The second season of BEARD Hockey is 25% completed, and currently sitting atop the leaguewide standings are the Carolina Hurricanes.
The Canes have played 19 games so far, posting a record of 16-3-0, and sit atop the standings with 32 points. This comes as a surprise not only to most GM's in the league but also GM of the Canes, Jay Williams.
When asked about his team's performance so far this season, GM Williams had this to say.
"Well, to say the least, this is the kind of play I knew this team was capable of and I really expected this last season," said Williams. "I am very proud of this group and how they have all pulled together to start the year and I have full confidence that we will not only make the playoffs but push hard for the cup."
Leading the Canes to where they are in the standings is none other than legendary netminder Carey Price. He has yet to lose a game this season and sits atop the goaltending leaders with a .942 SP and a 1.72 GAA through 16 starts. If the Canes started the inaugural season with Price in the nets, they probably would have made it to the playoffs then as well.
Also performing well despite his seasoned age, veteran centerman Eric Staal (37 yrs) has anchored Carolina's second line with Tyler Bertuzzi and Victor Olofsson, putting up 20 points (5G, 15A). Carolina's only free agent signing this offseason is looking to end his stellar career with big numbers.
The Canes Brayden Schenn found himself on the Hurricanes' 3rd line, after failed trials on the top two lines early in the season. With a salary of $6,000,000, Williams found it worth the chance to swap him out for some help on defense.
This was the basis for the trade with Colorado which sent Brayden Schenn and Karl Alzner out west in exchange for stalwart defenseman Duncan Keith and youngsters Nolan Foote and Chase Stillman. Keith makes yet another vet with an expiring contract for the Carolina Hurricanes.
The message is clear that the Canes are going all in this season as it is doubtful they will be able to retain all or any of these vets who could retire at season's end.
Can the Canes continue their surge in the standings and put up a perfect storm of a season? Will Carey Price be able to keep carrying this team on his back? Fans and management are hopeful and can't wait to see the end result this team can reach this year.