The Wraparound: Can Hurricanes solve road woes in Game 6 vs. Rangers?
The Wraparound is your daily look at the 2022 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs. We’ll break down the NHL playoff games today with the all-important television information.
• The Avalanche have punched their ticket to the Western Conference Final after beating the Blues thanks to Darren Helm’s late goal. Colorado will now play the Oilers.
• On Saturday, the Hurricanes look to overcome their road woes in Game 6 vs. the Rangers to advance to the Eastern Conference Final against the Lightning.
• Looking ahead to some offseason questions for the Calgary Flames.
It has been a fascinating postseason for the Carolina Hurricanes to this point.
They enter Game 6 on Saturday night (8 p.m. ET) with a chance to reach the Eastern Conference Final for the first time since the 2008-09 season. They have done that without getting a single game from their starting goalie, Frederik Andersen, who remains sidelined, and perhaps even more improbably, without winning a single game away from home.
It has been a tale of two different postseasons for Carolina.
There is the Raleigh postseason, where they are 7-0 with a 25-8 goals advantage, and the non-Raleigh postseason where they are 0-5 while being outscored by an 8-21 margin. It is a pretty stunning turn of events for the Hurricanes because they were one of the league’s best road teams during the regular season. Their .659 points percentage on the road was tied for the NHL’s second-best mark (with the Calgary Flames), trailing only the .683 mark from the Washington Capitals. They also had a plus-19 goal differential that was second-best in the league.
[NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs 2022 schedule, TV info]
For 41 games they were one of the best road teams in the NHL, mainly because they were also one of the best teams in the league regardless of where they played.
So what has happened here in the playoffs?
In some ways it just some random noise in a small sample size. If you look back at the regular season the Hurricanes had a four-game road losing streak in March, and a stretch in January where they lost four out of six games on the road. These things happen over the course of a long season. Good teams will lose several games in a row, bad teams will win several games in a row.
[NHL Power Rankings: 2021-22 surprises]
In terms of their actual play on the road this postseason there is not much difference in terms of how they play. Their underlying numbers in terms of shot attempts and scoring chances are pretty similar at home and on the road this postseason. There is not a huge change in the process. The big change has been the fact that Antti Raanta has not played as well on the road as he has at home, and the Hurricanes have been unable to finish. At some point, as long as they maintain the correct process, you have to assume the results will start to match up.
The good news for the Hurricanes is they have had home-ice advantage so far and been able to take advantage of it. As long as they have that, holding serve will be just fine (they have home-ice the entire way through the Eastern Conference playoffs now that Florida is eliminated). But at some point they are going to lose a home game, and at some point they are going to need to win a road game.
Saturday would be a really good time for that to happen for them.
2022 NHL playoff schedule: Eastern Conference Final
CAROLINA HURRICANES/NEW YORK RANGERS v. TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING
Game 1 - June 1: Lightning at Hurricanes/Rangers, 8 p.m. ET (ESPN, SN, CBC, TVAS)
Game 2 - June 3: Lightning at Hurricanes/Rangers, 8 p.m. ET (ESPN, SN, CBC, TVAS)
Game 3 - June 5: Hurricanes/Rangers at Lightning, 3 p.m. ET (ESPN, SN, CBC, TVAS)
Game 4 - June 7: Hurricanes/Rangers at Lightning, 8 p.m. ET (ESPN, SN, CBC, TVAS)
*Game 5 - June 9: Lightning at Hurricanes/Rangers, 8 p.m. ET (TBD)
*Game 6 - June 11: Hurricanes/Rangers at Lightning, 8 p.m. ET (TBD)
*Game 7 -June 14: Lightning at Hurricanes/Rangers, 8 p.m. ET (TBD)
* If necessary
2022 NHL playoff schedule: Western Conference Final
EDMONTON OILERS v. COLORADO AVALANCHE
Game 1 - May 31: Oilers at Avalanche, 8 p.m. ET (TNT, SN, CBC, TVAS)
Game 2 - June 2: Oilers at Avalanche, 8 p.m. ET (TNT, SN, CBC, TVAS)
Game 3 - June 4: Avalanche at Oilers, 8 p.m. ET (TNT, SN, CBC, TVAS)
Game 4 - June 6: Avalanche at Oilers, 8 p.m. ET (TNT, SN, CBC, TVAS)
*Game 5 - June 8: Oilers at Avalanche, TBD
*Game 6 - June 10: Avalanche at Oilers, TBD
*Game 7 - June 12: Oilers at Avalanche, TBD
* If necessary
PHT’s 2022 Stanley Cup previews
• Hurricanes vs. Rangers
• Makar, McDavid lead Conn Smythe watch after First Round
• NHL Second Round predictions