A month ago, the Carolina Hurricanes seemed to have the Southeast Division lead on cruise control, as solid goaltending and a potent offense was helping them beat most Eastern Conference foes. The Hurricanes now find themselves slipping in the standings, as a result of injuries to key players and a sudden lack of consistent offense. Carolina has lost six straight games, including a 4-1 loss on Tuesday night to the now-division-leading Winnipeg Jets.
During the losing streak, the Hurricanes have managed more than one goal only once. Their lone point over that stretch came in a 2-1 shootout loss to the New York Rangers on Mar. 18. The current losing streak comes on the heels of a stretch that saw the Hurricanes win five of six games even in the midst of losing starting goaltender Cam Ward. Injuries have also sidelined Dan Ellis, Joe Corvo, Jeff Skinner, Justin Faulk, Chad LaRose, Tuomo Ruutu and more this season which has made it hard for a consistent lineup to take shape.
While the Hurricanes took a step toward the future this season by signing Alexander Semin to a long-term deal, they also put Jussi Jokinen and Tim Wallace on waivers. While there have been some positive signs this season, there will be no shortage of excuses if the Hurricanes do end up missing the playoffs. With offensive weapons like Eric Staal, Jordan Staal and Jiri Tlusty, as well as now-starting goaltender Justin Peters showing flashes of brilliance, they have the potential to turn things around. However, they need to do it soon, as the Jets now have a six point lead and the Washington Capitals are nipping at The Hurricanes’ heels.