Storm Tracking: The Eye is Upon Us

Bruce Bennett

While there is turmoil all around, Carolina is currently basking in the sun. The Hurricanes have won 4 straight and look to continue that trend with some winnable games ahead.

While the majority of the country is experiencing record low temperatures, the Carolina Hurricanes are hot, currently tied for the best win streak in the NHL. They started the week with another OT win, this time in the nations captial, against the Capitals. It was a somewhat tight game, except for a 4 minute stretch in the 2nd period where 5 goals were scored. Jeff Skinner put the nail in the coffin on a 3-on-1 rush in OT. Then Carolina packed their bags and traveled to Long Island. The Canes continued their dominance over the Islanders, but lost Eric Staal to injury. New York has won 5 of their last 6, their only loss was to the Canes. The Canes then returned home to face the Nashville Predators. It was a grinding, low scoring game. But as has been the case over the past month, Jeff Skinner came through for the Canes and scored the game winner with just under 4 minutes left to play. The last game of the week, against Buffalo, was postponed due to a little snow (estimated 21 inches). It is a game the Canes should have probably won, but anything can happen in the NHL. Either way, it was a good week for the team and they right at the cusp of playoff position. A regulation win on Thursday night will put Carolina in the 8th slot in the Eastern Conference. Here are the stats for the of 1/1/14 through 1/7/14.

Canes Weekly Stats

Players

GP

TOI/G

G

A

P

+/-

PIM

S

Hits

BkS

GvA

TkA

Jeff Skinner

3

17:54

4

2

6

5

0

12

0

1

4

3

Manny Malhotra

3

17:17

2

1

3

1

0

6

4

4

1

2

Tuomo Ruutu

3

12:12

0

3

3

2

0

3

7

1

1

1

Alexander Semin

3

18:31

1

2

3

4

2

8

0

4

1

1

Patrick Dwyer

3

17:57

0

2

2

E

0

10

7

2

0

2

Ryan Murphy

3

14:38

0

2

2

4

2

7

1

5

2

2

Eric Staal

2

15:33

0

2

2

1

2

1

0

0

1

2

Drayson Bowman

3

12:31

0

1

1

E

0

4

0

0

1

0

Nathan Gerbe

3

17:57

0

1

1

E

0

3

1

1

3

4

Andrej Sekera

3

24:12

0

1

1

3

0

4

1

6

3

2

Jordan Staal

3

19:53

1

0

1

E

0

5

5

3

0

1

Brett Sutter

3

9:12

1

0

1

E

0

4

6

0

0

2

Brett Bellemore

3

20:49

0

0

0

-3

0

3

7

7

4

1

Zach Boychuk

3

9:03

0

0

0

-1

0

2

4

0

0

1

Radek Dvorak

3

12:20

0

0

0

-1

0

4

1

3

2

2

Justin Faulk

3

24:28

0

0

0

3

0

8

4

6

1

1

Ron Hainsey

3

20:58

0

0

0

-4

2

0

3

3

2

3

John-Michael Liles

3

15:27

0

0

0

5

2

3

3

5

1

2

Aaron Palushaj

1

9:04

0

0

0

E

0

1

1

0

1

0

Jay Harrison

0

0:00

0

0

0

E

0

0

0

0

0

0

Mike Komisarek

0

0:00

0

0

0

E

0

0

0

0

0

0

Elias Lindholm

0

0:00

0

0

0

E

0

0

0

0

0

0

Riley Nash

0

0:00

0

0

0

E

0

0

0

0

0

0

Chris Terry

0

0:00

0

0

0

E

0

0

0

0

0

0

Jiri Tlusty

0

0:00

0

0

0

E

0

0

0

0

0

0

Players

GP

GS

W

L

OTL

Shots

Goals Allowed

Saves

Save %

GAA

A. Khudobin

3

3

3

0

0

113

6

107

0.947

1.99

Justin Peters

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0.00

Cam Ward

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0.00

Weekly Advanced Stats

Here is a little key to some of my abbreviations. F - For, A - Against, CF% - Corsi For Percentage, FF% - Fenwick For Percentage, SF% - Shots For Percentage, OZst% - Offensive Zone Start Percentage, NZst% - Neutral Zone Start Percentage and DZst% - Defensive Zone Start Percentage. If you would like more advanced statistics, this information was collected from www.extraskater.com.

