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Tweetmail No. 138: Rookies, Lack & Best Game

by Michael Smith @MSmithCanes / CarolinaHurricanes.com

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.

Tweet from @peterwalz: @MSmithCanes how does Aho's rookie season statistically compare to other Canes/Whaler rookies?

Sebastian Aho is having a whale of a rookie season.

Jeff Skinner is on record for the best rookie season in franchise history, and his performance earned him the Calder Trophy. His 63 points (also a career high, for now) and 31 goals are tops among all franchise rookie skaters.

Aho now holds sole possession of second place among Carolina and franchise rookies in terms of goals with 23, surpassing Bobby Holik's 21 in the 1990-91 season and Shane Willis' 20 in the 2000-01 season. In terms of total points, Aho ranks second among Carolina rookies with 47 (23g, 24a) and fourth among all franchise rookies behind Scott Young's 59 points (19g, 40a) in 1988-89 and Patrick Poulin's 51 points (20g, 31a) in 1992-93.

But, keep in mind - there are still seven games remaining on the schedule. Aho has recorded nine points (3g, 6a) in his last eight games, so 50-plus points appears to be a very attainable mark for the 19-year-old(!) rookie.

Tweet from @IslandNucks: @MSmithCanes timeline on Eddie Lack getting back to practice?

Eddie Lack is obviously the question on everyone's minds right now after Monday's scary collision at the conclusion of overtime.

Lack was released from the hospital on Monday night and was diagnosed with a neck strain. He was seen around the locker room on Tuesday and, all things considered, was in great spirits.

Here are some reactions from teammates and the head coach following Tuesday's win over Detroit:

Lee Stempniak: "We were just thinking of Eddie. It's a really difficult situation to see a teammate - anyone in that situation - on a stretcher and being immobilized is scary for everyone. We got an update late last night that tentatively things looked OK, and this morning, obviously, things looked very good. I think we're all taking a deep breath and a sigh of relief that we know he's all right. You forget sometimes how scary it is out there."

Bill Peters: "It's always good to see him. It was good that he sent out that tweet last night. That was very important. It was coming right from him. Guys care about him a lot. You can see that. He was hanging around this morning and being himself, so that was important."

Cam Ward: "It was really tough. Eddie's an outstanding individual and a guy we deeply care about. For a guy who plays the position and to see my partner down like that, it definitely scares you. I had a tough time sleeping last night, and fortunately Eddie was able to get back to me late last night to let me know that everything was OK. What a relief that was. To see him here this morning, that definitely gave us a boost today to know that he's OK and we can focus on the game at hand."

Video: Eddie Lack talks about his injury and status

As far as when he'll return to practice, there is no set timetable currently. Lack was "stiff and sore" yesterday, per Peters, but there seems to be a distinct chance he could return before the end of the season.

"I think so. I hope so," Peters said. "I'm being optimistic with that."

Tweet from @overthehill98: @MSmithCanes #Tweetmail what has been your game of the year

Really, any game in this 12-game point streak the Hurricanes are currently riding has been immensely impressive. If I had to pick one from that stretch, the game that got the streak started - a 4-3 win over the New York Rangers at home - was a good one. The Canes entered the third period down a goal, but Aho's two power-play goals in the final 20 minutes of regulation lifted the team to victory. Carolina's 8-4 win in Brooklyn was rather impressive, too, considering defenseman Jaccob Slavin posted his first career hat trick while Skinner and Justin Faulk each chipped in a pair of goals.

Looking at the rest of the season, how bananas was that 8-6 win over Vancouver in December? Six goals in the third period alone, including four in less than five minutes. Maybe not fun for the coaching staff, but a hell of a lot of fun for us watching.

What say you - what's been your favorite game thus far in the 2016-17 regular season? Let us know in the comments below.

(… And let's all hope there is a game coming up in the final seven of the regular-season that can provide a real easy answer to this question.)

Tweet from @K2theArl: @MSmithCanes how's your bracket doing?

I didn't fill one out, but if I did I likely would have picked my alma mater to go all the way. So far, so good. Ceiling. Roof.

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Join me next week for more questions and more answers!

If you have a question you'd like answered or you'd like to brag about a solid bracket, you can find me on Twitter at @MSmithCanes or drop an email here.

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