From the opening day of the Carolina Hurricanes’ coaching camp, it was one thing of a puzzler: Nino Niederreiter on the prime line with Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen, and never Andrei Svechnikov?
But Canes coach Rod Brind’Amour needed to stability his traces. And Niederreiter, who struggled a lot of final season to contribute offensively, was up for the problem, pushing himself arduous in camp after which scoring the first aim Thursday in the 3-0 season-opening win over the Detroit Red Wings.
“It’s always good to have a good start,” Niederreiter mentioned on the postgame media name. “I wasn’t very happy or very pleased with the last season. I knew I expected a lot more from me and I know I got better, and it’s nice being back with them. At the end of the day it’s a great opportunity for me, so I’ve got to work hard to stay there.”
Time will inform how lengthy No. 21 stays with Aho and Teravainen. But for starters, it labored nicely.
“It’s pretty obvious when you stick him with those guys what’s expected,” Brind’Amour mentioned on the media name. “That’s our top line and we need it to be dynamic.”
Dougie Hamilton, preventing? Yes, Dougie Hamilton preventing.
There have been instances when some query why Hamilton, an imposing man at 6-6 and 229 kilos, doesn’t throw his weight round extra and present a more durable edge. But the D-man didn’t hesitate Thursday when the Wings’ Sam Gagner boarded Jordan Staal, instantly going after Gagner.
According to hockeyfights.com, it was Hamilton’s first struggle since battling Max Domi, then with Arizona, on Oct. 5, 2016 whereas enjoying for the Calgary Flames. He got here away the winner towards Gagner.
“I think that was a good fight,” Canes goalie Petr Mrazek mentioned. “I’m happy for him that he did well.”
To which Brind’Amour added, “I don’t like seeing that, to be quite honest, but I liked that he stood up for his teammate.”
Interesting that the Canes had a 43-14 edge in pictures and 73 complete shot makes an attempt to the Wings’ 34, however solely a 9-8 benefit in high-danger scoring possibilities, based on Naturalstattrick.com.
The Wings hit a few posts and made the Canes defensemen scramble and put in some heavy defensive zone work throughout the recreation. Haydn Fleury had one shift that lasted 2:50 in the second interval.
“We had a lot of instances where we didn’t really get pucks out like we normally do and it ended up forcing us to have two-minute shifts in our own end,” Brind’Amour mentioned. “That wears your D down. But our D really hunkered down on those shifts.”
No. 22 exhibits little rust
The final time defenseman Brett Pesce performed in a Canes recreation, David Ayres was turning into a folks hero as an emergency goalie and nobody knew very a lot a couple of novel coronavirus. That Feb. 22, 2020, when Pesce injured a shoulder in the recreation at Toronto and wanted surgical procedure.
But Pesce was again — lastly — on Thursday. No. 22 put in 18 minutes at even power and was efficient on the penalty kill.
“He was out for so long and we got used to playing without him, and then you stick a guy in there like that and it’s like ‘Wow.,’” Brind’Amour mentioned. “He was pretty darn good for being out almost a year. We missed him. He is world class”
Quickie adjusted rapidly
They name Jesper Fast “Quickie” for apparent causes — his final identify and the approach the Swedish ahead performs. The man stays on the transfer. He’s a hustler all over the ice.
Fast’s transition to his new group ought to be a fast one, as nicely, even throughout the pandemic when group outings and face time is proscribed. He had an environment friendly 19 shifts in his first recreation with the Canes, had a game-high 5 hits, blocked a shot and gained some board battles.