Jan 31, 2014; Raleigh, NC, USA; Carolina Hurricanes forward Jeff Skinner (53) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal in the second period against the St. Louis Blues at PNC Arena. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

The Carolina Hurricanes Specials Teams Are Still A Big Issue

The Carolina Hurricanes had a huge month in January. They ended the month with a 10-4-0 record, and they are now right back in the thick of things in the Eastern Conference playoff race.  The Carolina Hurricanes have looked very good in almost every area, except the special teams.

The Carolina Hurricanes power play percentage sits at 26th in the NHL. They have scored on 14.3 percent of their power plays this year. The league average is 18.2 percent.

The Hurricanes penalty kill also sits at 26th in the NHL. They’ve killed 79.6 percent of their penalties this year. The league average is 81.8 percent.

In an ideal world, the Carolina Hurricanes power play percentage and penalty kill percentage would add up to at least 100 percent. Right now, they add up to 93.9 percent.

On paper, the personnel on the Carolina Hurricanes special teams units looks very good. Forwards like Jeff Skinner, Eric Staal, Alex Semin, and Jordan Staal should be more than capable of building a solid power play unit with John-Michael Liles, and Olympians Justin Faulk and Andrej Sekera manning the points.

The power play has been the bigger issue for the Carolina Hurricanes, and the sooner they figure the problem out, the better. With the players that the Carolina Hurricanes have, they should be in the upper teens, if not higher, when it comes to power play percentage.

The penalty kill has also been a cause for concern. We’ve seen plenty of mental lapses from the Carolina Hurricanes when down a man. The players that the Carolina Hurricanes have, especially on the blue line, should be providing better penalty killing statistics, especially since they have been blessed by the amazing play of Anton Khudobin over the last month.

This does not always come down to the players. The coaching staff is also responsible for the shortcomings of the Carolina Hurricanes special teams.

An improved special teams would give another big boost to what is already a very hot Carolina Hurricanes team.

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Tags: Anton Khudobin Carolina Hurricanes Eric Staal Jeff Skinner

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