- The Hurricanes are leading their division with a record of 34-9-8.
- 2022-23 is Rod Brind’Amour’s fifth year as head coach.
Halfway through the 2022-23 regular season, the Hurricanes are almost certain to secure their fifth consecutive playoff berth. Behind the bench, head coach Rod Brind’Amour likes what he sees.
“I feel pretty good about it,” Brind’Amour told me before the All-Star Game in Sunrise, Florida. “I love my group, that’s the thing. This team is a special group of guys, and every coach is going to say that about their team, but I think we show that nightly. They’re very consistent, and they take their job [seriously]… They do it right.
“Obviously, I felt better when we had [Max] Pacioretty in the mix. I thought that was a big, big player that we grabbed in the offseason, but now we don’t have. That’s a big blow, but we’ve played without him all year, and we’ve done pretty well.”
Our passing is insane pic.twitter.com/ILfymO1VIn
— Carolina Hurricanes (@Canes) February 2, 2023
Brind’Amour isn’t wrong; the Hurricanes’ roster is stacked with talent, even without Pacioretty, who hit injured reserve before playing a game for Carolina.
Martin Necas is having a breakout year, having recorded 21 goals, 26 assists, 47 points, and 165 shots in 51 games. Andrei Svechnikov, who just won the Fastest Skater event at his first All-Star Skills competition with a time of 13.699 seconds, has recorded 19 goals, 23 assists, 42 points, and 169 shots. Sebastian Aho is also back in fine form with 23 goals, 23 assists, 46 points, and 138 shots in 44 games.
“At the start of the season, he was on fire, and then he got hurt,” Brind’Amour said of Aho, who suffered a lower-body injury at the end of 2022. “He missed almost a couple of weeks, so I wouldn’t say he was “off,” but he just needed time to get back going, and now he’s right back to where he was… He’s becoming stronger, and he’s always that high level of competitiveness, and it’s showing.”
Rod Brind’Amour Managerial Record
This is Brind’Amour’s fifth year behind Carolina’s bench. In his first year as head coach, he led the Hurricanes to their first playoff berth in a decade, and the team has qualified for the playoffs every year since. He is the first coach in franchise history to lead the Hurricanes to three consecutive playoff berths.
On June 17, 2021, Brind’Amour agreed to a three-year, $5.4 million contract extension, keeping him with the team through the 2023-24 season.
Carolina Hurricanes Record
At the All-Star Break, the Hurricanes lead the Metropolitan division with a record of 34-9-8. The team is second in the league overall, only behind the Boston Bruins.
“They’ve got veteran guys that know how to do it; it’s that simple,” Brind’Amour said of the Bruins, who have a record of 39-7-5 after the first 51 games. “They’ve been an elite team for a long time because their top guys do it right, and everybody else says, ‘okay, this is how we do things.’ It’s no secret to me why they’re having success.”
"That was 🚨 awesome." pic.twitter.com/7Eo2krQDMq
— Carolina Hurricanes (@Canes) February 1, 2023
The Hurricanes have four straight playoff appearances, but haven’t yet secured a Stanley Cup Final appearance with Brind’Amour behind the bench. The team was eliminated in the second round in both 2021-22 and 2020-21 and didn’t make it past the first round in 2019-20.
In 2018-19, Brind’Amour’s first year coaching, they reached the Conference Finals before being eliminated by — you guessed it — the Boston Bruins.
“I don’t look at where you get knocked out because you could play the best team in the first round,” Brind’Amour said. “We’ve hit Boston a couple of times, they’re the best, and we got knocked out in the second round or first round… You’ve kind of got to take that with a grain of salt.”
Still, Brind’Amour touched on changes the team has already made to get ahead this year.
“We’ve added some different pieces,” Brind’Amour said. “We added Brent Burns. I think that’s a huge addition. The skill level and the talent, but the experience and the hunger — he’s a veteran guy that wants to win, so I think that’ll help us.”
Where To From Here?
The Hurricanes have 31 games left in the regular season. As of the All-Star Break, they are leading their division by eight points, with the New Jersey Devils (32-13-4) as their closest rival.
Martin Necas called game 🗣 pic.twitter.com/x0IqFKuY1I
— Carolina Hurricanes (@Canes) January 26, 2023
So considering the team’s healthy lead in their division and a near-certain playoff berth, is there anything Brind’Amour is looking to tighten up as the Hurricanes go into the home stretch?
“Oh yeah, we’ve got a lot of work to do,” he said. “I’d love to get our special teams dialed right in. I think we’ve started taking a nice step there lately. When you get to this time of year, all those areas become so much more important, so there’s not one area that I don’t think we need to keep getting better at.”
There may not be only one area demanding Brind’Amour’s focus, but it’s safe to say the Hurricanes are chasing one thing: the Boston Bruins.
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