Adam Harris

No. 12 needs to be No. 1 for the Canes

Posted February 15, 2009

Coming into Thursday night's game against division foe Florida, the Carolina Hurricanes hadn't played a home game in 12 days.  Returning from a west coast road trip, the 'Canes were riding high after claiming four points in three games.  Two of those four points came in a win against the mighty Sharks in San Jose; just the third regulation loss at the "Shark Tank" for the Western Conference's top team all season.  The stage was set for a good home-stand after four days of rest to recover from a grueling stretch in the Pacific time zone. 

With points at a premium (9th place, one point behind the Panthers before Thursday's loss) and a roster that was returning to healthy form (Brind'Amour & Staal back in the line up) the 'Canes took home ice in front of a packed and raucous RBC Center crowd only to disappoint the fans by getting shut out for the first time all season.  Following up Thursday's 5-0 loss to Florida was a 5-1 stinker on Saturday night, falling to former Carolina defenseman Mike Commodore and the Columbus Blue Jackets.  Now the 'Canes are five points out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, with fans searching for answers as to why the team has struggled to score. 

I have one possible answer, although it may not be a popular one.  I hate to call out a single player, because one man can only do so much.  However, Eric Staal needs to be the best player on the ice for the Hurricanes, and he simply has not been so on a  consistent basis.  Staal has had great moments this season, he's one of just 12 NHL players with six or more game-winning goals.  Number 12 leads the Hurricanes in goals, power play goals, shots taken and is one of only five 'Canes to play in all 56 games this season.  Those are all impressive numbers, showing that Staal is a special player and capable of greatness with the Carolina franchise.  Still, something is missing.  That something, I believe, is consistency in effort and aggression.

In a "four point game" against the Panthers this past Thursday Staal was a minus-three in 26 shifts and won only 35% of his face-offs as the 'Canes fell to an efficient Florida team.  So, one bad game after a few days off and a west coast road trip where Staal was hurt in San Jose - no biggie, right?  If that was in a vacuum I'd agree, but then you have his follow-up performance on Saturday night against the Blue Jackets.  Staal shot the puck on-net only twice in 24 shifts, leaving the RBC Center ice after a 5-1 loss with a minus-two for the game.  The Florida-Columbus two game stretch is one that the Hurricanes' 24-year-old center will want to erase from his memory quickly. 

There's no doubt in my mind that Eric Staal can be a leader for the Hurricanes.  We've seen him do it on occasion; last year when Rod Brind'Amour was injured, for example.  There are nights where you notice an extra jump in Staal's step, he appears to be skating with extra fervor, forcing the issue on every possession, challenging the opposing defenders with the blatant presence of a play-maker in the offensive zone.  Unfortunately, it seems we only get to see that energetic, fearless version of Staal once every three or four games. 

But, when you're earning a team-high salary ($5 million this year, $57.5 for 2009-16) and wearing an "A" on your sweater as an associate captain, you need to bring that type of leadership every night by playing with superior energy, aggressiveness and effort on every shift.  Quite simply, number 12 needs to be number one for the 'Canes every night if this team is going to be playing hockey past the second week of April.  A playoff push will require a playoff-caliber effort from every member of the Carolina Hurricanes, especially from the team's best players.

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
Listen & Watch
  • HighSchoolOT Live

    Friday at 7:00 pm on WRAL-2

  • Football Friday

    Friday at 11:35 pm on WRAL-TV

  • ACC Football: Pittsburgh @ Georgia Tech

    Saturday at 12:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Logan Zone

    Sunday at 11:00 am on WRAL-TV

  • Golf: The Tour Championship

    Sunday at 1:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Oakland @ Washington

    Friday, Sep. 29 at 8:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • The David Cutcliffe Show

