The Carolina Hurricanes started the year with this same first line place, but the production was virtually non-existent, so Kirk Muller and the Carolina Hurricanes coaching staff made the decision to change it up. About three months later, the Carolina Hurricanes have reunited this once dominant line, and it has worked just as they hoped.
The line was reunited on January 18th when the Carolina Hurricanes took on the Florida Panthers. That was the beginning of Alex Semin’s goal scoring tear as he put up two big goals in route to the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2 win over the Florida Panthers.
That magic continued for the first line in a losing effort on the 19th as the Carolina Hurricanes fell to the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-3. Eric Staal and Alex Semin both tallied goals in the game, and Eric Staal and Jiri Tlusty picked up assists.
The first line then took control of Wednesday night’s game between the Carolina Hurricanes and Philadelphia Flyers. Alex Semin started the scoring in the game with his fourth goal in three games. Jiri Tlusty netted the game-winning goal on a rebound in front of Philadelphia Flyers goalie Steve Mason.
The Carolina Hurricanes first line of Alex Semin, Eric Staal, and Jiri Tlusty have a combined 12 points in the past three games. The trio also has a combined plus/minus of +7 over that three game span.
The resurgence of the Carolina Hurricanes first line will be key to any playoff run the Canes make. They need the first line to be on their game every night, and they need to be capable of taking control of the game like they did against the Florida Panthers and Philadelphia Flyers.
If the Carolina Hurricanes first line can continue their dominating play, they will receive more attention from opposing teams, which will open up scoring chances for the secondary scoring lines, and players like Jeff Skinner will get more opportunities to score at even strength.
If the Carolina Hurricanes first line can continue to play well, that will greatly improve the chances of the Carolina Hurricanes making the playoffs in April.