We are only five games into the season and the Carolina Hurricanes have the dubious distinction of leading the NHL in minor penalty minutes, but everything is not negative for the team from Tobacco Road. For one thing, the new players have pretty much lived up to expectations so far.
Aaron Ward still blocks shots like the old days and is among the league leaders in that category. (13)
Stephane Yelle has been solid on the fourth line and leads the team in faceoff percentage. (53.5%) Brind'Amour is second with 52%.
Tom Kostopoulos has the team's only shorthanded goal, but he has taken a few penalties.
Jay Harrison continues to improve and has the second best plus/minus on the team with a +2. He is also the only defenseman who has scored a goal for Carolina.
Team leaders are as follows:
Jussi Jokinen has the most points with five, (2G 3A).
Scott Walker has the best plus/minus with +4
Both of Eric Staal's goals have been scored while on the powerplay, which is tops for Carolina.
Tuomo Ruutu leads the team with 21 shots on goal. Staal is next with 20.
Ray Whitney is tied for second in the league with 6 takeaways. Cullen and Samsonov have 5 each.
Is the age of the team a factor?
The Hurricanes have yet to win a game on the road this year and they are winless in the second games of back to backs, (0-2). With the acquisitions of Aaron Ward (36), and Stephane Yelle (35), the team is officially the oldest in the NHL. Will this be a factor as the season wears on?
The Canes have 14 more back-to-backs to go.
(These stats taken from NHLnumbers.com)