It's early, for sure. Way too early to make any real assessment of this team. However, let's look at what we've seen these first two games.
- An improved PK. This is probably my favorite thing with these new Canes (besides the uniforms. I love those as well). I am reminded of our teams from 06-09 when I see this team on the PK. PP still needs a bit of work, but that will come. Defense is what you need to win early, and we're playing great defense in short-handed situations right now. High intensity, hard skating, and results abound.
- Another goalie battle? Seems that way. Khudobin looked solid against Philly. Cam looked pretty good against Detroit. Had we just played better defense in front of Cam, we start the year 2-0. Who gets the majority of the starts? Probably Cam, but time will tell. And what happens if Khudobin continues to allow fewer goals than Cam?
- Our uniforms look cool. No, seriously, I really want a red one. A red Staalsy jersey will be my first Canes jersey, and this makes me happy.
- We look like we're more focused on puck movement so far. A lot less freestyling, a lot more design in how we enter the zone. A lot less instances where we have 3 men within 5 feet of each other while skating the puck in. This change is something I've screamed about the past 2 years, and the change is resulting in scoring opportunities and wide open looks. We need to get better about collecting rebounds and throwing them back at the net, but again, that is something that will come as these guys get used to each other and know what to expect.
- Despite the injuries, we still look great.
We look good. Now, the question is...will we keep it up and improve as the season plays out or will we struggle to grow with the other teams in the division and miss the playoffs yet again? We have, IMO, the toughest overall division in the East, if not the NHL Can't wait to see how this season plays itself out.