After being shut out by the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday night, the Hurricanes fell to 29th place in the NHL in scoring. The problem has reached epidemic status and is costing the team critical points in the standings. Just two goals each in the past two games would have yielded four points instead of the one that the team attained.
Today’s Daily Cup of Joe offers a number of different angles on the team’s scoring struggles.
Need more ugly goals
The one thing that jumps out at me in watching the Hurricanes on one of the typical nights when they struggle is what trying harder looks like. The desperate version of the Hurricanes oftentimes looks like round after round of players trying even harder to beat the goalie. But the one thing that has become abundantly clear is that the team lacks scoring fire power. I think that one shift that could yield results is coaching the team that ‘trying harder’ does not mean chucking random shots at the net even more. Rather, ‘trying harder’ means going to the front of the net to create chaos and make the opposing goalie’s job as difficult at possible.
Considering dealing Justin Faulk from a position of strength
Justin Faulk has rebounded strongly in 2018-19. The scoring is not there yet, but Faulk has been good much more often than not this season. With his improved play, many Canes fans suddenly flipped from shopping Faulk to preferring to keep him. At the extreme level, the problem with this type of approach is that it more or less guarantees that a team will sell low (trading only underperforming players) because they always keep players who are playing well. I would at least consider trading Faulk while his value is higher.
Teravainen has not been horrible, but his current 15-goal pace is not enough. Part of it I think is as simple as playing with more of a scorer’s mentality that aims for 30 goals. The issue is that if Sebastian Aho is playing center and with the puck on his stick quite a bit, he is more suited for playmaking than scoring. And if Teravainen similarly takes on more of a playmaker’s role, the offense seems to lean too much toward passing for a couple of its best shooters.
Elusive depth scoring
Many including myself have raved about the current fourth line of Martinook/Wallmark/Svechnikov. No doubt, the trio has been good recently, but even that good version of Wallmark’s line has yet to ever really click offensively at least as measured by actual scoring. Svechnikov leads the line with a modest 36-point scoring pace. Martinook and Wallmark both project to 30 points right now. That is good for a fourth line, but this is the team’s third line right now.
Trying to jump start Dougie Hamilton
Right now, Dougie Hamilton is on pace for a modest 27 points. That is about half of what the team would have hoped from him. I would be inclined not to break up de Haan/Faulk, but is it possible that playing with de Haan could jump start Hamilton’s scoring?
Late last week, the Hurricanes lost Valentin Zykov when he was claimed off of waivers. Per my request for more ugly goals, Zykov could have been a strong fit. Especially with Ferland out of the lineup injured, Zykov could have been an interesting try out on Aho’s line. He looked good or better in a short audition on that line last Spring. As such, the timing of his departure has been puzzling.
What say you Canes fans?
What are your thoughts on the Canes scoring woes and possible ways to improve scoring?