By Michael Peckerar @michaelpeckerar on April 7, 2014
The Carolina Hurricanes are missing the playoffs again, and a lot of people want to know why.
There's a lot of places to point fingers, most of them justified. However, there are numbers that show the Hurricanes missing the playoffs was more preventable than it looked. Here are five of them.
Failure to maintain momentum killed the Hurricanes this year. One of the puddings where this proof can be found is in the 73 goals against allowed in the third. Not the worst in the league, but very close to it.
This is obviously a source of many blown leads.
These two spent a ton of time on the same line, and their lack of chemistry has begun to show. Staal has by far and away the worst plus/minus on the team, skating at a minus-12. Semin on the other hand is a plus-3. Semin does fine on other assignments, but not with Staal. These two need to be broken up.
While it doesn't happen enough, the Hurricanes are .724 when scoring first. This is in the top half of the league and is a respectable percentage. Carolina only has three losses when logging the first goal. Coming out swinging in the first usually paid off when it happened.
Unfortunately, failure to maintain that pressure often allowed the first goal to be against, a momentum-killer.
To control the action, one must first control the puck, hence the importance of faceoffs. Carolina is third in the league for faceoff wins with a 52.2 percentage. Manny Malhotra in particular was a beast, winning 59 percent of his.
Gaining the puck was no problem. It's what was done with the puck afterwards that was a disaster. This spells wasted opportunities.
A great case could be made for the Hurricanes' nauseating power play being the keystone to the losing season. The 14.2 percent conversion places Carolina at almost the worst in the league. Opponents knew this, evidenced by the Canes' high tally of power play opportunities at 274.
Failure to convert on the man advantage could be what sank the season.
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