Early on this season, the Carolina Hurricanes looked like a team primed to rebound after missing out on the playoffs last year. They were leading the Southeast Division, providing some serious pop in the offensive end, and taking advantage of their new acquisitions in order to get off to a pretty solid start.
Fast forward to April. As we head into the home stretch, the Hurricanes look like a team that won’t be anywhere near the postseason by the time this month comes to an end. Their playoff hopes continue to slip away by the day. And things aren’t getting any easier.
Heading into the weekend, the Canes are sitting in 12th in the Eastern Conference, five points away from a playoff spot. They’ve only won one of their last ten games, and have only managed a point in two of them. Their goal differential is at minus-15, which is fourth worst in the East.
After a hot offensive start to their season, the Hurricanes are down to 16th in the league in goals per game, while ranking in the bottom five in the league in goals-against. Their power play is simply atrocious, coming in at 26th. Numbers don’t lie, this team is not good right now.
Injuries haven’t helped. They’ve been without Justin Faulk and are now without Joni Pitkanen for at least a few months with a serious leg injury sustained earlier this week. They played a lot of the year without Tuomo Ruutu. When things are bad for this team, they are really bad.
The Canes probably are not going to be playoff bound this season. They can take solace in the fact that they have plenty of young talent on this roster and coming up through their system. They’ll be a power in this league soon enough. But their playoff window for 2013 is closing extremely quickly.