Following their most successful season in over a decade, the Carolina Hurricanes have undergone a significant retooling: a new (old) captain, new forwards, new defensemen, and a new backup. At the end of the day, they’re a more balanced team but, with divisional rivals making improvements of their own, the Hurricanes can’t rest on their laurels if they want to make a second consecutive postseason appearance.
The new additions may need additional time to gel with their linemates and fully acclimate to Brind’Amour’s systems. The power play will likely see significant changes in personnel, and that’s fine. Very little has worked for Carolina’s man-advantage so taking the time to overhaul things can’t make things much worse (please don’t let me come to regret saying that).
If the Hurricanes can bump up their goals-for and keep their goals-against in line, then they have every chance of pushing for a second or third place divisional finish. Yeah, that might not sound like a lot, but I want to take a reasoned and realistic approach.
Besides, the key is getting into the playoffs. With another year under their belts and the experience of this spring, the Hurricanes can do even more damage this year.
Where do you think the Hurricanes finish in the division? In the conference? How well do you think the new additions will fit in? How do you feel about the goaltending?