For the last few seasons, the surrounding buzz around the Carolina Hurricanes has been enormous. Ever since the team hired Rod Brind’Amour to be the head coach, they have become elite contenders in the Eastern Conference. Over the last few years, they have formed a core of players destined to hoist the Stanley Cup. Even though they fell short last season, they are off to an excellent start to begin the year. And one player that has stepped up large is Carolina Hurricanes forward Martin Necas.
Carolina Hurricanes Forward Martin Necas Looking Dominant
Carolina Hurricanes forward Martin Necas has been part of this core group for the last four seasons. Since becoming a consistent NHL Player, Necas has produced at an OK pace. He set a career-high in goals in 2019-20 (16) and surpassed the 40-point mark in the last two seasons. Necas has the speed, skill, and scoring ability, but inconsistency was his biggest downfall. However, this season, he is off to a blistering hot start and it is comforting to see.
Necas Looking Rejuvenated
Carolina Hurricanes forward Martin Necas is off to his best start. In 11 games played to begin the year, he has seven goals, 10 assists, and 17 points. He currently leads the team in that regard and is one of three Hurricanes’ players to hit the double-digit point mark. After some of the losses the team suffered with the exits of Vincent Trocheck and Nino Niederreiter, Necas starting to produce is enormous.
This is his best start by far. For example, last season, it took him over two months to hit the 17-point mark. This season he has done it in the first month of the year. Individually, Necas has averaged 4.23 points per 60 minutes, won 51.4% of his faceoffs, has a Corsi For Percentage of 68%, and expected goals for percentage of 64%. Necas has also chipped in with four points in special teams play. He has looked good on the ice, and the results are showing.
The Surging Trio
What has helped is being on a line with Andrei Svechnikov and Jesperi Kotkaniemi. Not so much the centre, but his partner in crime for a winger has been dominant. As a line, they have spent over 100 minutes together. This line has been one of the best for the Hurricanes. They are second in CF (69.55) and GF% (74.72%). What is even better is the line has been great in the high-danger areas of the ice and they have a 67.64 HDCF%.
As a line, they have scored six goals, and two of the three on this line are among the team’s point leaders. Necas is essential to this line. So far without him, they’ve suffered two goals against and no goals scored and have a lowly CF of 38.46%. He has made an impact and rejuvenated, and he can attribute that to something he’s done this offseason.
What Has Helped His Game
Every player finds a way to work on their game. There is always room to improve, even for some of the best players in the world. Not only is this game physical, but there is also the mental factor in the game of hockey as well. And that is the part Necas has worked on. According to Chip Alexander from the News Observer, Necas has been working with a sports psychologist Marian Jelinek in Prague and has worked with NHL Players before.
Necas has gone on to say, “Everyone is always worrying about your physical summer workouts and stuff,” Necas told The N&O. “It was this summer that I realized that the mental side is so important, too, and that if I can stay in the game for every shift, every game, and be confident and be on my game every night, I’m going to play good and be consistent.
He even added, “It’s a way to prepare for a game with your head. If something’s not working out, you need to stay calm and be on your game, which I feel like I’ve been struggling with in the past year. So we decided to do this. This is something new to me.”
It seems like doing this has paid off for Necas in the early going. He is producing and playing with confidence. You root for a player like that.
Consistency Will be Key
Necas is playing great hockey for the team. The bridge deal he signed in the off-season could look like a bargain when all is said and done. He is off to one of his best starts, and this is arguably the best he has looked in a Hurricanes uniform. Necas has softened the blow of the losses this offseason and has made Max Pacioretty being injured a forgotten memory.
If he can maintain this pace for when Pacioretty arrives, Carolina will be deep and talented and can cause problems for teams in the future. Genuinely happy for Necas, and it will be great to see if he maintains his pace.
Necas has ups! pic.twitter.com/2cGB3eFcCA
— Carolina Hurricanes (@Canes) May 19, 2022