Balanced Scoring Key To Hurricanes Early Success

Jussi Jokinen and Jeff Skinner of the Carolina Hurricanes team up against the Minnesota Wild in Helsinki, Finland. (Photo by LTD)

The Carolina Hurricanes have two wins in the books still with 80 more games to play and while it might be too early to look for trends or to place too much emphasis on any of the early season stats, the good news for the Canes is that up to this point they have been able to score goals and win games without getting any scoring from Eric Staal.  

In the recent past, the rule of thumb has pretty much been that the Hurricanes go as Staal goes.  When he scores, the team usually wins, but if he doesn't, the opposite usually happens.

So far this season though, the Hurricanes are bucking that idea.  The team has scored five goals, (not counting Jeff Skinner's shootout winner), and they are 2-0 even though Staal has yet to register a single point.

More good news?  12 different players have points for the Canes.  If it continues, this type of balanced scoring will do nothing but spell success for Carolina.  A closer look after the jump.

Player Team Pos GP G A P +/- PIM PP SH GW OT S S% TOI/G Sft/G FO%
1 Jussi Jokinen CAR L 2 1 2 3 0 0 1 0 0 0 3 33.3 18:20 24.5 54.0
2 Brandon Sutter CAR C 2 2 0 2 1 0 1 0 1 0 4 50.0 19:57 30.0 26.7
3 Anton Babchuk CAR D 2 1 0 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 7 14.3 16:03 24.0 0.0
4 Tuomo Ruutu CAR R 2 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 8 12.5 16:49 24.0 0.0
5 Zac Dalpe CAR C 2 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 3 0.0 7:04 13.0 23.1
6 Jamie McBain CAR D 2 0 1 1 1 4 0 0 0 0 2 0.0 20:41 29.0 0.0
7 Patrick Dwyer CAR R 2 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 3 0.0 14:34 23.5 100.0
8 Joe Corvo CAR D 2 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0.0 25:57 33.5 0.0
9 Joni Pitkanen CAR D 2 0 1 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 6 0.0 28:39 34.0 0.0
10 Tim Gleason CAR D 2 0 1 1 2 2 0 0 0 0 2 0.0 21:59 32.5 0.0
11 Erik Cole CAR R 2 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 0.0 16:45 26.0 0.0
12 Jeff Skinner CAR C 2 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 0.0 16:25 23.5 25.0
13 Chad LaRose CAR R 2 0 0 0 1 2 0 0 0 0 6 0.0 16:17 26.0 0.0
14 Jay Harrison CAR D 2 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0.0 12:05 16.5 0.0
15 Eric Staal CAR C 2 0 0 0 0 6 0 0 0 0 10 0.0 22:16 31.0 35.3
16 Patrick O'Sullivan CAR C 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0.0 9:22 15.5 0.0
17 Drayson Bowman CAR L 2 0 0 0 1 4 0 0 0 0 3 0.0 9:57 17.0 0.0
18 Tom Kostopoulos CAR R 2 0 0 0 0 5 0 0 0 0 0 0.0 6:52 13.0 0.0

 

Jussi Jokinen is the team leader at this point, pretty much picking up from his performance last season.  Jokinen led the team with 30 goals and finished second in total team scoring with 65 points. 

Brandon Sutter broke out last season and many expect even bigger things from him as he gets additional five-on-five and powerplay ice time. So far, so good for him.

The Hurricanes revamped their defense in an effort to create more offense and that strategy has been effective to date.  Of all the players with points, 5 of the 12 are defensemen.  

Rookies Zac Dalpe and Jeff Skinner have each registered a point and the club will be hoping for their continued success.  

While the second and third lines have been fairly successful to this point, the first line of Staal, Chad LaRose and Erik Cole has yet to break through on the scoreboard, although they have had chances.  Staal has a team high 10 shots on goal while LaRose is close behind with 6. 

Should the coaching staff break up that first line to try to get something more going, or should they keep things the same?  They will be asking themselves that very question, especially with the possibility that Sergei Samsonov could return to the lineup.

More about that later this week.

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