Coming into the season, no one really knew how things were going to go for the Carolina Hurricanes.
In the off-season, the team traded away their best player in Jeff Skinner, their former franchise goaltender Cam Ward moved on to the Chicago Blackhawks, and the team hired Rod Brind’Amour to be their new head coach. It looked like it was going to be a fresh start and one that would feature a lot of youngsters, a different style of play, and the hope that what they have would be good enough to get into the playoffs.
As of this writing, things have not gone as planed for this hockey club. The team is currently 13-13-4 and is seven points out of the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.
The first problem for this team is that they are not putting the puck in the net. The Hurricanes are currently 30th in the league in goals scored as they have scored just 75 goals in 30 games, which means that they are barely scoring two goals a game.
Believe it or not, this is actually a surprising statistic. It is surprising because the Hurricanes currently lead the league in shots per game as they average about 38 shots on goal game in and game out.
What this shows is that the team is not going to the right areas to put the pucks in the net. They are having trouble scoring in front of the net, not doing a good enough job of getting rebounds and they just are not being gritty enough in the dirty areas where a lot of goals can be scored.
On this hockey club, there is only one player that has more than ten goals and that is Michael Ferland. Ferland leads the club with 11 goals while the closest player behind him, Sebastian Aho, has nine.
This is a problem. To have success in this league, a team needs to have depth and not rely on just one line to put the puck in the net. The Hurricanes currently do not have the necessary depth to score a lot goals to win hockey games.
The team’s lack of offense has also hurt them on the power play. The club is currently 23rd in the league with the man advantage, which is obviously not good enough.
Goals are up around the league and there are a lot of teams that are having a decent amount of success with the man advantage. The Hurricanes just are not one of them.
The last problem that this team has is their owner Thomas Dundon. In my opinion, Dundon has absolutely no idea what he doing and also does not know anything about hockey.
His first mistake was when he fired former general manager Ron Francis. Francis was doing everything he could to move this franchise in the right direction and for the most part, he was able to keep the team somewhat competitive each season.
Another mistake he made came on December 12 when in a piece in the Triangle Business Journal when he spoke about how he thought the season was going. On Twitter, Carolyn Christians shared a few of the excerpts since the the site the article is on is subscription-based and let me tell you, the way he spoke shows he has no clue how the league and this sport works:
I understand that Dundon hates losing, just like everyone in sports does. With that said, the fact that he said he would never draft a defenseman in the first round is pretty short-sighted if you ask me.
There is still a lot of time left for this team to turn things around. With that said, one has to remember that they are playing in a division where teams like the Washington Capitals, New York Islanders, Columbus Blue Jackets, Pittsburgh Penguins, and New York Rangers are all in front of them in what is an unbelievably competitive division.
This team is behind the eight ball, folks. It’s a ball that is starting to roll down the hill so the team and it’s coaching and management staff needs to figure out a way to turn things around before it gets too late and the team misses the playoffs for the tenth straight season.
*Photo: The News & Observer