Carolina Hurricanes steadily improve upon recent years

After winning the Stanley Cup in 2006, the Carolina Hurricanes, coached by Bill Peters, have had a tough time keeping up with the rest of the Eastern conference. Coming in sixth place for the 2015-2016 season, the Hurricanes are in serious need of some game changing skills.

Although the past few years the team’s performance has been lackluster at best, this year the Hurricanes are making pace towards snagging a stop in the playoffs. The Hurricanes have come off a 35-31-16 season, in which they did not qualify for the playoffs for the seventh straight year.

Before the 2016-17 season began, the Hurricanes made several additions in an attempt to make the team more competitive. They drafted defenseman Jake Bean with the 13th overall selection and forward Julien Gauthier with the 21st overall selection. Both Bean and Gauthier were drafted from Canadian Junior Leagues and are not expected to play in the 2016-17 season.  They also signed free agents Viktor Stalberg and Lee Stempniak.

Peters has established himself as a good coach and he has the Hurricanes moving in the right direction. The only problem is the division. Still, a wild card spot is not out of the question and it would come probably a year before anyone really anticipated this team had a shot at reaching the postseason,” said J.J. Regan of Comcast SportsNet Atlantic.

After a slow October in which the Hurricanes went 2-4-2, they improved significantly in November with a record of 7-5-2. From Nov. 12 to 22, the Hurricanes won five games in a row, a season high winning streak. Dec. 13, the Hurricanes set a season high in goals (8), defeating the Vancouver Canucks in a comeback victory 8-6. The Hurricanes snapped a 3-game home win streak. Jan 3 when they lost to the New Jersey Devils.  

Gabe Brew, who has played roller hockey since elementary school, is a fan of the Hurricanes. He has played defense for a house recreational, travel team and for the team at Athens Drive High School.

“I’ve played hockey since I have loved the Hurricanes since I was in the elementary school. Even though the Hurricanes didn’t have the best couple of seasons in recent times, I still think they are a good team,” said Gabe Brew, senior.

A prominent statistician for hockey stats, Dominik Luszczyszyn, has given his insight for the Hurricanes. He believes the team is improving on their last few seasons.

“It’ll take time for this team to become one of the East’s best, but they’re on the right path. This year looks to be another difficult one unless the goaltending situation gets figured out, or the team solves it’s scoring woes. They’ve got a solid process down, it’s time to turn it into results,” said Luszczyszyn.

The Hurricanes ended the 2016-2017 season with a 24-24-8 record. Coming in eighth in the eastern conference. They are practicing often during the offseason to prepare for next year.

Victor Rask prepares for the next play against the Florida Panthers