Since the lockout and subsequent rule changes, the Carolina Hurricanes have usually been a pretty disciplined and responsible hockey club regarding penalties.
Last season they were called for a total of 302 minors, an average of 3.68 per game, good for 11th fewest in the NHL. Total penalty minutes were 835, (including majors), sixth lowest in the league.
The year before that, the club finished 15th in the league with 343 minors.
We're only three games in and of course it's early, but the Canes are blowing away that output so far this season. They have been called for 18 minors, an average of six per game and are on pace for 492 for the season.
In 2008-09, the last time the team made the playoffs, they had the fewest total penalty minutes in the league and were second lowest in the NHL taking minor penalties, (322).
Obviously, the penalties taken have hurt them so far. They will most assuredly be looking to improve on that stat.
Justin Faulk is leading the way with five minors, followed by Jussi Jokinen with three. Then Bryan Allen, Eric Staal, Joni Pitkanen, and Alexei Ponikarovsky have two each.
The Canes had a team meeting this morning and an optional ice day, and reports indicate that they will be sticking with the same lineup as the first three games for the Boston game tomorrow night. Although Paul Maurice did mention that they might reconsider with Faulk. They are still very happy with his play, but don't want to give him too much, too soon and will review the video before making a final decision tomorrow.
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Also, the club seems pretty happy with how they are playing, while they also recognize the need to start winning some games. But they feel like they were in all three games and they are not far off. "There is a lot more good in our game right now than what we are really worried about," said Maurice.
Michael Smith has more on CH.com