Last year at this time the Hurricanes were already out of the playoff picture, mainly because of a 14 game losing streak in October and November. Due to the 2010-2011 the Hurricanes transitioned to a young roster by seeing what a lot of the prospects could do and so far it has payed off for an entertaining season. The Hurricanes drafted Jeff Skinner 7th overall and he currently leads all rookies in points and could be the future top line player with Eric Staal. The Hurricanes were able to re-sign Corvo and have added Ian White, who Paul Maurice coached in Toronto.
With that being said veterans on this team who had not been very productive in the last couple of seasons have rebounded, such as Erik Cole. Cole looks like playing with Skinner has rejuvenated him and that hes having fun on the ice. A player who has been productive when he has been in the lineup is Tuomo Ruutu. The problem is he was not able to stay healthy last season, and being healthy this year has really showed.
Then there has been the ole reliable Cam Ward and Eric Staal. Cam Ward has probably played his best regular season hockey in his career if not its very close. Ward is making a case to join the All-Star team with Eric Staal and without him the Hurricanes are not even in 9th place and close to a playoff spot. Eric Staal has become a more consistent player this season and has truly taking on the leadership of the captaincy.
With all this being said the Hurricanes are still a border line playoff team and currently sit in 9th place. However, if the Hurricanes are to make the playoffs they will have to win their games in hand. Even if the Hurricanes do not make the playoff’s this season the team has been a fun team to watch and has not been a downer like the 2009-2010 team.