Jordan Staal has been a mainstay at the center position for the Carolina Hurricanes for nearly a decade now. We take a look at how Staal has been so important to the Hurricanes and how he can affect a game.
Jordan Staal has been known for his ability to win faceoffs for the Carolina Hurricanes. This season he won 55.8 percent of his faceoffs in 50 games played during the regular season. In the playoffs he has won 52.1 percent of his faceoffs.
Staal’s production in the faceoff circle can be in part to the trust put in him by Rod Brind’Amour to win important faceoffs. For example, say there is a huge faceoff on a penalty kill, most of the time they look to Staal to win the faceoff in order to clear the puck out.
Staal is also used in offensive zone draws, which when they are won back can help the Hurricanes run a set play off the faceoff or set up offense in the zone.
He is also one of the most important penalty killers for the Hurricanes. Staal’s ability to force turnovers and out pressure on the attacking team is what drives his success on the penalty kill. It can be shown with his combined 46 takeaways in 62 total games. Staal also has a physical nature to his game, where he can move an opposing player off of the puck to clear the zone.
In addition to being physical on the penalty kill, Staal uses his size to his advantage at even strength. Despite missing 32 games this season, Staal ranked ninth on the Hurricanes in terms of hits with 122. Everyone above him on the ranking had played in over 70 games. He is a great presence on the forecheck pressuring defenseman into high risk passes to move the puck out of the zone.
Staal is also a solid player in terms of his offensive output. Staal had 11 goals and 17 assists (28 points), all but two assists were even strength points. The Hurricanes have performed better offensively in even strength situations and haven’t performed up to standard on the power play.
So Staal being a contributor mostly even strength is beneficial because that is where the Canes generate most of their chances.
He has shown that he can show up in clutch moments as shown in the playoffs thus far. Staal in game seven against the Washington Capitals tied the game at three in the third period, which led to the eventual game winner by Brock McGinn in double overtime to allow the Hurricanes to advance.
Another important goal Staal had was game one of the second round against the New York Islanders, in which he scored the lone goal of the game. That goal was in overtime to give the Hurricanes a 1-0 series lead on the road.
What could be the most important aspect from Jordan Staal’s game is the experience he has playing in the playoffs. He was a Stanley Cup champion in 2009 for the Pittsburgh Penguins. On a team with young talent and very little playoff experience, Staal definitely provides that as he can help guide players through the grind of the NHL playoffs. He played in 73 playoff games with Pittsburgh before his first postseason with the Carolina Hurricanes.
Question for CC Readers: What factor of Jordan Staal’s game has the biggest impact on the Hurricanes?