After reeling off five consecutive wins to open the season, the Carolina Hurricanes have slid into a rough patch. Despite this, things are far from dire as we move towards the final week of October.
The first eight days of the 2019-20 NHL season brought more hope to a fanbase that already had increased expectations. After a dominant second half and a run to the Eastern Conference Finals, Carolina Hurricanes general manager Don Waddell tweaked the roster in an effort to maximize results.
The Hurricanes found ways to win, including overtime victories against the Washington Capitals and Tampa Bay Lightning. In the latter, Carolina held a potent Lightning team to only 13 shots. Things were looking good as the Hurricanes came into a matchup against a Columbus team that suffered an exodus of talent over the summer.
Despite losing their top scorer and goaltender in that purge, the Blue Jackets outworked the Hurricanes, handing them their first loss of the season. The Carolina power play, which had managed four goals in five games, went 0-for-3. James Reimer played well but was ultimately outdueled by Joonas Korpisalo.
The rest of their west coast trip was, well, not good as they dropped a 5-2 decision to the San Jose Sharks and a 4-2 clunker against the Anaheim Ducks.
Let’s take a look at the first five games versus the next four:
While the goals-against has crept up slightly, the bigger concern is the offense. With a 55% decline in goals-scored and a mind-breaking 22.3% drop in power-play conversion, the biggest areas of opportunity are clear.
With that out of the way, let’s take a look at things and see what’s been working and what hasn’t.