Tracking the Storm

Regan Smith: An Introduction

Tuesday, 04.26.2011 / 9:07 AM ET / Tracking the Storm
By Regan Smith
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Regan Smith: An Introduction
Regan Smith is originally from the Syracuse, N.Y. area where he grew up an unabashed hockey fanatic. Regan drives the No. 78 Furniture Row Chevrolet in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.  Since moving to North Carolina for his racing commitments, Regan has grown to become a passionate Carolina Hurricanes fan. When he isn’t racing, Regan can often be seen at the RBC Center cheering on the Canes.

Follow Regan on Twitter and Facebook.


Think of all the similarities between hockey and racing.

The two sports are fast paced, the hits (or impacts with the wall) are hard, both are performed on an oval-shaped structure in front of great fans, and, well, that’s about where the similarities end.

Regan Smith
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Before I start rambling on too much let me introduce myself. My name is Regan Smith and I drive the No. 78 Furniture Row Chevrolet in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. 

I will admit that I have absolutely zero experience playing hockey and, to be honest, the few times I’ve had skates on it probably resembled a cat trying to be shoved into a bucket of water rather than a person skating.

With that being said I am a huge fan of the sport and my beloved Carolina Hurricanes. Having grown up in the Syracuse area I have definitely seen my fair share of snow and ice and I guess when you spend eight months of the year in winter-like conditions you have to learn to enjoy winter sports.

When my family and I moved to the Charlotte area in 1995, I quickly realized that watching hockey was going to be much more difficult. Fortunately for me, and so many other transplants from the north, I only had to wait two years until it was readily available again. While I was never a Sabres or Rangers fan, both were regularly on TV, and after stomaching four straight Super Bowl losses as a Buffalo Bills fan, I had to swear off all Buffalo sports. As far as the Rangers go, I have never really been much of a fan of New York City sports teams as a whole, so that pretty much sums up how a Syracuse kid becomes a fan of a southern hockey team.

When the opportunity came to share my opinions and write the occasional blog for the Canes, I was super pumped. I have to thank the organization and everybody involved with it for letting this happen. I’m not much of a writer, but hockey brings out the opinions in me. I did hit the wall pretty hard on the day that I said I wanted to type it out, so that may have played a part in my decision to do this.

I’m going to be writing these blogs strictly from a fan’s view as that is where my knowledge of hockey ends. If I say something that is inaccurate, don’t hesitate to let me know.

Now on to business. While I know that the season didn’t end the way that any of us wanted it to, there is so much to be excited about as a Canes fan. 

For me personally when the season started I felt if the team could get to mid-season in contention for a playoff spot, which they did, then it would be smooth sailing from there.

With the simple fact that the Canes were among the youngest NHL teams for most of the season, it only seemed logical that things would progressively get better, and they did. It seemed like the mix of veterans and young players were just about perfect. When the Canes were clicking they looked awesome at times. I didn’t miss very many games this year, but the one that I was forced to miss due to my racing schedule was the season-ending game against Tampa Bay. For me personally it was the capper to a pretty terrible weekend, as we crashed racing in Texas while the game was going on.

As disappointing as it may seem, the reality of the situation is that the team was already playing playoff-style hockey for the previous 10 games, and sometimes it just doesn’t work out.

Along with all the young players that we all know about who are currently on the big team, you also have to look at what’s going on in Charlotte with the Checkers. As I’m writing this, I am fresh off of watching them play Game 5 vs. the Hershey Bears, in which the Checkers earned a come-from-behind win. I’ve been to about six of their games this year and personally think that what’s going on in Charlotte is yet another great sign for things to come. That team has been strong all year, and has a bunch of young talent, some of which have shown already that they will be in Raleigh soon.

The draft is up next and based on the success the team had last year with their picks (the Jeff Skinner pick in particular), I’m excited to see how it turns out and am hoping that we haven’t been spoiled.

Skinner is my pick to win the Calder, and if he doesn’t then we should all go throw eggs at the doors of all the voters (maybe that’s not a great idea, but it felt good to type it).

I’ll check back in before the draft, but in the meantime here’s one more thought to leave you with: had the Canes made it, and the playoff beard-growing began, would Skinner had been able to even grow one? It was possibly some kind of divine intervention to give him one more year to make sure he didn’t have to get harassed for the next two months.

(I’m just messing with you, Jeff).
 

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 252 192 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 221 189 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 262 211 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 242 203 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 252 230 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 235 221 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 238 215 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 221 210 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 213 211 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 206 223 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 236 250 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 215 234 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 181 216 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 188 226 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 211 262 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 161 274 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 77 23 31 -13 54
J. Faulk 82 15 34 -19 49
E. Lindholm 81 17 22 -23 39
V. Rask 80 11 22 -14 33
J. Skinner 77 18 13 -24 31
N. Gerbe 78 10 18 -14 28
R. Nash 68 8 17 -10 25
J. Staal 46 6 18 -6 24
J. Liles 57 2 20 -9 22
J. McClement 82 7 14 -7 21
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 22 24 5 .910 2.40
A. Khudobin 8 17 6 .900 2.72