Hello and welcome to a weekly feature on CarolinaHurricanes.com in which I take your Twitter questions about the Carolina Hurricanes or other assorted topics and answer them in mailbag form. Hopefully, the final product is insightful to some degree, and maybe we have some fun along the way.
Let’s get to it.
Who is the second-most deserving player to be in the All-Star Game and why? – Chris J. (@Jelleyman94)
I’d say Cam Ward.
His numbers weren’t stellar in October, but the team in front of him wasn’t great, either. Since the first of November, Ward has been rock solid. He’s got a 2.16 goals-against average and a .923 save percentage in 25 starts since that date, both of which are top-10 numbers in the league. On the season, he has a career-best 2.40 goals-against average and a .913 save percentage, which ranks fifth best in his career.
For a team that has won just 14 of 43 games, these numbers are rather impressive. Ward has given the Canes, who are the 29th-ranked team in average goals per game at 2.05, a chance to win the copious closely-contested matches in which they’ve been involved, and he’s stood on his head on a number of nights.
“He’s been real valuable, and Dobby has too. Our goaltending has been very good, and we know we’re going to get good goaltending each and every night,” head coach Bill Peters said. “Where Wardo really helps us as a team is his ability to play the puck.”
So, had the Canes’ All-Star selection not been the very-deserving Justin Faulk, I’d say that nomination would belong to Cam Ward.
For rookie representation, Victor Rask would have been a good selection just to see what he could pull off in the Skills Competition. I mean, did you see his shootout goal on Tuesday night? Yowza.
My heart tells me we play better in our black jerseys. What do the actual stats say? – Kim M. (@KimMcGrealUK)
I don’t know if it’s a matter of playing better, but the stats certainly rule in favor of the black alternate set.
Coming into this season, the Canes were 41-28-6 all-time in their third sweaters. Through seven games this season, they are 5-2-0, defeating Arizona, Columbus, Toronto, Boston and, most recently, Colorado, improving to 46-30-6 all-time.
Can Elias Lindholm ride a unicycle? I heard he could, and I need some confirmation. – Katie G. (@katiegriffin16)
He can, in fact, ride a unicycle.
Lindholm said he bought one and taught himself how to ride it when he was around 12 years old. It took him a few weeks to learn, he said, and he even mixed in stickhandling and juggling while riding it. The stickhandling, he said, was easier.
The unicycle is not currently with Lindholm in Raleigh; it resides in Sweden, where he tried to ride it over the summer but was, perhaps predictably, a bit rusty.
The more you know!
How has social media changed your job? – Gill A. (@Gillimus)
When I started full-time in September 2011, social media, especially Twitter and Facebook, was already pretty pervasive. In the last three-plus years, it’s grown, expanded and evolved, so much so that the organization added a dedicated full-time social media role.
My social platform of choice is Twitter, and it has become an integral aspect of how I and many others in similar positions relay news to you, the fans. Lines are reported in real time, interviews can be quoted under 140 characters and game happenings can be relayed shift-by-shift. Reaching far beyond sports, Twitter has drastically changed the manner in which news is reported and consumed.
And, obviously, Twitter is the impetus of this weekly column that I started last year.
Join me next week for more questions and more answers!
If you have a question you’d like answered or you'd like to #connect and #engage with my #brand, you can find me on Twitter at @MSmithCanes (or drop an email here).