The statistics say the Carolina Hurricanes are one of the top puck-possession teams in hockey.
But unlike most teams who fare well in the Corsi and Fenwick departments, the ‘Canes still lose more games than they win.
In the past, much of the blame for their struggles has been piled on Cam Ward and Eddie Lack, the two goalies. But Ward has actually been much better this season. The veteran netminder has a .924 save percentage over his 19 starts. He just hasn’t received much in the way of goal support, which explains his modest 9-7-4 record.
In fact, in Ward’s last five starts, he’s allowed just eight goals combined. The ‘Canes only won one of those games, a 1-0 overtime triumph Sunday against Tampa Bay.
Read more: The curious case of the Carolina Hurricanes
Carolina (10-10-5) starts a three-game California road trip tonight in Anaheim.
“Our focus is on scoring,” coach Bill Peters said, per NHL.com. “It’s the ability to get on the board. I’d love to get on the board early. … It’s about the urgency to score, what you have to do to score. I want to see more guys in the blue paint. I want to see guys making it harder on the goaltender. If we do that, we’ll be successful.”
It remains to be seen if they have the personnel to score more dirty goals. At the moment, they’re without Jordan Staal (concussion), and that’s a significant loss. Up front, the ‘Canes just aren’t a very heavy team. Their top point-producers are speedy and skilled — Jeff Skinner, Victor Rask, Sebastian Aho, and Teuvo Teravainen — but Staal is the biggest and most physical of the bunch.
“To generate more offense and score more goals, we’ve got to be able to work our way inside and make it tough on them,” said defenseman Justin Faulk.
However they do it, they need to find a way. Because the ‘Canes have been slipping in the standings. They’re now six points back of a wild-card spot, tied with the Islanders and Leafs for the fewest points in the Eastern Conference.
Via Stats.HockeyAnalysis.com, here are the 10 goalies who have received the least amount of goal support this season: