Oct 24, 2013; Saint Paul, MN, USA; Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Justin Faulk (27) skates during the first period against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center. The Wild defeated the Hurricanes 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

The New Look Carolina Hurricanes

For years, the Carolina Hurricanes have been plagued by their poor defense. The offense and goaltending would consistently be the only chance the Hurricanes had to win.

This year, it has been a completely different story. Additions of top 4 defensemen Andrej Sekera and Ron Hainsey have made a significant difference to the Carolina Hurricanes blue line. The addition of Mike Komisarek has also brought depth to the Hurricanes defense.

Up to this point, it has been a struggle to find the right player for Justin Faulk to play with, but now it appears that problem is over. Andrej Sekera has played extremely well with Justin Faulk. They are both mobile two-way defensemen who play very well in all three zones. Andrej Sekera also leads Canes defensemen in points and blocked shots.

Oct 17, 2013; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Ron Hainsey (65) picks up the puck behind his own net against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre. The Hurricanes beat the Maple Leafs 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Ron Hainsey has really come along as well. He has played most of the year with Brett Bellemore, and they’ve played very well in a shutdown role. Hainsey has also shown that he can chip in offensively.

The Carolina Hurricanes defense may be the best it has ever been. You have to really think back to even think of a defense from the Hurricanes that even compares to this year’s team.

The Carolina Hurricanes have given up 2.7 goals per night, which ranks in the upper half of the NHL. This is also with injuries to starting and backup goalies, Cam Ward and Anton Khudobin. This leaves the Carolina Hurricanes with  Justin Peters, who began the year as the starting goalie for the Charlotte Checkers of the AHL.

Young guys like Ryan Murphy and Brett Bellemore have also helped the Canes blue line. Brett Bellemore ranks second in rookie defensemen in hits, behind only Radko Gudas of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Ryan Murphy brings elite offensive  talent to the blue line, and he has come a long way since his emergency call up last season. He is tied for 5th in points among rookie defensemen.

With the defense playing very well, the Carolina Hurricanes have survived the recent struggles. With more production from the offense, this season can be a good one for the Carolina Hurricanes.



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