Carolina Hurricanes' Power Play Continues To Struggle

By Jonathan Katje
Eric Staal Hurricanes PP
Timothy T. Ludwig – USA TODAY Sports

The Carolina Hurricanes suffered a 5-3 loss at the hands of the Boston Bruins on Monday night, and while the loss showed the team can score goals, their disappointing 0-for-6 performance on the power play is cause for concern. The team has now failed to convert with the man-advantage in three of their five games, ranking 27th in the league. The team ranks 13th in goals for, so they aren’t having problems scoring at even strength, which makes this predicament even more puzzling.

So, what’s the problem here? The Hurricanes don’t lack scoring power, with Eric Staal, Alexander Semin, Jeff Skinner and special teams specialist Jordan Staal all in the fold. So far, Skinner has been leading the way for the team in all situations, and has two of the team’s power play goals. Wingers Chad LaRose and Jussi Jokinen have been far too quiet so far, as both have minus-4 ratings and 10 combined shots. Only five players managed more than 10 power play points last season, so this isn’t exactly a new trend. With goals at a premium in a shortened season, coach Kirk Muller needs to get this figured out soon. Things won’t get easier anytime soon, as the Hurricanes’ next game is against the Ottawa Senators, who currently boast the league’s sixth best penalty killing unit.

A lack of secondary scoring could doom Carolina this season, and with many talented prospects in the AHL with the Charlotte Checkers, expect to see some call-ups soon. The team already gave Jeremy Welsh his second game of NHL action, and Chris Terry, Brett Sutter and Riley Nash are all having great seasons in the AHL and would be prime candidates for a shot in Raleigh.

Jonathan Katje is an NHL blogger for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @JKatje or add him to you network on Google.

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