This is the first in a recurring weekly article that will focus on the Hurricanes performance from the prior week. I am defining the week as Wednesday through Tuesday due to the team only having one Wednesday game throughout the season. I will be focusing on weekly statistics of both individuals and the team as a whole. And as of most things I write, there will be some subjective analysis on my part, but will mostly look at statistics. I have even decided to include a section on former Hurricanes, just so we can monitor how some guys we use to cheer for are doing.
Weekly Stats: 10/4 through 10/8
|Players||GP||GS||Wins||Losses||OTL||Shots||Goals Allowed||Saves||Save %||GAA|
- Justin Faulk - What's not to like about the way Faulk has played so far this season? He is leading the team in time on ice and is tied for the team lead with 3 points. He is playing in all situations and doing just about everything. There are so many things that Faulk does that don't show up in the box scores. Faulk has made some very key plays at key times for this team, showing why he was selected to wear the "A" in Tim Gleason's absence. All this from a guy that is just 21 years old. Combined with the solid play of his partner Andrej Sekera, Carolina might not have the best defense in the NHL, but they sure do have at least one solid pairing.
- Nathan Gerbe - So far the smallest guy in the NHL has been coming up big for the Carolina Hurricanes. Gerbe is tied with fellow newcomer, Radek Dvorak, for the team lead in goals with 2 and is leading the team with 14 shots on goals. But Gerbe's contributions go further than that. He has joined with Jordan Staal and Patrick Dwyer to create a solid two-way line that plays against the opponents top line. His play is quickly making him a fan favorite and making the Buffalo Sabres regret letting him go for nothing. It will be real interesting to see what Kirk Muller does with the lineup when Tuomo Ruutu returns.
- Andrej Sekera - This was a tough choice, because Sekera, Dvorak and Jeff Skinner have all played well in these first 3 games. But I went with Sekera because of the things he's providing that the Hurricanes were missing last season. Combined with Faulk, Sekera has finally given the Canes a pairing they can rely on in almost any situation. He is 2nd on the team in time on ice and leads the team in shorthanded time. He has 2 assists on the young year and also leads the team in blocked shots. But the most impressive stat to me is that he leads the lead in takeaways and is tied for #5 in the league.
- Alexander Semin - Semin is obviously not at 100% health, but his play has been very underwhelming so far. He is without any points and is the only Canes without a registered hit this season. But the most telling stat about Semin's game has to be his number of shots. He has only registered 2 shots on goal and both of those came in Tuesday's game in Pittsburgh. His game is not where it needs to be right now and it seems to be effecting his linemates. This team needs Alex playing well to be at the top of their game offensively.
- Jiri Tlusty - Things have definitely not picked up where they left off last season for Tlusty. Through 3 games, he (like Semin) is without a point and only has 4 shots on goal. He has been trying to do some other things like throwing hits, but this team is constructed for him to score some goals. He was even moved down to the 4th line in the Pittsburgh game (with Drayson Bowman moving up) to see if it would spark the 1st lines offense. The 1st line is all coming off some sort of injury and their games really haven't been going. I view Jiri as someone who capitalizes off the defensive attention given to Eric Staal & Semin. With them struggling, Jiri isn't succeeding either.
- Cam Ward - You could argue that Eric Staal deserves this spot and you probably aren't incorrect. But I'm giving it to Cam, because while he is looking better, he still isn't able to steal games for this team. Last season Cam started 1-3-0 with a 4.50 GAA and a 0.861 Save %. While this season's numbers are an improvement, they are not where they need to be for this team to be playoff competitive. Cam was good for the most part against the Detroit Red Wings and made a fantastic save against the Pittsburgh Penguins, but this team needs a consistent goaltender and Cam hasn't been that for a while. It's still early in the year, but improvement is needed or Cam could be feeling the pressure from Anton Khudobin.
Notable Team Statistics
- For a team built on offense, the Hurricanes are struggling putting the puck in the net. Their 2.00 goals per game is tied for 20th in the NHL. The main issue I see is the disappointing 1st line that has only accounted for 1 goal and 15 shots through 3 games.
- The PK was doing quite well until running into the Penguins. They were a perfect 5 for 5 until Jussi Jokinen scored twice on Tuesday night.
- The Canes are even with their opponents in the shots department, having 93 for and 93 against.
- Last season the Canes were a middle of the pack faceoff team, but they generally won slightly more than they lost. Through 3 games this season, they are 25th in the league at 47.7%. Only two players this season are currently above 50%; Skinner who is 2 of 3 on the season and Eric Staal who is at 57.8%.
- The Hurricanes were a +9 in takeaways versus giveaways in the first 3 games. Last season the Canes were 2nd in the NHL in takeaways.
Former Canes Weekly Stats: 10/1 through 10/8