    Tonight at 7:00 on Buzz Sports Radio

  • AAA Baseball Championship Game

    Tonight at 7:00 on 99.9 The Fan

  • The Dave Doeren Show

    Tomorrow at 7:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

AP Top 25
Thu, Sept 21
4:30 PT5:30 MT6:30 CT7:30 ET11:30 GMT7:30 北京时间4:30 MST6:30 EST
Preview
21
Fri, Sept 22
23
7:30 PT8:30 MT9:30 CT10:30 ET2:30 GMT10:30 北京时间7:30 MST9:30 EST
Preview
Sat, Sept 23
9:00 PT10:00 MT11:00 CT12:00 ET4:00 GMT12:00 北京时间9:00 MST11:00 EST
12
9:00 PT10:00 MT11:00 CT12:00 ET4:00 GMT12:00 北京时间9:00 MST11:00 EST
19
9:00 PT10:00 MT11:00 CT12:00 ET4:00 GMT12:00 北京时间9:00 MST11:00 EST
10
11:00 PT12:00 MT1:00 CT2:00 ET6:00 GMT2:00 北京时间11:00 MST1:00 EST
13
5
12:30 PT1:30 MT2:30 CT3:30 ET7:30 GMT3:30 北京时间12:30 MST2:30 EST
12:30 PT1:30 MT2:30 CT3:30 ET7:30 GMT3:30 北京时间12:30 MST2:30 EST
2
12:30 PT1:30 MT2:30 CT3:30 ET7:30 GMT3:30 北京时间12:30 MST2:30 EST
14
16
12:30 PT1:30 MT2:30 CT3:30 ET7:30 GMT3:30 北京时间12:30 MST2:30 EST
6
1
12:30 PT1:30 MT2:30 CT3:30 ET7:30 GMT3:30 北京时间12:30 MST2:30 EST
8
1:00 PT2:00 MT3:00 CT4:00 ET8:00 GMT4:00 北京时间1:00 MST3:00 EST
3:00 PT4:00 MT5:00 CT6:00 ET10:00 GMT6:00 北京时间3:00 MST5:00 EST
18
3
3:30 PT4:30 MT5:30 CT6:30 ET10:30 GMT6:30 北京时间3:30 MST5:30 EST
22
4:00 PT5:00 MT6:00 CT7:00 ET11:00 GMT7:00 北京时间4:00 MST6:00 EST
17
4:00 PT5:00 MT6:00 CT7:00 ET11:00 GMT7:00 北京时间4:00 MST6:00 EST
11
4:00 PT5:00 MT6:00 CT7:00 ET11:00 GMT7:00 北京时间4:00 MST6:00 EST
25
4
4:30 PT5:30 MT6:30 CT7:30 ET11:30 GMT7:30 北京时间4:30 MST6:30 EST
20
4:30 PT5:30 MT6:30 CT7:30 ET11:30 GMT7:30 北京时间4:30 MST6:30 EST
15
4:30 PT5:30 MT6:30 CT7:30 ET11:30 GMT7:30 北京时间4:30 MST6:30 EST
24
7:00 PT8:00 MT9:00 CT10:00 ET2:00 GMT10:00 北京时间7:00 MST9:00 EST
7
7:00 PT8:00 MT9:00 CT10:00 ET2:00 GMT10:00 北京时间7:00 MST9:00 EST
NFL Scoreboard
Thursday, Sep. 21
LA Rams 5:25 PT6:25 MT7:25 CT8:25 ET0:25 GMT8:25 5:25 MST7:25 EST7:25 CT4:25 UAE (+1)20:25 ETNaN:�
San Francisco 
Sunday, Sep. 24
Baltimore 6:30 PT7:30 MT8:30 CT9:30 ET13:30 GMT21:30 6:30 MST8:30 EST8:30 CT17:30 UAE9:30 ETNaN:�
Jacksonville 
Denver 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ETNaN:�
Buffalo 
New Orleans 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ETNaN:�
Carolina 
Pittsburgh 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ETNaN:�
Chicago 
Atlanta 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ETNaN:�
Detroit 
Cleveland 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ETNaN:�
Indianapolis 
Tampa Bay 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ETNaN:�
Minnesota 
Houston 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ETNaN:�
New England 
Miami 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ETNaN:�
NY Jets 
NY Giants 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ETNaN:�
Philadelphia 
Seattle 1:05 PT2:05 MT3:05 CT4:05 ET20:05 GMT4:05 1:05 MST3:05 EST3:05 CT0:05 UAE (+1)16:05 ETNaN:�
Tennessee 
Cincinnati 1:25 PT2:25 MT3:25 CT4:25 ET20:25 GMT4:25 1:25 MST3:25 EST3:25 CT0:25 UAE (+1)16:25 ETNaN:�
Green Bay 
Kansas City 1:25 PT2:25 MT3:25 CT4:25 ET20:25 GMT4:25 1:25 MST3:25 EST3:25 CT0:25 UAE (+1)16:25 ETNaN:�
LA Chargers 
Oakland 5:30 PT6:30 MT7:30 CT8:30 ET0:30 GMT8:30 5:30 MST7:30 EST7:30 CT4:30 UAE (+1)20:30 ETNaN:�
Washington 
Monday, Sep. 25
Dallas 5:30 PT6:30 MT7:30 CT8:30 ET0:30 GMT8:30 5:30 MST7:30 EST7:30 CT4:30 UAE (+1)20:30 ETNaN:�
Arizona 
NHL Preseason
Florida 1:30 PT2:30 MT3:30 CT4:30 ET20:30 GMT4:30 1:30 MST3:30 EST0:30 UAE (+1)16:30 ETNaN:� BRT
Nashville 
