January 24, 2013; Raleigh, NC, USA; Carolina Hurricanes center Eric Staal (12) celebrates his 2nd period goal against he Buffalo Sabres at the PNC center. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Eric Staal says Carolina Hurricanes "have to make the playoffs" this Season

It was announced today on CarolinaHurricanes.com that captain Eric Staal took a different approach to this past offseason.

With a new diet and exercise plan, Eric Staal looks to have a big bounce back season with the Carolina Hurricanes. He also says that the upcoming season must include a playoff run by the Carolina Hurricanes.

“We have to make the playoffs. It’s been too long. It’s been extremely frustrating for us as players and obviously for the fans and people within the organization. We’re going to put pressure on ourselves to do that, to get back there. At the same time, we’re going to start with the process, the work ethic and the details and build from there day-by-day,” Eric Staal said. “We need to be optimistic, excited and positive, not hanging our heads and worrying about what’s happened in the past, but also being ready to push ourselves and add that pressure to get back to where we need to be.”

Eric Staal is putting pressure on himself and the Carolina Hurricanes organization. The Carolina Hurricanes have not made a playoff appearance since 2009. They have made the playoffs twice during Eric Staal’s 10-year NHL career.

Statistically, Eric Staal is coming off his worst season in the NHL since his rookie season in the 2003-2004 season. He tallied just 61 points in 79 games last season.

Eric Staal dealt with a severe knee issue last season. He suffered the injury in the 2013 IIHF World Championships in a knee-to-knee collision with Swedish defenseman Alexander Edler.

Eric Staal has been incredibly consistent throughout his career. He has tallied 70+ points in 7 of his 9 full NHL seasons. He was over a point-per-game player in the 2013 lockout-shortened season.

As captain of the Carolina Hurricanes, Eric Staal will look to become the team’s offensive leader once again in the 2014-2015 season. He turns 30 in late October.

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