Carolina Hurricanes: Preview, Predictions vs Sharks on Dec. 5


After a terrible showing against the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday night, the Carolina Hurricanes have been made to wait before attempting to right their playoffs-bound ship. Let’s take a look ahead to tonight’s game.

The 2018/19 season is becoming a topsy-turvy ride akin to previous seasons. The Carolina Hurricanes are currently mired in a low-scoring 1-2-1 record over their last four games, with just four goals to their name. The last ten games show a 5-3-2 record, but the lack of goalscoring all season has fans worried. If Sebastian Aho isn’t scoring, and Micheal Ferland continues to be sidelined with his concussion, then there doesn’t appear to be a whole lot left in the tank, as Sunday night’s 2-0 surrender to the Los Angeles Kings showed.

The Canes’ powerplay continues to struggle. And when I say struggle, I mean falter-every-single-night-without-fail. And you could not sum up the team’s extra man issues any better than the words of Brett Finger:

I cannot believe that Rod Brind’Amour can’t see the team’s hopelessness with the extra man. This is a guy who scored 149 powerplay goals during his career, including 60 on the Carolina Hurricanes’ powerplay. He has been there, seen it, done it, bought the t-shirt, fired it from a t-shirt cannon, written the book, you name it. This needs to be remedied, and fast. At 15.91%, the Canes have the league’s joint-24th best powerplay, yet lead the league in shots taken. If the powerplay could improve by just 2-3%, that is the difference between winning games and making the playoffs, and staying frozen in futility.

The Carolina Hurricanes did beat the San Jose Sharks last time the two teams faced each other, back on 26 October. Goals from Dougie Hamilton, Brock McGinn and Teuvo Teravainen saw the Canes come from 3-1 down to take the game to overtime, then a shootout, where McGinn won the game by beating Aaron Dell. Petr Mrazek was in net that night, but we expect Curtis McElhinney to be back in the Canes’ net tonight.

The Sharks are an excellent team, currently sitting third in the Pacific Division but looking for a deep playoff run after adding Erik Karlsson to their blueline in the summer. They are coming off a 3-1 won over Montreal on Sunday night, with Brent Burns adding to his scoring lead with his 29th point of the season. Joe Pavelski leads the Sharks with 17 goals, which is just as well for them as their goaltending this season has been woeful. Starter Martin Jones has declined dramatically with the new goalie equipment, posting a career-worst save percentage of just .894%, and his GAA stands at 3.01, nearly half a goal higher per game than his previous career-worst. His backup, Aaron Dell, is likely to start tonight but fares little better – if the Canes can continue to get pucks on net, they could win this one.

Prediction: Hurricanes 5-3 Sharks (including a powerplay goal)

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Question for CC readers:

What do you think the score will be tonight – and can the Canes get some goals on the board?