The Carolina Hurricanes only had 83 points last season, then did nothing in the offseason to improve. They should be avoided for your NHL picks in terms of game-to-game and futures.
What Went Wrong Last Season?
Quite a bit. The Hurricanes finished 10 points out of a playoff spot and were never really in contention. Goaltending continued to be a huge issue as Cam Ward was again a train wreck – even a bigger one this time around. Fans hoping he’d rebound after a lousy lockout-shortened season where he had a 2.84 GAA and a .908 save percentage only saw him degrade even more. He finished with an .898 save percentage and a 3.06 GAA. He was eventually benched for Anton Khudobin, who started well but finished poorly. He had a 2.14 GAA before the All-Star break but was just 6-8-1 with a 2.51 GAA after it.
In any case, the Hurricanes were well below average in net and their offense couldn’t get anything going. Captain Eric Staal had a bad year while Jeff Skinner didn’t take the next step. With a lousy blue line to boot, it’s easy to see why this was one of the weakest teams in the league.
In terms of the roster, nothing really changed. The Hurricanes have a new coach in Bill Peters, who was previously an assistant with the Detroit Red Wings. Other than that, there’s not much to write about. Jay McClement and Tim Gleason were added while Andrei Loktionov, Manny Malhotra and Justin Peters are gone. Nothing really significant here.
The Hurricanes are hoping that the coaching change pays dividends. The talent on this roster – while there is not much of it – has underachieved quite a bit. Peters’ job is to find a way to get the most out of them. He’s already talked about trying to make Skinner a 40-goal scorer and to get a rebound season out of Staal. Good luck.
The Canes are a mess. They tried to trade Cam Ward but found no takers, then saw his competitor, Khudobin, publicly say that Ward is past his prime. Even if Peters is able to get more out of the Staals and Skinner, this team is still very thin on the blue line and in net. Even in an easy division, this is not the team to be betting. Teams like the New York Islanders and Washington Capitals should be better, which means the Hurricanes should fall even lower. Stay away from this team and their NHL odds; they’ll be one of the worst in the NHL in the coming season.
NHL Pick: Miss the playoffs
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