Around The NHL In 30 Days: Carolina Hurricanes

The Fansided NHL Network, that SenShot is proud to be a member of, is embarking on its NHL preview. Each day in September, one of its members will be posting a preview for their club.  SenShot will look at their preview, and let you have a look.  After that, we will provide our own perspective.  Jared will handle the Western Conference teams while Tony will look at the East.

Today, we’ll preview our Southeast foes, the Carolina Hurricanes.

 

Here’s what Cardiac Cane‘s senior editor, Kristina Kelly had to say:

The Canes will make the playoffs this season. It may come down to a couple games, but fiddle-dee-dee they will do it! Here are the 8 reasons we will make at least 8th seed this season:

8. The Fans: We are the loudest hockey barn in the NHL. We can lift our Canes to victory. Epic tailgating, faithful roadsters, and caniacs of all sorts will provide fan support.

7. The Schedule: Fellow Cardiac Canes writer, Dan MacLachlan, provided a great schedule breakdown and I agreed with his points. It is a little less strenuous than the previous year and that can only aid our mission.

6. The Changes: We may have lost Erik Cole and Joe Corvo, but we gained strong talent in Anthony Stewart, Alexei Ponikarovsky, Tomas Kaberle, and Tim Brent. These changes were made to improve our defense, particularly the power play. Throw in coaching changes with Rod Brind’Amour and Dave Lewis and Canes have filled some potholes from 2010-11.

5. The Finns: What is not to love about the Finns? Glass shattering Tuomo Ruutu leads the pack with his aggressive play-making skills. Ruutu snagged 57 points last season. Ruutu, Jokinen, and Pitkanen played in 224 games collectively and earned 144 points (43g, 101a) in 2010-11.

To see the rest of Kristina’s Eight reasons why the Canes will make the playoffs, click here to continue reading Cardiac Cane‘s entire Carolina preview.

You can follow Kristina on Twitter here for all your Cane news and info.

Here’s SenShot’s take on the upcoming Cane’s season:

The Canes are an interesting team to be a fan of. One year, they win the Cup, then go two years out of the post-season. Then make a run to the conference finals, then spent another two years golfing in April. But if this current pattern holds true, Canes fans are in for some playoff hockey come next spring.

I think the Canes’ success depends on their four biggest stars. Their team captain, Eric Staal needs to prove that he is not only a star in the NHL, but a superstar. He needs to be better than his average of 78 points over his first six seasons in the league. He needs to put this team on his back and be in the 100 point range and a dominant force on the ice.

On the back end, newly resigned Joni Pitkanen will have to be a force from the blue line. With only 35 points last season, Pitkanen will get help with the addition of Tomas Kaberle in the point production department, but he will need to be better himself. The soon to be 28 year old needs to establish himself as a star in this league and has to earn his new salary.

Cam Ward saw 2375 shots last season, and had his best save percentage of his career. But it still wasn’t enough. He played in a career high 74 games, won 37 games and still didn’t make it into the playoffs. Even though he had a great year, Ward will need to be better. Can he play more then 70 plus games again?

And finally, young star Jeff Skinner will have to build on his impressive rookie campaign. After notching 31 goals and 63 points, the Calder trophy winner will have to avoid the dreaded sophomore slump. Will he follow in the footsteps of Steven Stamkos and have a breakout second year? All Canes’ fans are hoping so.

These four players will play a huge factor in the Canes making the playoffs this year. But can they make the playoffs? They will be in a battle with a number of teams for the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference but will then have to go through the elite teams in the East. Either way, the Canes will need to battle all season long to return to the promised land.

Check back here tomorrow when we preview the Chicago Blackhawks and their upcoming season.

**Don’t forget to buy your Tickets for SenShot’s Alfie Night in Ottawa on November 11th, 2011. Click here for more details**

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