Storm Tracking: Weathering the Storm

James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Despite having a pretty successful 2014 so far, the Carolina Hurricanes are basically just weathering the storm as their Eastern Conference playoff competition are also playing quite well. All the Hurricanes can do is continue to win some games and hope that things sort themselves out as the season moves along.

You can't fight mother nature and the Canes can't control how the rest of the Eastern Conference does. Carolina started the new year 12th in the East and 5 points out of a playoff spot. They then preceded to win 10 of 15 games for the 5th best winning percentage in the NHL. But 2 of the teams that were better are Carolina's direct competition for a playoff spot. While the Hurricanes have picked up 20 points since January 1st, only 2 teams currently ranked between 4th & 13th in the Eastern Conference have picked up less than 17 points. In this time, Carolina collected 10 points from this group and yielded only 5. They have improved in the standings, but not by much. As of today, they sit 11th in the East and 3 points out of a playoff spot. So all the Canes can do is weather the storm, continue to win games and hope things work themselves out. This week the Canes split there 2 homes games with a win over the mighty Blues and a last minute lost to the surging Jets. It certainly puts a lot of pressure on Carolina as they have a back-to-back before the Olympic break. 2 wins and they should still find themselves in the thick of things, 2 losses with an upcoming west coast road trip and the Canes could be sellers at the trade deadline. Here are the stats for the week of 1/29/14 though 2/4/14.

