Metropolitan Division Preview: Carolina

Multi-prev_20140725205523 4 of 5 Multi-next_20140725205523
Scouting Report

Normal_168326975

Thanks to players like Eric and Jordan Staal, Alexander Semin, Jeff Skinner and Jiri Tlusty, the Carolina Hurricanes posses one of the most talented top-six group of forwards in the NHL. Eric Staal led the way with 18 goals and 53 points, followed by Semin with 13 goals and 44 points. Despite strong production from those two players, the rest of the roster had difficulty putting the puck in the net. Tlusty was the team’s only 20-goal scorer, and only five players notch more than 10 goals and 20 points.

That struggling offense combined with Carolina’s inability to keep pucks of their net doomed their season. Just four players who appeared in more than 25 games finished with a plus-rating, including Justin Faulk who was just a plus-1.

The loss of Cam Ward, who appeared in just 17 games for Carolina after suffering a season-ending injury in early March was impossible from the team to bounce back from. At the time of the injury, Carolina was 11-8-1 and leading the Southeast Division. After the injury, the Hurricanes went 8-17-3.

While having a healthy Ward should help improve the situation, the addition of Khudobin should not be underestimated, as Carolina’s backups — Dan Ellis and Justin Peters — combined to go 10-19-3 with a 4.86 goals against average and a .899 save percentage.