Scoring Still An Issue in Carolina

RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA - DECEMBER 15: Andrei Svechnikov #37 of the Carolina Hurricanes celebrates after a goal against the Seattle Kraken during the first period of their game at PNC Arena on December 15, 2022 in Raleigh, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA - DECEMBER 15: Andrei Svechnikov #37 of the Carolina Hurricanes celebrates after a goal against the Seattle Kraken during the first period of their game at PNC Arena on December 15, 2022 in Raleigh, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /
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After the Carolina Hurricanes were eliminated from the playoffs last spring, the consensus seemed to be that this team required more scoring punch. Halfway through July, has that problem been solved?

The team has been extremely active this off-season, starting with keeping their own. The free agents brought in have been very solid additions but not exactly what you would call snipers.

Dmitry Orlov has been the prize acquisition this summer but plays a position of strength for Rod Brind’Amour’s system. Defense can certainly provide scoring help but Orlov’s 7 goals were nothing to write home about.

Shayne Gostisbehere, acquired at the deadline, had 3 goals in just 23 games in Carolina to put it in perspective. Still, you would expect to see Orlov improve to double-digit goals under Brind’Amour.

In 2017 and 2021, the new defenseman had 10 and 12 goals respectively.

Another area that needed addressing was toughness and physicality, which Orlov can assist with along with Michael Bunting, the other big free agent contract.

Bunting was listed as one of the top available free agents after he had put up two straight 23-goal seasons in Toronto. The attribute that stood out for Don Waddell was that he went to the tough areas and was active in the physical game.

Signing a multi-year contract, Bunting is being paid for more than just his scoring history. Toronto played a much more wide-open style of hockey with some elite playmakers. This surely helped the production of Bunting but will he match that scoring output? Only time will tell.

On the subject of physicality, the Brendan Lemieux signing will pretty much wrap up the need for toughness. But again, where is the new scoring coming from to make up for last year?

Could it all be put on the injury of Andrei Svechnikov?

The former first round pick has shown that he can score with 30 goals and then 23 goals in a 64 games. Even so, Svechnikov has yet to break out in the playoffs, which has been part of the problem the last few seasons. The top scorers need to step up in the playoffs.

It remains to be seen if the trick up Waddell’s sleeve is to add a scoring defenseman but as of right now this team is improved but has not addressed the one crutch from the past playoff exits.