Fact: The Carolina Hurricanes have not scored a goal in the last six periods of hockey.
Fact: Carolina capped off a five-game winning streak by getting shut out two games in a row.
Myth: This is how it’s going to be from now on.
It’s somewhat of a habit for the Hurricanes to take a bad fall after a great streak, but all indications point to this situation not being one of those bad falls. Both of these shutouts came at the hands of really good teams. First it was the Columbus Blue Jackets who are on a hot streak of their own, and then the Calgary Flames who have a surge going on as well.
Furthermore, the difference between the Calgary and Columbus games and the other epic slides is that the Hurricanes actually played with some moxie and looked like a real professional hockey team. No matter how much people hate hearing “it’s just one of those things,” it really is one of those things. A hot Blue Jackets squad and Karri Romo and his new confidence for the Flames were what dropped those games — not the Hurricanes.
The stats look great overall, with the penalty minutes (PIM) moving towards being level, and better in-game situations and the shots on goal (SOG) are keeping up with opponents. While Carolina only has a .292 wins percentage when being outshot, they’re a touch above .500 when outshooting opponents. This is good, since they’re beginning to outshoot, and when they’re outshot it’s not by much. A 30.1 average SOG per game is nothing to scoff at.
With outstanding individual performances from guys like Alexander Semin and Jeff Skinner — as well as guys like Nathan Gerbe starting to step it up — things are not grim.
After their nearly week-long layoff, Carolina takes on the Florida Panthers on Saturday, and save for the Tampa Bay Lightning on Jan. 21, the opponents they face– the Philadelphia Flyers then the Buffalo Sabres — are terrible. It’s possible to slap together another run based on the easy pickings in the upcoming week.
The end of the streak does not mean the end of the surge. This two-game hiccup should not be viewed as a harbinger of things to come but rather a prompt for pushing on into the playoff spot that’s waiting for them.