Canes Corner

Canes need to find offense for big upcoming month

Posted November 7, 2013

Carolina Hurricanes center Jordan Staal (11) looking to pass during the Hurricanes' 3-0 home loss to the Lightnings at PNC Arena on November 1, 2013 in Raleigh, NC (Photos By Anthony Barham)

There is a saying in college football 'they remember what you do in November'. For the Carolina Hurricanes, November is set up to be the month that determines whether there will be playoff hockey in the Triangle or another long summer.

With a season high nine home games, the franchise has to take advantage of the schedule and find ways to win at the PNC Arena.

To take advantage of the homestretch the Hurricanes have to find the offensive firepower it packed most nights last season.

So far this year, the offense has been missing, averaging just 1.93 goals per game and scoring 1 goal or less in five games. The top line of Eric Staal, Alexander Semin and Jiri Tlusty has not picked up where last season has left off. That line has combined for just eight goals, well behind the 54 goals that the trio scored in the shortened lockout year. The chemistry that was there last season has yet to be duplicated, which explains some of, but not all of, the offensive woes.

Injuries have forced head coach Kirk Muller to change the line up or make in-game alterations on a nightly basis. The Hurricanes have been without top scorer Jeff Skinner for over two weeks with an upper body malady. Skinner was playing on the third line, but was finding his offensive game enough to lead the team in points through the ten games he played. Skinner’s presence helped balance the lines and at home gave Muller a chance to get the line match-ups he wanted. Since Skinner has been off the ice after being injured in Minnesota on October 24th, Carolina has managed to score just six goals in five games.

Nathan Gerbe has been a nice surprise, picked up this off-season he has been a steady player. The blue line has put up 24 points, a nice compliment considering the Hurricanes best offensive defenseman Joni Pitkanen is out for the year with a heel injury. But the NHL is a star driven league and most nights it comes down to the big names filling the stat sheet.

The power play has been an Achilles heel of the team for a few seasons but in the early portion of this year's schedule it has not been terrible. Still, it isn’t in the top half of the league and the struggles of the top line can be linked to the man advantage not operating a higher clip.

There has been a thought that the coaching staff has instituted a more defensive minded system. But Kirk Muller insists that is not the case.

“I hear this right now and it is kind of a misconception, people are saying that we’re playing a defensive style this year," Muller said. "We’re not. I have to get that clear.

“What we are doing is playing better in our zone. We’re working on since day one, of playing well without the puck. That should never hinder or affect your offense. So I think I have to clear that part of it, because offensively our scoring chances are there as much now as last year when we were capitalizing.”

With all the home games there will be pressure to score goals. The home crowd likes to see goals and more important for the paying patrons, see the Hurricanes win. If November continues to be a cold offensive month for Carolina, the opponents net won’t be the only empty thing at the PNC Arena, a lot of the seats will have vacancies.

The other need for the offense to find the goal scoring touch this month, besides making the fans happy, is that it will take the biggest pressure off the organization. That is the increasing pressure on the Hurricanes of another season missing the playoffs in the Triangle.

3 Comments

Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • giantfan1956 Nov 9, 2013

    Minny under .500 on road...

  • iceman2262 Nov 7, 2013

    View quoted thread


    You sure got that right Wags!!I will be there Sat. (GO CANES)!!

  • Wags Nov 7, 2013

    I'll be at the game tonight...I expect results.

TV
  • ACC Basketball: Miami at Wake Forest

    Wednesday at 8:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • CBB: UNC at Boston College

    Saturday at 12:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • CBB: NC State vs. Wake Forest

    Saturday at 2:00 pm on WRAL-TV

Men's College Basketball
2615:15
2nd Half
51
2
6:00 PT7:00 MT8:00 CT9:00 ET2:00 GMT10:00 北京时间7:00 MST9:00 EST
Preview
72Final
67
3018:48
2nd Half
45
80Final
88
NFL Scoreboard
Sunday, Jan. 22
Green Bay 12:05 PT1:05 MT2:05 CT3:05 ET20:05 GMT4:05 北京时间1:05 MST3:05 EST2:05 CT0:05 UAE (+1)15:05 ETNaN:�
Atlanta 
Pittsburgh 3:40 PT4:40 MT5:40 CT6:40 ET23:40 GMT7:40 北京时间4:40 MST6:40 EST5:40 CT3:40 UAE (+1)18:40 ETNaN:�
New England 
NBA Scoreboard
Atlanta108Final
New York107
Portland101Final
Washington120
Philadelphia113Final
Milwaukee104
New Orleans95Final
Indiana98
Orlando112Final
Denver125
Charlotte3048.4
1st Qtr
Boston29
Cleveland 5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET1:00 GMT9:00 6:00 MST8:00 EST5:00 UAE (+1)02:0020:00 ET7:00 CTNaN:�
Preview
Golden State 
Utah 6:00 PT7:00 MT8:00 CT9:00 ET2:00 GMT10:00 7:00 MST9:00 EST6:00 UAE (+1)03:0021:00 ET8:00 CTNaN:�
Preview
Phoenix 
Oklahoma City 7:30 PT8:30 MT9:30 CT10:30 ET3:30 GMT11:30 8:30 MST10:30 EST7:30 UAE (+1)04:3022:30 ET9:30 CTNaN:�
Preview
LA Clippers 
NHL Scoreboard
NY Islanders4Final
Boston0
Dallas1Final
Buffalo4
Montreal0Final
Detroit1
Tampa Bay2Final
Los Angeles1
Winnipeg2Final
San Jose5
Washington21st Int
Pittsburgh0
Arizona 6:00 PT7:00 MT8:00 CT9:00 ET2:00 GMT10:00 北京时间7:00 MST9:00 EST6:00 UAE (+1)21:00 ETNaN:� BRT
Preview
Edmonton 
CME Tour Champ (LPGA)
PosNameScoreThru
1C. Hull-19F
2S. Ryu-17F
3J. Song-15F
4tM. Martin-14F
4tB. Recari-14F
4tA. Jutanugarn-14F
7I. Chun-13F
8tS. Feng-12F
8tA. Yang-12F
10tL. Ko-11F
View Full Leaderboard
 