Goals

All Situation

5 on 5 Close

5 on 5 Zone Starts

Players

F

A

CF%

FF%

SF%

CF%

FF%

SF%

OZst%

NZst%

DZst%

E. Staal

2

0

58.1

59.1

54.3

48.9

51.4

46.4

25.8

29.0

45.2

Semin

5

0

55.2

53.3

47.8

50.6

50.8

45.8

35.4

27.1

37.5

Liles

7

1

54.9

56.6

62.3

48.1

51.8

58.5

43.8

21.9

34.4

Skinner

6

0

54.6

51.1

47.1

51.8

50.0

46.0

37.0

28.3

34.8

Palushaj

0

0

53.3

54.5

71.4

53.3

54.5

71.4

42.9

28.6

28.6

Murphy

4

0

51.0

52.8

55.8

45.6

50.0

55.6

46.7

20.0

33.3

Gerbe

2

2

50.9

48.8

47.5

45.5

44.4

43.2

24.5

38.8

36.7

Boychuk

0

1

50.0

42.9

41.2

43.8

41.7

46.7

17.6

41.2

41.2

Ruutu

3

1

48.2

44.3

47.9

46.0

42.2

44.1

43.8

21.9

37.5

Sutter

1

1

45.5

43.2

42.9

55.9

57.7

64.7

28.6

35.7

35.7

Sekera

3

0

44.4

43.0

41.4

48.5

50.0

50.0

20.6

39.7

39.7

Faulk

3

2

42.6

38.2

35.2

48.5

46.3

44.2

20.6

38.2

41.2

Bellemore

0

4

42.5

38.4

34.7

42.3

38.7

35.7

23.1

23.1

53.8

J. Staal

1

2

42.0

37.6

36.1

38.2

34.9

32.5

25.0

38.5

36.5

Hainsey

0

5

40.9

39.0

36.1

40.8

39.2

37.0

21.4

21.4

57.1

Malhotra

3

2

40.9

42.7

44.4

43.2

46.3

48.7

15.2

17.4

67.4

Dwyer

2

4

40.0

38.6

38.3

41.0

40.9

40.0

22.9

37.5

39.6

Bowman

2

2

39.8

43.1

47.8

42.3

46.0

50.0

21.2

15.2

63.6

Dvorak

0

1

38.6

38.3

37.0

43.6

43.2

50.0

10.3

27.6

62.1

Harrison

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Komisarek

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Lindholm

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Nash

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Terry

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Tlusty

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Who's Hot

  • Jeff Skinner - Skinner has been money for the past month of the season and continued that this week. He led the team in goals with 4, points with 6, shots with 12 and tied for the team high with a +5 rating. Jeff also earned Player of the Week honors in the NHL. While these are all very good numbers, it really doesn't speak to how important they were. 2 of his goals were game winners and he assisted on the game winner in the other game this week. Half of this was also done with Eric Staal out, so that means even more focus was on Skinner. His possession numbers were decent to good, but the stat that really sticks out to me is his goals for/against. 6 goals, 0 against while Jeff was on the ice this week. He still might not be the most responsible defensive player, but that is great however you want to look at it. Skinner is possibly the hottest player in the NHL right now, I just hope this continues long enough to get us into the playoffs.
  • Anton Khudobin - For most players, coming back from an injury is tough. Usually guys are a little rusty and take some time to find their game. Don't tell Dobby this, because he has had a fantastic return. Not only did he play back to back games for the Checkers, but he came back to the Canes and played 3 more in 4 nights. All he did in those 3 games was to stop 94.7% of the shots he faced, collect a very good 1.99 goals against average and earn 3 wins. Khudobin hasn't played a lot, due to his injury, but he has been outstanding in the games he played. It certainly raises a lot of questions about the Canes goaltending situation, but if he continues to play like this, he is the #1 goalie. He has been everything Carolina was wanting and more. Keep it up Anton!
  • Manny Malhotra - Manny saw a pretty significant uptick in his time on ice this week. He was averaging around 13 minutes a game, but saw that increase to 17:17 per game. And that increase was justified by his 2 goal, 3 point week. Including the Montreal game, Malhotra scored goals in 3 straight games and assisted on the game winner against Washington. He continued to be very good in the faceoff circle and while his possession numbers weren't great, they were above his season average. With Riley Nash and Eric down with injury, Manny was given more responsibility and did a lot with it. Is he really a true 3rd line center, probably not, but he might be the Canes best option at this point.

