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Tweetmail No. 87: Gameday, Forwards & First Goal

by Michael Smith / Carolina Hurricanes
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.

This is a fun question, so here we go.

We’ll start with the Gameday Hub, which has become a gameday staple on CarolinaHurricanes.com. I write that the night prior, and it schedules to post early on the morning of the game so that it greets fans as they visit the website for the first time that day.

Aside from handling a few things here and there as they crop up in the A.M., the morning skate is the first big-ticket item on the gameday checklist. That typically happens at 10:30 a.m. at home and 11:30 a.m. on the road. At home, it’s as easy as making my way from my desk to the lower bowl. On the road, it’s a bus ride from the hotel to the rink, usually in plenty of time to see the home team skate at 10:30.

Following the morning skate, the media horde proceeds into the locker room to speak with players and the head coach. After, it’s a quick walk back up to my desk at home and a bus ride to the hotel on the road.

I’m updating the Gameday Hub with lines, photos, quotes and more during all of this and, on occasion, I’ll write an accompanying story. For instance, on Tuesday in New York, I penned 400-some words on Brett Pesce lacing up the skates against the team he grew up with.

Lunch happens at some point in all of this, and what’s left of the afternoon is filled with this and that. While writing is part of my job, being the webmaster is another, so I navigate edits to CarolinaHurricanes.com throughout each day, gamedays included.

On the road, it’s another late-afternoon bus ride that gets us to the rink, unless it’s within walking distance of the hotel. Those are always nice, assuming the weather cooperates. Press meal is a gameday tradition, and just after 6 p.m. local time for the standard 7 p.m. puck drop, it’s time to ascend to the press box.

The press box is really where the gameday magic happens, so to speak. I’m constructing my recap throughout the game, putting the finishing touches on the early version as soon as the horn sounds and posting immediately for you to consume.

It’s then back down to the locker room for postgame interviews with players and the head coach. For a home game, I’ll proceed to my desk to update my recap with quotes and some final thoughts, and on the road, this is done from the (sometimes cramped) seat of a bus. After a home game, we usually close our Digital Marketing Suite door around 11 p.m. or so.

And that, more or less, is a typical gameday. (Side note: this could potentially work as a live blog, if you all are interested in that peek behind the curtain. Maybe I’ll look into that in one of our future road trips.)

I think at the top of the list has to be Brock McGinn. He was just reassigned to Charlotte, but he contributed three points, including two goals, in his 12-game stint with the Hurricanes. However, his ice time in the last three games has dipped well below the 10-minute mark, and for a 21-year-old forward who clearly has a future in the NHL ahead of him, limited ice time is not conducive to his development. So, he’ll return to Charlotte for now to log more regular minutes and hopefully contribute on a team that is finding itself increasingly thin due to injuries.

Phil Di Giuseppe leads the Checkers with 10 points (4g, 6a), in just 12 games amassing a third of the point total he put up in his first professional season (2014-15). He has yet to play an NHL game, but he’s one to keep an eye on.

Though he was just signed by the Hurricanes this summer and is 28 years old, Derek Ryan is also producing early for the Checkers, something he has done at every level of hockey he’s played. Ryan has notched seven goals in 12 games, which ranks first on the team and tied for fourth in the AHL. Along with four others, Ryan was among the last to be assigned to Charlotte following Carolina’s training camp, and it will be interesting to see whether he gets a call to the big club at some point this season.

It’s random to an extent because our social media team likes to ensure that it’s not the same player signing the puck over and over. But there are certain patterns or trends you may notice. Maybe the featured player is on a streak. Maybe he is playing in a milestone game. Maybe he is facing a former club. Maybe he scored his first NHL goal or recorded his first NHL point recently, or maybe he’s playing in his first NHL game. And maybe, just to mix it up, it’s a coach with ties to the opponent.

If you have no idea what we’re talking about here, check out the First Goal Contest each and every game. It’s easy: submit your guess for who will score the Canes’ first goal, and be entered to win an autographed puck.

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On this Veteran’s Day, a sincere thank you to all who have served our great nation.

Join me next week for more questions and more answers! If you have a question you’d like answered, you can find me on Twitter at @MSmithCanes or drop an email here.



Michael Smith
MICHAEL SMITH is the Web Producer for the Carolina Hurricanes.

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