They may not have qualified for the Stanley Cup Playoffs last season, but don’t count out the Carolina Hurricanes in 2013-14. The Canes are off to a hot start, beginning the season 1-0-1. Yesterday, they put the final touches on Peter Laviolette’s tenure in Philadelphia with a 2-1 victory. Laviolette won a Cup with Carolina back in 06′.
Scoring shouldn’t be an issue for one of the NHL’s most highly powered offences. Eric Staal finished 5th in NHL scoring last season, compiling 53 points in 48 games. His brother Jordan is a good offensive player too, although he doesn’t get enough credit for that side of his game. Yet, would anyone be surprised if Jordan Staal puts up 20 + goals and 60 + points? Probably not, considering the wingers he’ll share the ice with this year for the Canes.
Only 4 NHLers scored more goals than Jiri Tlusty‘s 23 last season. The skilled left winger put up more goals in 2013 than some very notable names, including, Rick Nash, Phil Kessel, Logan Couture and Thomas Vanek. Not bad by the former 1st round pick.
The Canes forward scoring depth doesn’t stop at Tlusty. Alex Semin and Jeff Skinner are no strangers to putting pucks past goalies.
Semin is a former 40 goal scorer, who, if healthy all year, should hit the mark again. Very few in the game possess comparable raw talent to Alex Semin.
Jeff Skinner has suffered from injuries in recent seasons but the former 30 goal scorer is more than capable of lighting up lamps under the right circumstances. Skinner is off to a good start with 3 points in 2 games.
The Canes’ ability to ice forwards with high end skill ensure they will be a slippery team to defeat this season – the kind of squad that can be outplayed and still win.
The Hurricanes haven’t made the Stanley Cup Playoffs since the 2008-09 season. A miss this year would make it 5 straight seasons without an appearance in the Final 16.