The Carolina Hurricanes went into play on Feb. 24 with an 8-7-1 record and a three-game losing streak. Since then, the Hurricanes have gone 6-2 and have scored at least two goals in their last five games thanks to a resurgent offense led by Eric Staal. Staal is now up to 30 points for the season and Dan Ellis has filled in very well for the injured Cam Ward. Carolina has become a team that has real hope to be the top seed in the Eastern Conference this season.
Carolina is even getting production out of unlikely sources like Jiri Tlusty, who is up to 13 goals for the season and is on pace to average around a point a game. Carolina is now leading the Southeast Division by four points and is starting to pull away in the process. Staal has been the leader like he should as the captain and added two more assists on Saturday. Ellis played again after being out due to illness and didn’t allow any effects in a 6-3 win.
I don’t think that the Hurricanes can keep up their current pace, but it has been fun to see as it has gone on. While the Hurricanes are seven points out of the top seed and if they weren’t leading the division would be in sixth place in the conference, I still believe that Carolina can contend the rest of the year to get to that top spot. There is a lot to fear with this Carolina team and when Ward returns from his injury, his mind will most likely be a lot clearer than it was to start the season. That spells trouble for the other teams in the Eastern Conference.