Chicago 4:00 PT5:00 MT6:00 CT7:00 ET23:00 GMT7:00 4:00 MST6:00 EST3:00 UAE (+1)19:00 ETNaN:� BRT
Columbus 
Detroit 4:00 PT5:00 MT6:00 CT7:00 ET23:00 GMT7:00 4:00 MST6:00 EST3:00 UAE (+1)19:00 ETNaN:� BRT
Boston 
Pittsburgh 4:00 PT5:00 MT6:00 CT7:00 ET23:00 GMT7:00 4:00 MST6:00 EST3:00 UAE (+1)19:00 ETNaN:� BRT
Buffalo 
Carolina 4:30 PT5:30 MT6:30 CT7:30 ET23:30 GMT7:30 4:30 MST6:30 EST3:30 UAE (+1)19:30 ETNaN:� BRT
Tampa Bay 
Ottawa 4:30 PT5:30 MT6:30 CT7:30 ET23:30 GMT7:30 4:30 MST6:30 EST3:30 UAE (+1)19:30 ETNaN:� BRT
Toronto 
Florida 5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET0:00 GMT8:00 5:00 MST7:00 EST4:00 UAE (+1)20:00 ETNaN:� BRT
Nashville 
St. Louis 5:30 PT6:30 MT7:30 CT8:30 ET0:30 GMT8:30 5:30 MST7:30 EST4:30 UAE (+1)20:30 ETNaN:� BRT
Dallas 
Vegas 6:00 PT7:00 MT8:00 CT9:00 ET1:00 GMT9:00 6:00 MST8:00 EST5:00 UAE (+1)21:00 ETNaN:� BRT
Colorado 
Anaheim 7:00 PT8:00 MT9:00 CT10:00 ET2:00 GMT10:00 7:00 MST9:00 EST6:00 UAE (+1)22:00 ETNaN:� BRT
San Jose 
MLB Scoreboard
Interleague
Chi Cubs 4:10 PT5:10 MT6:10 CT7:10 ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 MST6:10 EST6:40 VEN3:10 UAE (+1)6:10 CT
Preview
Tampa Bay 
American League
Boston 4:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET19:05 ET23:05 GMT7:05 4:05 MST6:05 EST6:35 VEN3:05 UAE (+1)6:05 CT
Preview
Baltimore 
Minnesota 4:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET19:05 ET23:05 GMT7:05 4:05 MST6:05 EST6:35 VEN3:05 UAE (+1)6:05 CT
Preview
NY Yankees 
Kansas City 4:07 PT5:07 MT6:07 CT7:07 ET19:07 ET23:07 GMT7:07 4:07 MST6:07 EST6:37 VEN3:07 UAE (+1)6:07 CT
Preview
Toronto 
Oakland 4:10 PT5:10 MT6:10 CT7:10 ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 MST6:10 EST6:40 VEN3:10 UAE (+1)6:10 CT
Preview
Detroit 
Chi White Sox 5:10 PT6:10 MT7:10 CT8:10 ET20:10 ET0:10 GMT8:10 5:10 MST7:10 EST7:40 VEN4:10 UAE (+1)7:10 CT
Preview
Houston 
Cleveland 7:08 PT8:08 MT9:08 CT10:08 ET22:08 ET2:08 GMT10:08 7:08 MST9:08 EST9:38 VEN6:08 UAE (+1)9:08 CT
Preview
LA Angels 
Texas 7:10 PT8:10 MT9:10 CT10:10 ET22:10 ET2:10 GMT10:10 7:10 MST9:10 EST9:40 VEN6:10 UAE (+1)9:10 CT
Preview
Seattle 
National League
LA Dodgers 4:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET19:05 ET23:05 GMT7:05 4:05 MST6:05 EST6:35 VEN3:05 UAE (+1)6:05 CT
Preview
Philadelphia 
Milwaukee 4:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET19:05 ET23:05 GMT7:05 4:05 MST6:05 EST6:35 VEN3:05 UAE (+1)6:05 CT
Preview
Pittsburgh 
St. Louis 4:10 PT5:10 MT6:10 CT7:10 ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 MST6:10 EST6:40 VEN3:10 UAE (+1)6:10 CT
Preview
Cincinnati 
NY Mets 4:10 PT5:10 MT6:10 CT7:10 ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 MST6:10 EST6:40 VEN3:10 UAE (+1)6:10 CT
Preview
Miami 
Washington 4:35 PT5:35 MT6:35 CT7:35 ET19:35 ET23:35 GMT7:35 4:35 MST6:35 EST7:05 VEN3:35 UAE (+1)6:35 CT
Preview
Atlanta 
Arizona 7:10 PT8:10 MT9:10 CT10:10 ET22:10 ET2:10 GMT10:10 7:10 MST9:10 EST9:40 VEN6:10 UAE (+1)9:10 CT
Preview
San Diego 
Colorado 7:15 PT8:15 MT9:15 CT10:15 ET22:15 ET2:15 GMT10:15 7:15 MST9:15 EST9:45 VEN6:15 UAE (+1)9:15 CT
Preview
San Francisco 
Minor League Baseball
International League
Durham 3:35 PT4:35 MT5:35 CT6:35 ET11:35 GMT
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 
BMW Championship (PGA)
PosNameScoreThru
1M. Leishman-23F
2tJ. Rose-18F
2tR. Fowler-18F
4J. Day-16F
5tM. Kuchar-15F
5tJ. Rahm-15F
7tT. Finau-13F
7tJ. Spieth-13F
9tA. Lahiri-12F
9tW. Simpson-12F
View Full Leaderboard
 