Who's Not

  • Ron Hainsey - Hainsey has been a pretty steady defenseman this season for the Canes, but this was not one of his better weeks. He went pointless for the week and was a team worst -4. He and his playing partner were not on the ice for any goal for and Ron even sort of tipped in Alex Ovechkin's goal to tie the game at 1. The Washington game was by far Hainsey's worst, but things just didn't seem to break his way this week. His possession numbers were all in the lower half of the team, but his 5 on 5 close numbers were all in the bottom 3. He had to play in some difficult situations, but those numbers are well below his season average. Hopefully Hainsey can just chalk this up to a bad week and get back to solid performances he has displayed for the Canes this year.
  • Jordan Staal - As with Hainsey, Jordan just didn't have one of his normal weeks. He did score a big goal against the Islanders, was better than 50% in the faceoff circle and was an Even player, but the rest wasn't up to Jordan Staal standards. His possession numbers are what really stand out. He was bottom 3 in all but 1 category and he was 12% to 15% below his season averages. Jordan has been one of the better Canes at puck possession this season and he really nose-dived. With Eric missing half the week, the team needed Jordan to step up and that really didn't happen. Carolina brought Jordan in to be another force and they need this week's performance to be an aberration. Jordan has played solidly this season, if he can get a little more out of his game, that can mean the difference between golfing early or playing hockey in the heat.
  • Eric Staal - Statistically Eric had a decent week, 2 point in 2 games and good possession numbers. But 2 things happened to him that made this a bad week. First, he was injured, breaking his streak of 191 games played. Second, he was left off the Team Canada roster for the 2014 Olympics. I'm sure he is very disappointed both of these things happened. Now the question is how he will respond? Will the time off allow him to come back as the Eric Staal we know from last season? Will the snub motivate him to prove Team Canada wrong for leaving him off the roster? I hope the answer to both questions is yes, but time will tell. I also need to note that went from a great 65.5% to 39.4% in the faceoff circle. I don't know if this was because of his injury or what, but Eric needs to have those numbers go back in the other direction.

Notable Weekly Team Stats

  • The Hurricanes were middle of the pack in scoring this week (tied 11th) with 3.00 goals per game. But they were good in the goals against department at 2.00 per game. That was good enough for 4th in the NHL.
  • The PP resorted back to it's typical self. The Canes were 1 of 8 on the PP for 12.5%. That was tied for 22nd in the league.
  • The PK wasn't any better. Carolina only went on the PK 5 times, but surrendered 2 goals in those 5 opportunities for 60%. That ranked 28th in the NHL for the week.
  • Carolina Corsi For and Fenwick For percentages dropped as compared to last week. Their Corsi For was 46.3% and their Fenwick For was 46.0%. That's about a 15% drop from last week, about the same as Jordan Staal's drop.
  • The Canes also dropped in the shots for category, going from 1st last week to 19th this week. Their 29.3 shots for per game was over 10 less per game than the week before.
  • Carolina finished in the bottom 10 in both hits (55) and giveaways (31). They finished in the top 10 in both blocked shots (51) and takeaways (32). Their turnover margin was only a plus 1.
  • The Hurricanes finished 11th in the league in faceoffs, winning 50.8%. Manny led the way at 60.3%, Brett was next at 58.3%, followed by Jordan at 51.7%, then Eric at 39.4% and Jeff at 35.7%.
  • Team Stat of the Week - Shots Against per Game - 37.7 - While the Canes won every game this week, they gave up way to many shots. The 37.7 shots against per game ranked 25th in the league and almost 12 more per game than the week before. But thanks to Dobby's fantastic week, the team survived. This is a stat the Canes desperately need to improve on.

Former Canes Weekly Stats

Players

Team

GP

TOI/G

G

A

P

+/-

PIM

S

Hits

Bks

GvA

TkA

J. Jokinen

PIT

3

16:47

3

3

6

6

2

18

0

2

2

1

R. Vrbata

PHX

3

18:50

0

2

2

2

0

13

4

1

1

0

E. Cole

DAL

3

16:52

1

0

1

-4

2

8

5

0

1

2

J. Corvo

OTT

1

17.53

0

1

1

E

0

0

0

0

2

1

Z. Dalpe

VAN

4

7:41

1

0

1

E

0

1

2

0

0

1

B. Sutter

PIT

3

16:35

0

1

1

1

0

5

0

0

0

1

R. Whitney

DAL

2

12:50

0

1

1

-1

2

5

2

1

2

4

J. Williams

LAK

3

16:08

0

1

1

-1

2

8

1

1

4

2

C. Adams

PIT

3

11:35

0

0

0

-3

2

3

7

0

1

0

B. Allen

ANA

1

15:01

0

0

0

E

0

0

2

1

0

0

R. Carter

NJD

3

13:02

0

0

0

E

2

3

1

0

0

0

M. Cullen

NSH

4

12:39

0

0

0

-3

2

5

4

1

1

2

P. Eaves

DET

2

7:56

0

0

0

1

0

2

0

1

0

0

T. Gleason

TOR

1

15:55

0

0

0

-2

0

2

0

0

1

0

A. Hall

PHI

3

10:49

0

0

0

-1

0

1

5

0

1

0

A. Ladd

WPG

4

19:03

0

0

0

-4

2

2

6

2

1

1

J. McBain

BUF

2

20:05

0

0

0

-1

2

6

1

5

0

0

K. Westgarth

CGY

3

9:16

0

0

0

-2

9

4

4

0

0

0

A. Alberts

VAN

0

0:00

0

0

0

E

0

0

0

0

0

0

T. Bodie

TOR

0

0:00

0

0

0

E

0

0

0

0

0

0

D. Seidenberg

BOS

0

0:00

0

0

0

E

0

0

0

0

0

0

J. Welsh

VAN

0

0:00

0

0

0

E

0

0

0

0

0

0

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