Five observations from the Carolina Hurricanes’ 6-3 road win Tuesday over the Florida Panthers, in a game not decided in an overtime or shootout:
1. Dougie’s World
For now, it’s Dougie’s World and we just live in it. Dougie Hamilton, who at times looks like a forward trapped in a defenseman’s body, is playing tremendous hockey for the Canes. Long way to go, but he could be headed to a monster season. Hamilton, who scored a goal against Florida, appears loose, happy, fully at ease with his surroundings and teammates and it’s showing in his play.
2. James Reimer the battler
The word that keeps coming up with James Reimer is “battler.” Good choice. He battled through the Caps game Saturday and won and did the same Tuesday against the Panthers, both on the road. Rod Brind’Amour said Reimer had some “weird-looking” saves against the Caps and had more Tuesday. Fifty shots is a lot of rubber and more than the Canes allowed in any game last season.
The Panthers’ Sergei Bobrovsky lasted one period in net Tuesday. Reimer went the distance and should have been named the game’s first star (Ryan Dzingel, even after scoring his first two goals for the Canes, probably would agree).
3. Teuvo Teravainen’s consistency
Forgive Florida coach Joel Quenneville if he was standing behind the bench trying to remind himself how Teuvo Teravainen got to Carolina. That’s right, the trade with Bryan Bickell when the Chicago Blackhawks needed cap space and sent those two to the Canes. Teravainen has been as consistent as anyone in the lineup through four games and scored his first goal Tuesday.
4. ‘Worst game of the bunch’
Coaches always enjoy wins that have “teachable moments” and areas that can be improved in practice. The Canes’ first period was airtight and complete: tight structure, power-play goal, 5-on-3 penalty kill, strong play at even-strength and a 4-0 lead. Things got a little loose on the Canes side when the Panthers pushed back -- “We were in our end the whole time,” Brind’Amour told the media after the game -- and the Canes had eight penalties in the game.
“I didn’t love this game, probably the worst game of the bunch,” Brind’Amour said. “Lot to work on, which is great. We’re in a good spot and know we can be better.”
5. Sebastian Aho scores
Sebastian Aho has scored. It was an empty netter and it was late but it was what Aho needed. He had a team-high 13 shots in the first three games and had six Tuesday, winging away. “He’s been pressing,” Brind’Amour said. “Hopefully it relaxed him and he can go play his game.” Now, if Aho can get his linemate, Nino Niederreiter, going.