SA Open (EURO)
PosNameScoreThru
1G. Storm - z-18F
2R. McIlroy - y-18F
3J. Smith-17F
4D. Burmester-15F
5tT. Aiken-14F
5tT. Fisher, Jr.-14F
7tA. Bjork-13F
7tD. Drysdale-13F
7tM. Korhonen-13F
7tE. Molinari-13F
View Full Leaderboard
z = Won in Playoff   y = Lost in Playoff
 
ATP Scoreboard
Monday, Jan. 16
Australian Open (ATP/WTA)
First Round
F. Delbonis3 4 4   
S. Johnson6 6 6   
(12) J. Tsonga6 6 65 6  
T. Monteiro1 3 77 2  
(16) L. Pouille0 6 3 4  
A. Bublik6 3 6 6  
F. Bagnis68 3 1   
D. Evans710 6 6   
S. Darcis3 6 6 6  
S. Groth6 3 2 2  
(23) J. Sock6 77 6   
P. Herbert4 64 3   
B. Fratangelo77 5 6 2 2 
N. Rubin64 7 3 6 6 
M. Granollers7 3 2 0  
D. Sela5 6 6 6  
(14) N. Kyrgios6 6 6   
G. Elias1 2 2   
(4) S. Wawrinka4 6 7 4 6 
M. Klizan6 4 5 6 4 
(17) R. Federer7 3 6 6  
J. Melzer5 6 2 2  
(32) P. Kohlschrei6 1    
N. Basilashvi4 2    
J. Donaldson6 0    
R. Dutra Silv3 0    
D. Young5     
T. Fabbiano4     
(24) A. Zverev6 1    
R. Haase2 2    
(25) G. Simon6 1    
M. Mmoh1 2    
R. Albot 
C. Berlocq 
Y. Nishioka 
A. Bolt 
(3) M. Raonic 
D. Brown 
(11) D. Goffin 
R. Opelka 
(30) P. Carreno Bu 
P. Polansky 
M. Kukushkin 
F. Tiafoe 
K. Edmund 
S. Giraldo 
M. Youzhny 
M. Baghdatis 
A. Dolgopolov 
B. Coric 
(9) R. Nadal 
F. Mayer 
(18) R. Gasquet 
B. Mott 
J. Thompson 
J. Sousa 
(8) D. Thiem 
J. Struff 
R. Stepanek 
D. Tursunov 
A. Pavlasek 
A. Whittingto 
(20) I. Karlovic 
H. Zeballos 
D. Medvedev 
E. Escobedo 
G. Muller 
T. Fritz 
(13) R. Bautista A 
G. Pella 
 
WTA Scoreboard
Monday, Jan. 16
Australian Open (ATP/WTA)
First Round
(10) C. Suarez Nav6 6    
J. Cepelova2 2    
E. Hozumi5 66    
C. Witthoeft7 78    
(23) D. Kasatkina0 65    
S. Peng6 77    
(1) A. Kerber6 5 6   
L. Tsurenko2 7 2   
L. Chirico0 4    
E. Bouchard6 6    
(30) E. Makarova6 2    
E. Alexandrov0 4    
M. Niculescu2 1    
A. Blinkova6 0    
(21) C. Garcia5     
K. Bondarenko6     
C. Buyukakcay5     
O. Dodin6     
(9) J. Konta5     
K. Flipkens5     
(25) T. Babos6     
N. Gibbs5     
I. Falconi6 1    
X. Han1 0    
K. Knapp3     
S. Hsieh5     
N. Osaka5     
L. Kumkhum6     
Y. Wickmayer6 0    
L. Safarova3 1    
(5) K. Pliskova6 2    
S. Sorribes T2 0    
(31) Y. Putintseva 
L. Arruabarre 
(2) S. Williams 
B. Bencic 
(14) E. Vesnina 
A. Bogdan 
D. Vekic 
L. Cabrera 
(28) A. Cornet 
M. Georges 
M. Sakkari 
A. Kontaveit 
S. Errani 
R. Ozaki 
(6) D. Cibulkova 
D. Allertova 
J. Ostapenko 
L. Zhu 
(17) C. Wozniacki 
A. Rodionova 
(18) S. Stosur 
H. Watson 
J. Larsson 
J. Brady 
M. Minella 
M. Linette