It is no secret that the Carolina Hurricanes have not made it to the playoffs since the 2008-2009 hockey season. We have the talent, yet we consistently fall short. Relieving Kirk Muller and the rest of the coaching staff was a good first step in this rebuilding process. Bill Peters appears to have a game plan that rewards hard-working players with ice time and this should keep everyone competing for a spot in the lineup.
When interviewed, Peters had addressed three problems that he noticed and plans on focusing on for this upcoming season. The power play, the weak start to games, and the performance on home ice.
The Canes Power play is in desperate need of fixing. Carolina had a power play percentage of 14.6%, which was 28th in the entire league. I felt less confident on the power plays than the five-on-five play.
This past season, the Canes trailed behind their opponent after the first period 29 times. It was a common occurrence that we went into the 3rd period behind and played well for the last 20 minutes. If they can keep that energy the entire game, they will see positive feedback almost immediately.
“We’ve got to become a harder team to play against here in Raleigh.”
There really is not much more that can be said here. The intensity was just not there all through out the season when playing here in Raleigh.
The forecheck is another aspect of the game that needs improvement. With goal scorers like Jeff Skinner and Alexander Semin, the Canes should have no trouble putting up numbers, yet we still struggle matching our opponent on the board. If Bill Peters can establish more permanent lines with players who who have good chemistry together, then this problem will hopefully go away on its own.
A lot can be learned from last season about what we should and should not do. I already see improvement in the roster, but that means nothing if they do not play well together. We will not know anything for sure until October rolls around and the Hurricanes take the ice.