On paper, the Carolina Hurricanes and New York Rangers had similar seasons to this point. The two clubs were shot out of a cannon in the early going and never faded. Ultimately it was Carolina that finished first in the Metropolitan Division with 116 points, but the Rangers were right there with them until the very end, finishing six points adrift of the Canes by season’s end.
But that’s really where the similarities between these two teams end. While the Rangers are a top-heavy team that relies on its star players – especially the one in goal – to be the difference, the Hurricanes are a balanced, well-drilled machine that is an absolute buzzsaw at 5-on-5.