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Wild vs. Hurricanes
Tracking the Storm

Scoring Depth Key for Hurricanes

Thursday, 04.23.2009 / 11:11 AM / Tracking the Storm
By Paul Branecky
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Scoring Depth Key for Hurricanes
It didn’t seem like it for much of the season due to injuries, but good health and a few trades have transformed the Hurricanes into a deep offensive team.

Paul Branecky
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As we saw in Games 3 and 4 in Raleigh, the team’s fourth line of Ryan Bayda, Jussi Jokinen and Scott Walker, all of which can play higher in the lineup and probably would be on many other teams, can score big goals in addition to providing an energy boost.

That trio netted a goal in each of the aforementioned home games, not counting Jokinen’s dramatic Game 4 winner that came while skating with Rod Brind’Amour and Sergei Samsonov. 

No disrespect to the 2006 fourth line of Craig Adams, Kevyn Adams and Chad LaRose, but even that team didn’t have the same scoring depth. Although that unit played very well in a shutdown role, it combined for just one assist in the playoffs.

Perhaps in this series more than any other, scoring balance has been important. With a structured system, reliable defensemen and excellent checking forwards such as John Madden, the New Jersey Devils make a living by limiting the chances of the opposition’s high-end players. That being said, Eric Staal’s two goals in four games aren’t a bad return. 

That’s going to happen against New Jersey, which is what makes the contributions of others more important. While the Devils’ best defensive players are keyed on Carolina’s scoring lines, others need to step up. We all know what the big guys can do, but depth players can often be the X factor in the playoffs. So far, so good in that regard.

On the New Jersey side, their overall depth has taken a hit as Jamie Langenbrunner and Bryce Salvador seem unlikely to play tonight. Langenbrunner, who normally plays on the team’s top scoring line, missed Games 2 and 3 with a lower body injury. Salvador, a physical defenseman, appeared to suffer a knee injury in Game 5 and left the game in the second period.

The Canes are scheduled to take the Prudential Center ice at noon today, so we’ll have audio from players and coaches, as well as any other updates, shortly afterwards.

One update on Sunday’s game at the RBC Center – New York’s win over Washington last night means that Game 6 in that series is still not assured. Since the Hurricanes’ start time on Sunday depends on that series, we won’t know when the puck drops at the RBC Center until after its next game on Friday night. If Washington wins, the Canes are at 7:30. If the Rangers win and end the series, the Canes are at 2.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 63 41 17 5 171 139 87
2 NYR 62 39 17 6 196 153 84
3 NYI 64 41 21 2 205 179 84
4 TBL 64 38 20 6 210 171 82
5 DET 61 35 15 11 180 159 81
6 PIT 62 36 17 9 181 155 81
7 WSH 64 34 20 10 188 159 78
8 BOS 62 31 22 9 165 161 71
9 FLA 63 28 22 13 154 178 69
10 PHI 63 27 25 11 168 183 65
11 OTT 60 27 23 10 171 163 64
12 NJD 63 26 27 10 141 164 62
13 CBJ 62 26 32 4 160 196 56
14 CAR 62 24 31 7 144 167 55
15 TOR 63 25 33 5 170 193 55
16 BUF 63 19 39 5 123 212 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Faulk 62 12 28 -18 40
E. Staal 57 18 20 -12 38
E. Lindholm 61 11 16 -18 27
J. Skinner 57 16 10 -17 26
N. Gerbe 58 7 16 -10 23
R. Nash 59 7 15 -10 22
V. Rask 60 8 12 -16 20
J. McClement 62 6 13 3 19
J. Staal 26 4 12 -4 16
A. Nestrasil 34 4 11 4 15
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 17 20 4 .911 2.43
A. Khudobin 7 11 3 .905 2.61