Evian Champ (LPGA)
PosNameScoreThru
1A. Nordqvist - z-9F
2B. Altomare - y-9F
3tM. Jutanugarn-8F
3tK. Kirk-8F
3tL. Ko-8F
6tS. Feng-7F
6tS. Kim-7F
8J. Song-6F
9M. Lee-5F
10tG. Hall-4F
View Full Leaderboard
z = Won in Playoff   y = Lost in Playoff
 
ATP Scoreboard
Tuesday, Sep. 19
St. Petersburg Open (ATP)
First Round
R. Berankis3 6 6   
D. Masur6 3 2   
E. Gulbis3 0    
L. Broady6 6    
J. Smith66 4    
M. Youzhny78 6    
(7) V. Troicki 
A. Kuznetsov 
 
Moselle Open (ATP)
First Round
N. Basilashvi2 77 6   
V. Millot6 65 4   
Y. Maden6 3 6   
N. Kicker4 6 3   
S. Bolelli69 6 68   
M. Granollers711 3 710   
(7) B. Paire5     
S. Tsitsipas2     
N. Gombos 
P. Gojowczyk 
(6) R. Gasquet 
D. Istomin 
N. Almagro 
J. Benneteau 
 
WTA Scoreboard
Tuesday, Sep. 19
Guangzhou Women's Open (WTA)
First Round
A. Rodionova63 6 0   
E. Rodina77 3 6   
(5) E. Mertens2 65    
Y. Wang6 77    
K. Zhang2 6 6   
J. Fett6 1 3   
L. Cabrera6 7    
X. Gao3 5    
(7) S. Stosur78 3 5   
X. Han66 6 7   
(6) A. Cornet4 6 6   
B. Pera6 2 2   
(2) S. Zhang6 6    
X. You1 0    
(1) S. Peng2     
O. Jabeur0     
 
Korea Open (WTA)
First Round
N. Hibino6 6    
K. Chang2 4    
S. Jang3 5    
N. Gibbs6 7    
(2) K. Bertens7 4 3   
R. Hogenkamp5 6 6   
(1) J. Ostapenko78 6    
J. Larsson66 1    
(8) C. McHale3 4    
A. Rus6 6    
Second Round
L. Kumkhum 
E. Alexandrov 
D. Allertova 
R. Hogenkamp 
 
Toray Pan Pacific Open (WTA)
First Round
S. Hsieh6 1 1   
M. Puig2 6 6   
(9) C. Garcia6 6    
A. Sasnovich4 3    
M. Linette2 6 77   
D. Gavrilova6 0 63   
(5) D. Cibulkova6 6    
C. Suarez Nav3 3    
K. Siniakova1 6 6   
J. Cepelova6 3 4   
R. Ozaki2 65    
S. Rogers6 77    
M. Rybarikova64 62    
B. Strycova77 77    
Second Round
Q. Wang 
A. Pavlyuchen