Apr 13, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Carolina Hurricanes center Eric Staal (12) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against the Philadelphia Flyers during the first period at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Carolina Hurricanes - 2013-14 Season Review

 

 

CAROLINA HURRICANES

 2013-14 SEASON

The Carolina Hurricanes finished 24th in the NHL, with a record of 36-35-11 for 83 points.  They ended up 7th the Metropolitan Division and 13th in the 16 team Eastern Conference.  They missed the playoffs for the 5th straight season and 7th time in 8 years since they won the Stanley Cup.

 

PRE-SEASON EXPECTATION

The Hurricanes organization knew it was in tough after the realingment dissolved the former Southeast Division and they were put into the Metropolitan.

HIGHS

  • Jeff Skinner cracked the 30 goal plateau, finishing with 33 goals.
  • Anton Khudobin proved to be a nice free agent signing in the off-season.

LOWS

 

PROGNOSIS FOR NEXT SEASON

The Hurricanes were never really in the mix for a playoff spot, and it is tough to see where small levels of improvement will get them that far ahead this year.  The Stall brothers both need to get closer to a point per game and Semin needs to earn his $7M ticket.   If the torch has really been passed in goal from Ward to Khudobin, it might be time to move the former Conn Smythe Trophy winner along if a deal can be found.

It figures to be a tough road ahead for the rebuilding Canes.  

 

5 QUESTIONS WITH CARDIAC CANE

We asked Brett Finger, staff writer for cardiaccane.com  a few questions about the Carolina Hurricanes’ season and future.  Here are his responses:

1)  What was the biggest surprise for your team?

The biggest surprise for the Carolina Hurricanes was definitely Andrej Sekera. When the Canes traded Jamie McBain and a second round pick in the 2013 draft from Sekera, I thought it was an even trade, but Andrej Sekera played like a top-two defenseman for the Hurricanes. He finished with a career high in goals (11), assists (33), points (44), and blocked shots (127). He also finished as a +4 on a team that finished well out of the playoff race. That is very impressive for a player in his first year with the team. Throughout the year, Andrej Sekera was solid in every area, and he turned into one of the team’s best players in the 2013-2014 season.

2)  What was the biggest disappointment for your team?

I’d say that Eric Staal was the team’s biggest disappointment. To his credit, he did lead the team in points at the end of the year with 61, but that point total was his lowest since his rookie season in the 2003-2004 season. Eric Staal is supposed to be the leader on this team, but he was unnoticeable very often when he was on the ice. He is supposed to be the best player on the team, but I do not think he was close being that player. You can blame injuries and other things for this, but he needs to be that big time player for the Carolina Hurricanes. He is expected to be a game changer, but he was not that this year. He will need to have a big bounce back season next year. The team goes as Eric Staal goes, and the team had a disappointing year, just like their captain.

 

3)   What is the biggest need going forward?
Obviously, the Carolina Hurricanes now need a coach following Kirk Muller‘s dismissal from the team, but they also need a gritty, skilled forward at the top of the lineup. They need a forward who can get in the dirty areas and get goals along the goal line. A big, skilled power forward could do wonders for the team. Luckily, there are a lot of those types of players in the top-10 of this year’s draft.
4)  Who was your team’s MVP this season?
Anton Khudobin is my team MVP. He shocked a lot of people when he came in and stole the starting goalie job from Cam Ward while he battled some injuries, and he was the only reason that the Carolina Hurricanes were in the playoff hunt in the final month of the season. He had a 19-14-1 record with a 2.30 goals against average and a .926 save percentage. That isn’t going to blow many people away, but it was very impressive considering the huge defensive mistakes this team made throughout the season.

5)  What #hashtag would you use to describe your team’s season or state of the team?

My hashtag to describe the state of the team is #uncertainty. Uncertainty surrounds this organization from top to bottom. Ron Francis, new GM of the Carolina Hurricanes, has already fired Kirk Muller along with nearly the whole coaching staff, he’s meeting with AHL coach Jeff Daniels soon to talk about his future, “star” players Cam Ward and Eric Staal may not even be with the organization come preseason, and they have the 7th pick in this year’s NHL Entry Draft. The team is in a tough spot right now, and they have a lot of big decisions to make going into next season.

Thanks to Brett for taking the time to answer our questions.  It remains to be seen what becomes of the Staal and Ward situations.

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Tags: Anton Khudobin Cam Ward Canes Eric Staal Jordan Staal Team Recaps

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