While most stats in the preseason can be taken with a proverbial grain of salt, it is still interesting to look at the stats and see where the team stands at any given point in time. Hockeymom did a great job of compiling individual player stats for the preseason in this article, but let's quickly review a couple of team stats for Hurricanes and see if there are any surprises so far this training camp.
The team has only scored six goals in four preseason games so far and while it's early, this could be cause for concern if the trend continues. Of these six goals, one was scored into an empty net, (Erik Cole).
Sergei Samsonov scored on a powerplay, but team newbies have scored all of the other goals. Anton Babchuk knocked in a goal on a two-on-one break. Patrick O`Sullivan has scored twice, once during a 5-on-3 advantage and once on a breakaway. Rookie Jeff Skinner scored the only goal in Atlanta.
Here at Canes Country, we have wondered where the playmaking will come from for the club and that has been a problem so far, (although one of the team's top playmakers, Joni Pitkanen, has only appeared in one game so far.)
The lack of team scoring up to now obviously bodes well for Jeff Skinner's chances to make the team since he can help provide something the team craves, even if his defense needs further developing.
Last season the Hurricanes scored 230 goals for a 2.8 average per game, (13th in the league). Currently, they are averaging 1.5 goals per game and they will certainly be looking to improve on that the rest of the preseason.
There has been a lot of recent discussion here on this site about the performance of a couple of the Hurricanes defensemen, but the coaching staff seems pretty happy with the defense overall, and for good reason. The Canes have only allowed seven goals in four games so far this preseason for a 1.75 average per game. Taking away the first period meltdown against Florida in game one, they have only allowed a total of four goals.
The goaltending has been solid, no doubt, but the defensemen have allowed fewer odd man rushes than last year and they have also been there to clean up most rebounds from in front of the net. Last season, the team allowed a total of 256 goals, for an average of 3.12 per game, (24th in the league).
Even though there have been some mistakes made in their zone, if the Canes can continue to play team defense like they have in this early preseason, it should transcend to success in the regular season.
The Hurricanes have allowed the fewest goals out of all the 10 other teams who have played in four exhibition games this preseason. So far, so good for the defense.