Svechniknov set to ‘God Mode,’ Hurricanes are a Stanley Cup menace
Fortunate bounces these weren’t. Andrei Svechnikov scored three capital-G GOALS Monday afternoon within the Carolina Hurricanes’ 4-1 victory over the New York Rangers in Sport 2 of their qualifying-round sequence.
The primary: a short-side snipe over goalie Henrik Lundqvist’s proper shoulder.
The second: a knuckleballing one-timer slightly below the crossbar.
The third: burying a precision move from Sebastian Aho right into a yawning cage.
The hat trick was the primary of Svechnikov’s profession and the primary in Hartford Whalers/Carolina Hurricanes playoff historical past, a stretch spanning 143 video games and 14 earlier post-season appearances. Svechnikov scored on all three of his pictures and added six hits in a bodily dominating efficiency.
It’s not that seeing a participant of his caliber fill the web comes as a staggering shock. As Canes coach Rod Brind’Amour mentioned after the sport by way of Zoom convention name, for those who instructed him somebody was going to get a hat trick that day, Svechnikov would’ve been a superb guess. He was large in his sophomore season, which paused shortly earlier than his 20th birthday in March. He improved on his rookie totals with 24 targets and 61 factors in 68 video games. Amongst 334 forwards who logged at the least 500 minutes at 5-on-5 this season, Svechnikov sat 85th in targets per 60, 37th in assists per 60, 42nd in factors per 60 and 23rd in anticipated targets per 60. He was even 71st in hits per 60. None of these numbers are overwhelmingly nice, however all of them put him within the first-line echelon of the league and, once more, he simply turned 20. Nonetheless, even with expectations excessive for him coming into the post-season, the hat trick in Sport 2 was a “whoa” second. Svechnikov confirmed a capability to take over a playoff recreation.
“You simply see him come into coaching camp final yr, and he’s 18 years previous and he seems like he’s 24,” mentioned Hurricanes proper winger Jordan Martinook, who scored Carolina’s different objective in Sport 2. “He’s constructed like an ox. He can skate and shoot and does every thing quick and thinks the sport properly. I’m pumpin’ his tires fairly good proper now. However yeah, he’s particular. It’s enjoyable to look at him, and it’ll be enjoyable to look at him within the subsequent couple months right here.”
Svechnikov is that this good this younger largely due to that ox-like construct. Already 6-foot-2 and 195 kilos, he has room to fill out extra, and he already enjoys utilizing his energy to create possibilities.
“I feel I’m taking part in the laborious recreation, and that’s why I’m scoring targets,” Svechnikov mentioned. “I’m going to hit and go within the offensive zone, get in and attempt to shoot on the web. I like that type of play.”
Few gamers in NHL historical past embody the dedication to getting your physique in peak situation like Svechnikov’s coach, Rod Brind’Amour, did throughout his NHL profession. So when ‘Rod the Bod’ praises your dedication, it actually means one thing.
“It’s his first hat trick, however I feel he’ll get a couple of extra earlier than his time’s over in his profession,” Brind’Amour mentioned. “He’s a gamer, too. He’s a kind of gamers within the break that labored on his recreation and wished to get higher, and I feel you’re seeing that.”
So whereas any playoff hat trick is an important day that requires at the least slightly little bit of luck, Svechnikov earned his day as a lot as a participant can. In spite of everything, he was named the workforce’s 2019-20 recipient of the Steve Chiasson Award for ” the Hurricanes participant that greatest exemplifies dedication and dedication whereas proving to be an inspiration to his teammates by his efficiency and method to the sport.”
A hat trick, then, is probably not a single blip in a forgettable post-season. It’s doable we’re seeing an enormous, robust Svechnikov uncover his model of ‘God Mode,’ and that’s terrifying information for the New York Rangers, down 2-Zero in a best-of-five, nonetheless ready on younger goaltender Igor Shesterkin to get a clear invoice of well being. With Svechnikov slowly rising as much as match the elite-level normal of his middle Aho, the Canes are a workforce with actual star energy on the ahead place now. Their plucky, hardworking coach instills a two-way mentality, and that has helped Carolina badly outchance the Rangers on the forecheck thus far on this sequence, however the Canes forwards have the talent to complete these possibilities as properly.
Now consider how good the workforce has seemed regardless of nonetheless lacking Dougie Hamilton and Brett Pesce from its blueline, and the Canes are way more than a qualifying-round squad making ready to get crushed within the Spherical of 16. Fairly the opposite. As soon as Hamilton returns – which could possibly be imminent – Carolina will boast the deepest, most numerous protection corps among the many 24 groups within the match, even with out Pesce. And thus far, Petr Mrazek seems regular in web. He mentioned Monday he noticed the puck properly, and the workforce in entrance of him has performed an amazing job limiting possibilities. At 5-on-5, the Hurricanes have outshot the Rangers 48-34, with a 43-34 edge in scoring possibilities and an 18-9 benefit in high-danger possibilities.
So with an rising star sniper working at a famous person degree, and a workforce taking part in nice defensive hockey with out its greatest defenseman, and a goalie who appears to have his confidence in the intervening time…the Canes appear to be a real Stanley Cup contender.
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Tags: milestones and data, carolina hurricanes, information, stanley cup playoffs, nhlConnect: Concerning the AuthorMatt LarkinMatt Larkin is a senior author at The Hockey Information and has been a part of the workforce since 2011. He is your one-stop store for deep-dive participant interviews, predictions, statistics, fantasy participant rankings, participant security and hair suggestions. Catch him weekly as host of The Hockey Information Stay and The Hockey Information Podcast.