Jordan Staal

Columnist: The improving ‘Canes are TOTALLY blowing it


We mentioned last week that the Carolina Hurricanes, after a terrible start to the season, were beginning to play some pretty good hockey. And that’s continued in the time since, with two more wins in Ottawa and Toronto improving their record to 6-2-1 in January.

That also has one columnist at Raleigh’s News & Observer wondering if the ‘Canes are, you know, totally blowing it.

Write Luke DeCock:

In the NHL, if you’re not going to be good, it’s far better to be very, very bad, especially in a year when there’s a generational prospect available with the No. 1 pick in the draft, which happens every three or four years or so. Connor McDavid may not be a household name yet for casual American hockey fans, but there’s a pretty good chance he will be for the next 15 years or so.

Since McDavid is available, with Jack Eichel not far behind in the No. 2 spot, it’s a really good year to be really bad, a far better time to be much worse than usual.

No one enjoys losing, and no one should, but a little short-term pain could pay huge long-term dividends for the Hurricanes. Anything else only leads to more of the same.

It’s worth noting that the ‘Canes, barring a miracle, still have a shot at winning the draft lottery. All they have to do is miss the playoffs.

But DeCock is right that their chances of landing McDavid or Eichel are growing worse. And unlike the Buffalo Sabres, who went on a run of their own in November and December, the ‘Canes, with Jordan Staal back in the lineup, are playing solid possession hockey, suggesting this may not just be a blip.

Video: Leafs, Canes captains spar; Staal rockets empty-netter towards Phaneuf


Carolina’s Eric Staal took exception to a hit Leafs defenseman Dion Phaneuf delivered to Eric’s younger brother, Jordan Staal in the third period of the Hurricanes’ 4-1 victory tonight. The elder Staal was quick to challenge Phaneuf over it and the two team captains exchanged blows.

You can see that fight below:

That wasn’t the end of it though. With the game winding down, Eric Staal was given the opportunity to collect an empty-net goal with Phaneuf being the primary obstacle in his path. Staal rocketed the puck forward nearly hitting the Leafs blueliner in the process:

“I was ready,” Staal told PHT’s Dhiren Mahiban. “One of those plays where you just react and you’re into the emotion of the game, you’re into the energy and I knew I wanted to get it in so I made sure I got a hold of it.”

That was just Staal’s second NHL fight, per By comparison, Phaneuf has dropped the gloves four times in the 2014-15 campaign alone.

Video: Lindholm’s shootout goal helps the Canes edge the Avs

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Elias Lindholm showed off his sweet hands in the shootout helping the Carolina Hurricanes edge the Colorado Avalanche 3-2 Tuesday night.

Victor Rask also scored in the shootout while Matt Duchene and Nathan MacKinnon were stopped by Anton Khudobin.

The Canes have now won two of three.

Jordan Staal scored his first of the season to open the scoring and Patrick Dwyer had the other Hurricanes regulation goal.

Khudobin made 28 saves to improve to 3-8-2.

Duchene and John Mitchell had the Avs’ regulation goals while Calvin Pickard made 44 saves in the loss.

Video: Jordan Staal opens the scoring with his first of the season

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Jordan Staal netted his first of the season tonight giving the Carolina Hurricanes a 1-0 lead over the Colorado Avalanche after 20 minutes.

It was Staal’s first goal since March 22, 2014.

The 26-year-old of course missed the first 35 games of the season after breaking his fibula during the preseason.

Staal now has a goal and three assists in seven games since returning.

Comeback ‘Cane: Jordan Staal to make season debut tonight

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After a 35-game absence, Jordan Staal will be back in the Carolina lineup this evening when the ‘Canes host the Habs at PNC Arena.

Staal, who suffered a broken fibula during the preseason, was activated off IR earlier today and will center the club’s top line next to his brother, Eric Staal, who’ll play right wing, while Nathan Gerbe will play the left side.

The hope for Carolina and head coach Bill Peters is that Staal can inject some life into the offense. The ‘Canes scored one or no goals in nine of their games in December, and currently sit 29th in the NHL in goals per game (2.0).