Canes Weekly Stats

Players

GP

TOI/G

G

A

P

+/-

PIM

S

Hits

BkS

GvA

TkA

Drayson Bowman

2

10:27

0

1

1

1

0

4

0

1

1

0

Justin Faulk

2

23:29

0

1

1

1

0

3

1

3

0

2

Nathan Gerbe

2

16:03

1

0

1

-2

0

6

0

0

4

0

Riley Nash

2

8:32

1

0

1

1

0

2

1

1

0

2

Tuomo Ruutu

2

8:47

0

1

1

1

0

0

6

0

3

0

Andrej Sekera

2

23:20

0

1

1

1

0

0

2

2

0

1

Alexander Semin

2

19:35

1

0

1

1

4

10

2

0

4

3

Jeff Skinner

2

17:11

1

0

1

1

0

11

0

0

2

1

Jordan Staal

2

16:55

0

1

1

1

2

1

3

1

3

2

Brett Bellemore

2

14:28

0

0

0

1

0

2

7

2

1

0

Patrick Dwyer

2

16:00

0

0

0

-1

0

4

4

0

2

2

Ron Hainsey

2

19:05

0

0

0

-1

2

2

3

0

1

3

Jay Harrison

2

15:33

0

0

0

1

0

3

2

0

1

0

John-Michael Liles

2

19:46

0

0

0

-1

0

4

2

1

2

0

Elias Lindholm

2

16:25

0

0

0

E

0

2

2

1

3

4

Manny Malhotra

2

15:00

0

0

0

-2

0

0

2

0

2

3

Eric Staal

2

19:45

0

0

0

1

2

3

2

0

2

3

Jiri Tlusty

2

16:32

0

0

0

1

0

3

3

1

1

2

Zach Boychuk

0

0:00

0

0

0

E

0

0

0

0

0

0

Radek Dvorak

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

Ryan Murphy

0

0:00

0

0

0

E

0

0

0

0

0

0

Aaron Palushaj

0

0:00

0

0

0

E

0

0

0

0

0

0

Brett Sutter

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

Players

GP

GS

W

L

OTL

Shots

Goals Allowed

Saves

Save %

GAA

A. Khudobin

2

2

1

1

0

55

3

52

0.945

1.51

Justin Peters

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0.000

0.00

Cam Ward

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0.000

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%

Liles

0

1

70.6

66.7

70.3

62.2

61.5

66.7

33.3

36.7

30.0

Skinner

1

0

70.6

60.4

57.1

62.2

52.9

53.8

50.0

22.7

27.3

Semin

1

0

68.0

66.0

75.0

60.9

62.9

72.7

28.1

34.4

37.5

E. Staal

1

0

65.7

61.2

67.9

59.1

58.8

68.4

29.0

35.5

35.5

J. Staal

2

0

65.2

58.0

52.8

62.2

54.5

48.1

41.7

25.0

33.3

Lindholm

0

0

63.3

55.6

50.0

52.6

48.4

43.5

47.4

21.1

31.6

Tlusty

2

0

60.7

59.6

67.9

58.5

59.4

68.4

28.6

35.7

35.7

Hainsey

0

1

56.3

55.6

58.3

57.1

55.8

57.1

33.3

36.7

30.0

Bellemore

1

0

56.1

52.2

50.0

58.3

53.8

52.0

30.0

50.0

20.0

Gerbe

1

2

54.1

43.8

39.3

42.9

35.5

33.3

11.5

57.7

30.8

Bowman

1

0

53.8

56.3

56.5

54.1

56.7

54.5

18.2

45.5

36.4

Harrison

1

0

53.3

46.9

45.7

54.5

48.9

48.5

27.3

45.5

27.3

Sekera

3

2

50.0

42.3

43.2

49.2

44.2

46.4

20.5

38.5

41.0

Faulk

3

2

48.5

41.1

43.2

48.3

41.9

44.4

20.5

38.5

41.0

Nash

1

0

48.5

53.6

57.9

48.3

52.0

52.9

25.0

50.0

25.0

Ruutu

1

0

46.9

44.0

41.2

46.7

43.5

37.5

20.0

40.0

40.0

Dwyer

1

3

43.8

35.8

39.4

53.3

45.9

52.2

13.8

58.6

27.6

Malhotra

0

3

39.0

30.6

32.3

43.6

36.4

40.0

10.3

55.2

34.5

Boychuk

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Dvorak

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Komisarek

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Murphy

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Palushaj

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Sutter

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Terry

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Who's Hot

  • Anton Khudobin - A 0.945 save percentage and 1.51 goals against average, their really isn't much more to say. Since returning from injury, Dobby has been the Canes best & most consistent player. He was named NHL 1st Star for the month of January and continued his superb play to start February. In the 5 games Dobby has lost this year, the Canes have only scored 4 goals (and the Canes actually outscored the Lightning after Khudobin came in, but he was credited for the loss). So it really seems to be more of an issue of the team not scoring, rather than Khudobin letting them down. He has to be Jim Rutherford's best free agent signing this season, if not longer. But now the questions is, what will it take to keep him in Carolina? With Cam Ward back, JR has some very tough decisions to make, but Dobby has certainly aced his test so far.
  • Alexander Semin - Carolina had no multi-point players this week, so this was tough picking. But I thought Semin continued to play well and be a force on the ice. Goals aren't coming as easy for him as they were the past couple of weeks, but he's still create very good scoring chances. He tied for the team led in goals & points and was 2nd in shots with 10. But the most impressive thing to me was his possession numbers. He was in the top 4 of every category I follow and was over 72% in All Situations & 5 on 5 Close Shots For percentage. When he was on the ice, Carolina was getting pucks on net and not allowing them. The only real negative in Semin's game is that he continues to take some rather weak penalties. The Canes are really not good enough on the PK to allow for this, so stay out of the box and play the responsible game we all know you can.
  • John-Michael Liles - Liles didn't have any points this week and even finished -1 for the week, but he continues to be a very effective puck-moving defenseman. He actually got more ice time this week than Ron Hainsey and led all defensemen with 4 shots on goal. But like Semin, the most impressive thing was his possession stats. He was in the top 4 in every category and was 10% to 20% higher than Justin Faulk & Andrej Sekera in those categories. He has come into this organization and has filled a need in this team's top 4. It also appears that Tim Gleason is playing much better and filling a role in Toronto. So this seems to have been one of those hockey trades that worked out well for both teams. Now we just need Liles to add icing to the cake and start contributing more points, particularly on the PP.

Who's Not

  • Manny Malhotra - Everybody loves Manny and he is a good player and good leader, but I believe this past two weeks have proven that he isn't a 3rd liner. While he did have some points the week before, he continues to be a horrible possession player. Just take a look at his new linemate, Nathan Gerbe. Gerbe was one of the Canes best possession players when on a line with Jordan or Eric Staal, but since being lined up with Malhotra, his possession numbers have fallen off the map. Manny was on the ice for every goal against this week and if you watch, the opponents cycle his line to death. I understand he starts the vast majority of his time in the defensive zone, but for someone that wins faceoffs like he does, you would think his possession numbers would be better. Malhotra finished the week tied for a team worse -2 and was in the bottom 3 in every possession category. I want this guy resigned, but I also want him on the 4th line and for the Canes to find a 3rd line center.
  • Justin Faulk - Faulk really didn't have a bad week statistically, but my observations are telling me a different story. Too often lately, it appears that Faulk is tired and he is differing way to often to Sekera. Faulk came into this league as a solid two-way defenseman, but was a little more offensive than defensive. Lately, it seems like he doesn't even want to touch the puck. Him carrying the puck up the ice has decreased and last night on the PP, he wasn't even looking to shoot the puck. I'm extremely happy that he was selected to Team USA, but I also would love to see him get some time off to rest. He's having to play a lot of hard minutes for this team and while he is doing a good job, I think he could be better. I'm really not trying to say Faulk was bad this week, but a few changes here and there could make this team better.
  • Eric Staal - Here is another guy that really wasn't bad this week, but the Hurricanes need more out of him. Eric had very good possession numbers and was fabulous in the faceoff circle, but 3 shots on goal, really! The last time the Canes made the playoffs, Eric averaged over 4.5 shots per game. This team depends on Eric for a number of things, but first and foremost is scoring. It doesn't all have to be about goals, setting up teammates works just as well, but shooting the puck does both of these things. Eventually some shot will get through or rebounds will be created, but I really can't think of any time that shooting is a bad thing. For this team to get where it wants to be, Eric's line needs to be dangerous almost every time on the ice and that line should generally create a goal per game. That's asking a lot, but that is what this team requires.

