New Carolina Hurricanes coach Bill Peters may have his hands full in getting the team to be a playoff contender, but he has big plans and hopes for the job.
Peters spoke with ‘Canes fans at the team’s Summerfest in Raleigh and as Chip Alexander of the News & Observer tweeted, what he wants to get out of his team in the upcoming season is, at the least, a much better power play.
Carolina’s power play was 28th in the NHL last season as they converted on 14.6 percent of their opportunities. One big reason for that was the inability to get team captain Eric Staal going with the man-advantage.
Staal had one power play goal last season and Peters said he needs to improve that for him because it’s “unacceptable” and the situation has to be remedied immediately. Tough to argue with that.
One way to fix that is to load up the first unit with the best players. Peters said the power play could have Staal, Jeff Skinner, and Elias Lindholm up front with Alexander Semin on the right point with either Justin Faulk or Ryan Murphy on the other side. With Semin blasting away and the forwards swarming the net, that might just work out.
As for Skinner, he wants to get him to be a 40-goal scorer and a plus-player. Say what you will about plus-minus as a stat, but Skinner is a minus-40 in 259 career games and was a minus-14 last season – an improvement over his minus-21 during the lockout-shortened 2013 season.
If the Hurricanes can get these issues fixed, they’ll be difficult to defend in the Metropolitan Division. Scoring on them, however, could still wind up being a problem for Peters to remedy.