Alright, we can’t get too positive here. Positivity is an evil force, remember. It’s time to look at the things that aren’t going so well.
Many fans were questioning the logic of naming Justin Faulk and Jordan Staal co-captains at the beginning of the year. I agree, this was a rather strange decision. The Canes are the only team in the NHL with multiple captains which makes it increasingly confusing. What did management see in Staal and Faulk to justify this sort of decision?
The thing is, Staal has met expectations this year. He has established himself as a good leader, as well as an effective point scorer. However, Faulk has been one of our more disappointing players. Instead of establishing himself as an important key to the Hurricanes’ defensive core, he has been a liability on both sides of the ice.
Before scoring two goals in his previous game, Faulk had only 8 points in 34 games. This has led many, including myself, to question his captaincy. It’s fine to be a good leader, but there’s a line you need to draw. If someone with the C on his jersey is this ineffective, some questions obviously need to be asked.
Jaccob Slavin has also been a bit of a disappointment this season. Alright, hear me out here. Yes, I get it, he’s not necessarily an offensive defenseman, so shaming him for scoring only 9 points in 35 games isn’t fair.
But his advanced stats are, frankly, unimpressive. He has improved from the last time I referenced him, but he still has the seventh worst fenwick on the Canes. His relative corsi and fenwick are both below zero, which means the team does better, overall, when he’s off the ice.
So, when people make it sound as if Slavin is on the same level as Hanifin, I wince. I have no doubt that Jaccob can develop into a top-two defenseman. He has exposed glimpses of brilliance, and has a lot of potential. Unfortunately, he hasn’t maintained this play, and there is still a lot of room for him to improve.
Alright, we’re here. Time to look at the dreaded goaltending situation. When the Hurricanes signed Darling, I thought it was great. The circumstances were perfect. The Blackhawks had a great goaltender in Cory Crawford, and a great backup in Scott Darling. The Hurricanes no longer had a legitimate starting goalie, and Darling was the perfect answer to this conundrum.
Unfortunately, reality just had to rear its ugly head.