Notable Weekly Team Stats

  • The Canes scoring dropped off quite a bit this week, down to 2.00 goals per game. That ranked tied for 21st with 5 other teams.
  • Carolina's PP was very close to their season average, which is really sad. They were 1 of 7 on the PP for 14.3% and really could have used one against the Jets. They ranked tied for 15th for the week.
  • The PK had a poor showing at 75%, tied for 21st in the league. But they only allowed 4 opportunities this week, which tied for best in the NHL with Florida.
  • The Canes Corsi For percentage increased to 53.9% at 5 on 5, but their Fenwick For percentage was only 49.7%. The team had a number of shots blocked, particularly in the St. Louis game.
  • The Canes shots for and shots against were respectable. They averaged 30 shots for per game, tied for 19th in the league. They gave up 27.5 shots against per game, which ranked 5th in the NHL.
  • Carolina ranked 2nd in faceoff percentage at 56.6%. Of the guys that took at least 5 draws, Elias led the way at 80.0%, Eric was next at 64.9%, followed by Manny at 60.0%, then Jordan at 51.9% and ended with Riley at 12.5%.
  • The Hurricanes only ended up in the top 10 in 1 other category. They finished tied for 6th in takeaways (26). They were middle of the pack in turnover margin at -8. And finished in the bottom 10 in the other categories I list. They were tied 23rd in giveaways (34), 28th in hits (42) and 30th in blocked shots (13).
  • Team Stat of the Week - Goals Against per Game - 1.50 - Khudobin had a pretty solid week in net for the Canes, only allowing 3 goals in 2 games. The 1.50 goals against per game ranked 5th in the NHL for the week. Typically that would be good enough for nothing but wins, but the Hurricanes struggled some putting the puck in the net. If the goalie and the Carolina defense can keep this up, the Canes should make a strong playoff push if their offense can get anything going.

Former Canes Weekly Stats

Players

Team

GP

TOI/G

G

A

P

+/-

PIM

S

Hits

Bks

GvA

TkA

J. Jokinen

PIT

3

16:45

1

4

5

1

0

12

1

1

1

0

A. Ladd

WPG

3

19:42

1

3

4

1

0

10

6

2

1

0

T. Bodie

TOR

3

10:19

0

1

1

-1

2

2

6

1

2

1

R. Carter

NJD

3

10:07

1

0

1

1

0

6

5

0

0

0

E. Cole

DAL

3

17:20

0

1

1

3

2

8

5

0

0

1

P. Eaves

DET

3

6:37

0

1

1

1

0

5

1

0

0

1

T. Gleason

TOR

3

21:21

0

1

1

E

4

3

18

7

0

1

A. Hall

PHI

3

10:17

0

1

1

2

2

0

2

0

0

0

R. Vrbata

PHX

3

20:30

1

0

1

1

2

14

5

2

1

2

K. Westgarth

CGY

3

5:32

0

1

1

1

0

1

3

1

1

0

C. Adams

PIT

3

11:34

0

0

0

-1

0

4

4

6

2

1

B. Allen

ANA

1

15:51

0

0

0

E

2

1

1

2

1

1

Z. Dalpe

VAN

4

7:57

0

0

0

-1

0

4

2

1

0

0

J. McBain

BUF

3

21:54

0

0

0

-2

0

3

4

2

1

0

B. Sutter

PIT

3

15:51

0

0

0

E

2

9

2

3

1

2

R. Whitney

DAL

3

10:59

0

0

0

E

2

0

0

0

1

0

J. Williams

LAK

3

16:10

0

0

0

-3

0

8

0

1

2

1

A. Alberts

VAN

0

0:00

0

0

0

E

0

0

0

0

0

0

J. Corvo

OTT

0

0:00

0

0

0

E

0

0

0

0

0

0

M. Cullen

NSH

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

X
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