5 Reasons Why Carolina Hurricanes Will Make 2016 NHL Playoffs

By Will Billinghurst

The Carolina Hurricanes were expected to be at the bottom of the NHL again in 2015-16, and for the beginning of the season they were. But now the team has clicked and is one point away from a playoff spot. Nobody saw it coming as they slowly crept up the Eastern Conference standings to within reach of the postseason. Here are five reasons why the Hurricanes will ultimately end up making the 2016 NHL playoffs.

5 Reasons Why Carolina Hurricanes Will Make 2016 NHL Playoffs
← Tip: Use keyboard arrows to navigate →

5. Eric Staal

Eric Staal Credit: Getty Images
Captain Eric Staal is having a good year with 30 points in 51 games, but there have been trade rumors surrounding him all season. This hasn't affected Staal's play at all, and he has continued to be a driving force for Carolina. Staal's stability through the season has really helped the team go from an expected bottom-feeder to surprisingly within reach of the playoffs.

5. Eric Staal

Captain Eric Staal is having a good year with 30 points in 51 games, but there have been trade rumors surrounding him all season. This hasn't affected Staal's play at all, and he has continued to be a driving force for Carolina. Staal's stability through the season has really helped the team go from an expected bottom-feeder to surprisingly within reach of the playoffs.

4. Jeff Skinner

Jeff Skinner Credit: Getty Images
After a dreadful season in 2014-15 with just 31 points in 77 games, Jeff Skinner has rebounded with 28 points in 51 games this season. Carolina needs Skinner to be that 30-goal scorer again to have any chance at the playoffs, and with 18 goals this season he looks to be on pace for the 30-goal mark once again.

4. Jeff Skinner

After a dreadful season in 2014-15 with just 31 points in 77 games, Jeff Skinner has rebounded with 28 points in 51 games this season. Carolina needs Skinner to be that 30-goal scorer again to have any chance at the playoffs, and with 18 goals this season he looks to be on pace for the 30-goal mark once again.

3. A Winning Formula

A Winning Formula Credit: Getty Images
Whatever Carolina is doing is working out great. It has seven wins in its last 10 games. It doesn't seem to just be a fluke either with Carolina beating the Chicago Blackhawks 5-0. The Blackhawks happen to be the best team in the NHL. If Carolina can beat Chicago that soundly, then there isn't a team in the league it can't beat if it continues to play at this level.

3. A Winning Formula

Whatever Carolina is doing is working out great. It has seven wins in its last 10 games. It doesn't seem to just be a fluke either with Carolina beating the Chicago Blackhawks 5-0. The Blackhawks happen to be the best team in the NHL. If Carolina can beat Chicago that soundly, then there isn't a team in the league it can't beat if it continues to play at this level.

2. Justin Faulk

Justin Faulk Credit: Getty Images
NHL All-Star Justin Faulk has been exactly what the Carolina Hurricanes have needed for years -- a highly skilled, puck-moving defenseman who can provide offense. With 33 points in 51 games, Faulk is leading the team in points and is on pace for his best season yet. Faulk will be the reason why Carolina makes the playoffs this season.

2. Justin Faulk

NHL All-Star Justin Faulk has been exactly what the Carolina Hurricanes have needed for years -- a highly skilled, puck-moving defenseman who can provide offense. With 33 points in 51 games, Faulk is leading the team in points and is on pace for his best season yet. Faulk will be the reason why Carolina makes the playoffs this season.

1. Rest Of The East Is Struggling

Rest Of The East Is Struggling Credit: Getty Images
The No. 1 reason why the Carolina Hurricanes will make the playoffs is because the rest of the Eastern Conference hasn't been playing well. That may sound like a simple answer, but when most of the Eastern teams in a playoff spot have been inconsistent all season it gives an opportunity for a team at the bottom of the standings to climb into a playoff spot. There are five teams within five points of the final Wild Card spot, so if Carolina can have a good ending to the season, it will assuredly make the playoffs.

1. Rest Of The East Is Struggling

The No. 1 reason why the Carolina Hurricanes will make the playoffs is because the rest of the Eastern Conference hasn't been playing well. That may sound like a simple answer, but when most of the Eastern teams in a playoff spot have been inconsistent all season it gives an opportunity for a team at the bottom of the standings to climb into a playoff spot. There are five teams within five points of the final Wild Card spot, so if Carolina can have a good ending to the season, it will assuredly make the playoffs.

You May Also Like