Advertising Opportunities
LCS Hockey

[ issues | stats | nhl archive | home | nhl history | about us | search | comments ]

Eastern Conference

Carolina Hurricanes

Detailed Roster
Team History
Team Records

Anaheim Mighty Ducks
Boston Bruins
Buffalo Sabres
Calgary Flames
Carolina Hurricanes
Chicago Blackhawks
Colorado Avalanche
Dallas Stars
Detroit Red Wings
Edmonton Oilers
Florida Panthers
Los Angeles Kings
Montreal Canadiens
Nashville Predators
New Jersey Devils
New York Islanders
New York Rangers
Ottawa Senators
Philadelphia Flyers
Phoenix Coyotes
Pittsburgh Penguins
San Jose Sharks
St. Louis Blues
Tampa Bay Lightning
Toronto Maple Leafs
Vancouver Canucks
Washington Capitals

More Issue Contents...

Join the LCS Hockey mailing list to receive publishing date reminders.


Paul Maurice


C - Ron Francis, Keith Primeau, Jeff O'Neill, Kent Manderville. RW - Ray Sheppard, Sami Kapanen, Nelson Emerson, Kevin Dineen, Robert Kron. LW - Gary Roberts, Martin Gelinas, RPaul Ranheim, Bates Battaglia. D - Steve Chiasson, Glen Wesley, Adam Burt, Curtis Leschyshyn, Sean Hill, Dave Karpa, Nolan Pratt, Mike Rucinski. G - Trevor Kidd, Arturs Irbe.


Kevin Dineen, rw (groin, day-to-day).




10/28 Chicago      W 2-0
10/30 at Rangers   L 1-0
10/31 at Boston    W 2-0
11/02 Colorado     L 3-2
11/05 at Islanders W 6-3
11/06 at Capitals  W 3-2
11/08 Boston       L 5-2


Southeast Division  GP   W   L   T   PTS   GF   GA  
  Carolina          14   6   5   3    15   34   29   
  Tampa Bay         14   6   6   2    14   36   39   
  Florida           12   4   5   3    11   27   35   
  Washington        13   4   6   3    11   28   35


by Scott W. Pagel, Carolina Correspondent

This year, when most people bring up the subject of hurricanes, the discussion is usually centered around Mitch and Georges on the Weather Channel. But, guess who's quietly leading the National Hockey League's Southeast Division...yup, it's the Carolina Hurricanes.

While many felt the defending Eastern Conference champion Washington Capitals would run away with the division and Carolina would be second, the Caps have struggled terribly. This has allowed the Canes to jump to the top of the heap.

Okay, so the division isn't exactly made up of the most talented teams in the world and finishing second would be nothing to boast about. However, finishing first will be huge.

Sure it's only November, but should the Hurricanes win the weak division, it's going to mean a free ride as one of the top three seeds for the playoffs. Compare this to a much lower one (if one at all) should they finish second. As you recall, Carolina was just two points shy of the playoffs last year so it's never too early to be playoff hungry. Stay tuned...

"Artist" Irbe
He shouldn't be mentioned in the same breath with such great artists such as Manet or Monet, but goaltender Arturs Irbe painted himself and Carolina fans a pretty nice picture over the past several weeks. The Carolina netminder took home Player of the Week honors (Oct. 26 - Nov. 1) and was dubbed Player of the Month for October, as well.

The numbers were pretty impressive: 4-1-2 record, two shutouts, a goals against average of 0.76 and a save percentage of .970 during the first month of the season. Not bad for a guy that is supposed to be the backup to Trevor Kidd. Irbe is showing signs of a goaltender that was expected to be the star in San Jose.

Don't get too excited, though. Chances are Irbe isn't going to be able to keep this up and Kidd is going to be counted on at some point this season. How quickly we forget that Kidd enjoyed his finest season last year with a 2.17 GAA and a .922 save percentage.

Sergei Who?
So far the Hurricanes can say they don't mind missing out on signing Sergei Fedorov - at least right now. Fedorov has been nothing short of a dog this season for the Red Wings scoring just six points (2G, 4A) and accumulating a minus-6. Maybe he's been too concerned with counting all his money with Anna.

Unfortunately, Fedorov's "replacement," Ron Francis, hasn't exactly been much better - at least statistically. Francis also has two goals (one an empty net), four assists and is a minus-1 on the year.

So who wins?

Fedorov is without a doubt the more skilled of the two players, but Francis will pay off more behind the scenes in the locker room. The Wings are talented enough to survive with a slumping Fedorov in the lineup. But, while Francis isn't producing in the boxscores, he's still a key factor in the locker room and that could end up being his most valuable trait.

No Power
One glaring weakness in the Hurricanes' game this year has been on the power play. Carolina is currently ranked 25th out of 27 teams and has managed just six goals in 65 chances with the man advantage. That also includes an 0-for-15 performance at one point this past week.

The Hurricanes are one of the least penalized teams in the league, so producing with the extra man can really make a difference in the win column at the end of the year.

Francis was supposed to be a key addition in that department but thus far hasn't managed to score. However, what is more of an obvious hole is the team's lack of a scoring defensemen, or "quarterback" to run the power play.

That job was supposed to belong to Al Iafrate who signed as a free agent in the off-season. However, Iafrate opted to retire instead. So, if a move has to be made this is definitely it.

Suggestions? It's easy for anyone to say "We should trade for Darryl Sydor" but let's be realistic, that isn't going to happen. Edmonton and Los Angeles are both stacked with some offensive-minded defensemen like Boris Mironov, Janne Niinimaa, Roman Hamrlik, Garry Galley and Steve Duchesne.

Stats and Stuff
The Canes are 4-3-0 in their last seven contests including shutouts against Chicago and Boston and a game in which they scored six straight goals before downing the New York Islanders.

Carolina will have a golden opportunity to extend its division lead a bit in the next two weeks. Starting Wednesday (Nov. 11), they'll play three games in four days as they make the West Coast trip. Games against Anaheim, San Jose and Los Angeles are all winnable.

After two days off, they'll once again play three in four beginning on Tuesday, November 17. Those three games are going to tell a lot about this young team as they'll take on Montreal, New Jersey and Philadelphia.

So far the Canes have been able to hold their own against teams with winning records, posting a 2-1-2 record. What might be most impressive is a 2-2 tie to Dallas and a 1-1 final against Philly - two teams who are expected to be playing this summer.

Every year you hear how scoring three goals seems to be the "magic" number for success in the NHL. This certainly holds true for Carolina which happens to be 4-0-1 when scoring three or more. On the flip side, they're 2-5-2 when scoring two or fewer.

While the power play has struggled, the penalty killing has been outstanding. The Hurricanes are currently fifth and have successfully killed about 89% of short-handed situations.

LCS Hockey

[ issues | stats | nhl archive | home | nhl history | about us | search | comments ]

Notice a problem? Have questions or comments? Contact 1994-98 © Copyright LCS Hockey. All Rights Reserved.