Jesperi Kotkaniemi is fine and the Hurricanes, even better

Jesperi Kotkaniemi is fine and the Hurricanes are even better

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The Carolina Hurricanes picked up their pace as they captured the top spot in the Metropolitan Division and, though his crop remains poor, forward Jesperi Kotkaniemi has contributed to his team's recent success.

While the Hurricanes are blowing their way with eight straight wins, the Finn has put his name on the scoresheet in each of his three most recent games. Friday, in a 6-5 triumph over the Philadelphia Flyers, he scored for the second time in three games; consequently, he has five goals and as many assists for 10 points in 34 games this season.

Also, the former Montreal Canadiens goal remains to help his club win .

“The division games will be big and we want to play solid during them. The other teams are also fighting vigorously. The year is long and we will have to be convincing,” he told the media, after a disputed game last week.

A lot of pitfalls

In terms of personnel management, the first half of the campaign was not easy for head coach Rod Brind'Amour, who had to deal with the absence of key elements at one time or another. another. Among them are Sebastian Aho, Teuvo Teravainen and Frederik Andersen. Then, Max Pacioretty has yet to play in 2022-23.

Thus, the Hurricanes have used an 11 forward, seven defenseman roster a few times. Other skaters also took over to fill in the absences. Among others, Jordan Staal has totaled eight points in as many duels since December 10. This is without forgetting goalkeeper Pyotr Kochetkov, who has suffered only one failure in regulation time in 15 games. Consequently, at the Christmas break, Carolina held a four-point priority over the New Jersey Devils, who represent the second best team in the Metropolitan Division.

“We have confidence in what we are doing. . We know we're a tough team to beat when we play good hockey,” winger Jesper Fast told the team's website.

The Canes will host the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday.