Apr 25, 2013, 9:02 AM EDT
The Carolina Hurricanes had a 15-9-1 record before they completely collapsed, losing a remarkable 17 of their next 19 contests.
After adding forwards Jordan Staal and Alexander Semin over the offseason, Carolina will end up with their worst points percentage since they last made the playoffs in 2008-09. All the same, Hurricanes captain Eric Staal likes the changes the team made last summer.
“Too many years in a row, no question,” Staal told the News & Observer. “But I believe wholeheartedly we can get the places we want to go and where we want to be.
“I feel like we’re in a better situation now than, say, two or three years ago when we missed the playoffs by one game. I still think that we’ve got some excellent pieces and we’re going the right direction where we can be extremely successful for a long period of time. It’s a matter of doing it.”
The Hurricanes have to hope that they already have the pieces in place for a playoffs run, because they don’t have much wiggle room heading into the summer. They’ve already committed $56,650,000 to 17 players, according to Cap Geek, so a major upgrade would take some creativity.
Still, they can add some complimentary parts, like a veteran backup goaltender. The Hurricanes’ collapse this season roughly corresponded with netminder Cam Ward suffering a third-degree MCL sprain.
The Hurricanes will also probably be looking to bolster their defense over the summer and one of their top-tier prospects, 20-year-old blueliner Ryan Murphy, should get a serious look during training camp.
It’s also worth noting that next season the Hurricanes will move from the relatively weak Southeast Division to Division D next season.
Carolina’s division rivals will consist of Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Washington, Columbus, New Jersey the New York Rangers, and New York Islanders. That’s very tough competition and will make ending their playoff drought even harder.
Apr 19, 2014, 4:15 PM EDT
He’s been out since March 29 with a knee injury.
Apr 19, 2014, 3:09 PM EDT
He’s missed three games with an upper-body injury.
Apr 19, 2014, 3:00 PM EDT
The Blackhawks look to head home with a split.
Apr 19, 2014, 2:24 PM EDT
He’s aiming to return for Game 3 on Tuesday.
Apr 19, 2014, 2:01 PM EDT
He avoided a suspension for the act.
Apr 19, 2014, 1:29 PM EDT
He’s been out since April 3.
Apr 19, 2014, 12:42 PM EDT
A fine may be in his future.
Apr 19, 2014, 12:23 PM EDT
He missed Game 2 with an injury.
Apr 19, 2014, 11:17 AM EDT
Pulling the goalie with three minutes went over very well.
Apr 19, 2014, 9:30 AM EDT
Holding a lead is hard to do in the playoffs.
Apr 19, 2014, 1:57 AM EDT
“We should have been 5-on-3.”
Apr 19, 2014, 1:29 AM EDT
Ryan Getzlaf, Frederik Andersen and Corey Perry “are winning that battle,” he said.
Apr 19, 2014, 12:56 AM EDT
Eventful last few days for the captain.
Apr 18, 2014, 11:59 PM EDT
“It was one individual effort that made the difference today.”
Apr 18, 2014, 11:14 PM EDT
Apr 18, 2014, 10:40 PM EDT
Bolts just needed a spark, he explained.
Apr 18, 2014, 10:27 PM EDT
There was no penalty on the play.
Apr 18, 2014, 10:08 PM EDT
Jimmy Howard had a shutout in the goaltending duel.
Apr 18, 2014, 9:55 PM EDT
Can Dallas build on its late-game momentum?
Apr 18, 2014, 9:44 PM EDT
Game 3 will be played in Montreal.
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