Like has been the story for much of the season, the Canes need their leaders to step up. The co-captains, Jordan Staal and Faulk, have to be better and more consistent in the final 26 games of the year than in the first 56.
Skinner notched a goal in the Avs game, but his plus/minus is a worrying sign. Peters has not given Skinner the same offensive spotlight that he’s used to in his career in Raleigh. But, if Skinner can find his right groove, he’ll be a serious contributor in the upcoming contests.
While the defense does have to lock down in front of both Darling and Ward, consistent offensive production and seeing both goaltenders come through now are the key factors. Carolina has a stronger Metro schedule coming up to end February, and to begin March.
A huge matchup awaits the Canes on Feb. 15, against the Devils. It’s one of the few games that they have to face on the road in February, which will test where the team is at mentally. But, the Canes sit one point ahead in a wildcard spot right now.
The teams below the Canes in the Metro have some significant issues they’re facing. It seems like the Rangers are ready to be sellers at the Trade Deadline. Meanwhile, the Jackets and Isles have not been able to find their way for any decent stretch of time since December.