"The consensus seems to be that the Carolina Hurricanes need to acquire a big time scorer. That one scorer will make all the difference and put them over that hump and past the Eastern Conference Final . After all, the Hurricanes only had three players in the top 100 in NHL in points, and the Oilers have 3 of the top nine. Why can’t we be better? Well, maybe the personnel is not the problem. After all, the Stanley Cup Campion Vegas Golden Knights only had two in the top 100."
The Hurricanes last year were 15th in regular season in goals scored per game with 3.2. They were second best in goals allowed per game with 2.4, behind only the Boston Bruins. The Bruins also happened to be the second best in goals scored per game on their record setting year.
Even with the Bruins being statistically better on offense and defense, the Hurricanes went two rounds further than the Bruins in the postseason. Both teams just ran into the red hot Florida Panthers at the wrong time.
It Would Have Been Different With a Scorer Though!
The trade deadline brought Shayne Gostisbehere and Jesse Puljujarvi to Raleigh, with the latter scoring exactly zero goals and tallying 3 assists including one in the playoffs. The one front line acquisition did not pan out needless to say.
Those acquisitions are nothing compared to teams like the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils. The Devils acquired Timo Meier and the Rangers got Patrick Kane and Vladimir Tarasenko at the deadline. Why didn’t the Hurricanes get a big name like that?!
Well, the Hurricanes outlasted both of those teams in the playoffs as well, eliminating the Devils in the conference semifinals. The Knights did acquire some lower line offensive help, but their biggest acquisitions was Jonathan Quick who is seemingly past his prime, posting his second highest goals against average since 2008, his first year in the league.
It is likely that the postseason goes a little different if Andrei Svechnikov not injured, and if slashes on the hand didn’t happen, preserving a 100% Teuvo Teravainen. But, the entire Hurricanes team is capable of being productive, with 12 players on the team having 30 points or more in the regular season. Not even the Bruins had that. Beyond that, the Knights didn’t even have a 30 goal scorer.
Do I wish the Canes would pick up a scorer? Who doesn’t? More goals obviously equates to a better chance of winning games, and goals are fun! Just don’t be so disappointed if they don’t.
I’m not saying that what they do need is obvious. Maybe it is luck, maybe it’s another leader, or even an enforcer. All I’m saying is a scorer may not be the one and only thing that gets the Hurricanes over that hump.