Hurricanes: Carolina Goes 5-0-0 to Start Season

After knocking off the New York Islanders on Friday night, the Carolina Hurricanes find themselves in possession of a history-making 5-0-0 start and are looking every bit like contenders.

“Their speed gives everybody trouble,” Islanders coach Barry Trotz said of the opposition. “They’re all about pressure and their (defence) get up on it, and pressure, pressure, pressure.”

Pressure is the name of the game for Carolina, who’ve gone from a Bunch of Jerks to a bunch of serious, dominant hockey players.

The Hurricanes defeated the Islanders by a final score of 5-2 Friday and outshot them by a tally of 40-19.

New York may have gone into the contest for a measure of revenge, what with the Hurricanes sweeping them out of the playoffs in May.

Erik Haula, Teuvo Teravainen, Brett Pesce, Dougie Hamilton, and Andrei Svechnikov scored for Carolina. Haula had his fourth of the season. The 28-year-old centre joined the Hurricanes after a trade with the Vegas Golden Knights in June.

“We’re having fun with each other,” Haula said. “We’re going out there every night and throwing what we’ve got at the other team, and that’s good. It’s good stuff. We have a good team and we’re hard to play against.”

“Hard to play against” is right, as the Hurricanes presently top the NHL just over a week into the 2019-2020 season. A lot can change between now and the end of the year, of course, but Carolina is building a great deal of momentum. They also have a league-leading 22 goals, one more than Buffalo Sabres.

They’ve also been playing slick and smart possession hockey. They held Tampa Bay to just two shots in the final 40 minutes and the overtime of their game Sunday. The Hurricanes even outshot the Lightning 16-0 in the middle frame.

Svechnikov leads the team in points with eight in five games, while defenceman Hamilton is second with seven points – including three goals. Teravainen, Haula and Ryan Dzingel round out the top five.

Goalie Petr Mrazek took the win on Friday, his third of the season. He has a 2.57 goals against average and a .882 save percentage. James Reimer has likewise been playing well.

“I just like the way the guys are coming to work every day,” head coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “The 5-0 is kind of irrelevant. We’re trying to win the day. That’s the mentality these guys have had.”

That mentality has led the Hurricanes to pick up everything they’ve needed so far this season.

They started with a come-from-behind shootout win against the Montreal Canadiens, followed by another come-from-behind win against the Washington Capitals. Carolina knocked off Tampa for their third win, another overtime victory, and finally took a regulation win against Florida for their fourth victory by a final score of 6-3.

The Hurricanes will look for their sixth win of the season Saturday when they face the 1-3-0 Columbus Blue Jackets in Raleigh.

Photo credit: James Guillory/USA TODAY Sports

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