Since their first season (and prior to it, actually, when they were Hartford), the Carolina Hurricanes have been among the group of teams that’ve made me want to flip channels. In fact, I literally made a list just last season that ranked them as the #1 team I skip when checking which games are on.

And I quoteth myself:

Save for their Stanley  Cup year (which was out of left field), it feels like they’re constantly a non-contending non-playoff team. They’re the wrestler whose job it is to make the star look good (after a quick Google search, that makes them “Jabronis,” apparently). I associate the team with names like Tim Brent, Patrick Dwyer, Jay Harrison and others that make you go… “Y’know, I think I’ll go watch an Oilers game or something.”

I think those wrestlers are also called “jobbers,” Bourne. But anyway.

A few moves later, and I’m suddenly more excited to watch Carolina play than any other team. Seriously.

Consider: what team has better top-end talent than the ‘Canes up front?

Their top six forwards:

Eric Staal
Jordan Staal
Alexander Semin
Jeff Skinner
Jussi Jokinen
Tuomo Ruutu

The only teams that can really touch them are Chicago, with:

Marian Hossa
Patrick Kane
Jonathan Toews
Patrick Sharpe

…and I guess…

Viktor Stalberg
David Bolland

and the New York Rangers, with

Rick Nash
Marian Gaborik
Brad Richards
Derek Stepan
Ryan Callahan
Chris Kreider

Honorable mention to the Ducks, Red Wings, Kings, Sharks and the Future Oilers, when it comes to having two elite lines (a number of teams have four solid forwards, then a massive drop off).

As an offensive-minded hockey guy, I’m pumped to see what they can do.

What might be a little bit scary for Canes fans is that they kind of remind me of Columbus last year. “Finally, they got a big name player to work with Rick Nash in Jeff Carter! Nice, a quality D-man in James Wisniewski! The Blue Jackets are finally going for oh god what just happened.”

The good news is, they don’t have Scott Howson as a GM, who I assume placed his panic button on his office chair at mid-season, thus hitting it every time he sat down.

The Canes have a great goalie in Cam Ward, and since their d-corps is more than a little suspect, there should be plenty of chances both ways.

It’s the perfect equation for exciting hockey – a ton of skill, bad D and great goaltending.

When the season starts up on October 11th (or shortly after), it’ll be the first time in my life I’ve set my DVR to catch a Canes game. It appears as though the Caps are off the hook when it comes to Systems Analyst posts – Carolina, you’re under the microscope this year.

Comments (12)

  1. LA: Kopitar, Brown, Richards, Carter, Williams, Penner/Gagne

    Philly: Giroux, Hartnell, Briere, Voracek, Schenn, Couturier

    • Yeah, there are other comparable teams out there too. It is impressive how much they’ve improved, but the best top end talent? Really?

      • There is definitely some potential for the Kings top two lines to have what might be called a break out year if they can take another step forward as a group… say for instance, scoring at near the same rate they did for the last stretch of the season and through the playoffs. They may not necessarily have the talent to jump them to a level of Carolina or NY in comparison, but a full season of good scoring could change that outlook.

  2. Yeah, I’m considering going to the Canes and Oilers back to backs at the Devils & Rangers – I think those could be exciting games (bonus, all in 2013, so lockout be damned!)

  3. I could compare the Canes to the 2010-2011 Lightning. High octane offence, but no D. However the Canes have a better goaler. The Canes should be fun to watch, but not sure how successful they’ll be.

  4. Bruins: krecji Horton lucic Bergeron Marchand seguin. No one stud but all are good and seguin could become elite soon. Definitely better than Blackhawks, Marchand, seguin, and lucic had more goals than Kane and seguin tied with toews and hossa

  5. Sure is funny how fickle some fans are. I’m an Alex Semin fan and he has been incredibly ripped off. I’ve been ranting about that constantly and while some fans agree that he is an elite player with exciting talent and skill, alot took every opportunity to jump on board to hammer him because that’s what they saw or read. Now it seems those that who said nothing in his defense but appear to like him are crawling out of the woodwork. The Canes have as good or better a top six as any other team. Some defense work and perhaps a good backup for Ward and they are contenders. Look for some very nice hockey to watch.

  6. Krejci Lucic Horton
    Bergeron Marchand Seguin

    THE best defensive minded top 6 in the league. Might not put up as many goals individually but had the best plus minus in the league.

  7. Stars: Jagr, Whitney, Benn, Eriksson, Ryder, Roy…….with Morrow and Fiddler as 3+4 centers.
    Probably not cup-bound, but look for some highlight reels and likely playoff berth.

  8. Okay, I guess this is an okay top 6 on paper but only 2 of these guys have flirted with 70+ points. Skinner regressed, E.Staal hasn’t been able to repeat anything near his dominance when he got 100 points same with Semin and his 84 or whatever a couple years ago. Jordans career HIGH is only 50 points (Dave Bollands is better) and if Jokinen and Ruutu are placed there without hesitation then Bolland and Stalberg should be locks without an “and I guess…”

  9. Skinner was concussed and missed time, Semin saw a drop in ice time and linemates, and Jordan Staal only saw top six minutes and linemates when someone got injured. If you rather have Dave Bolland over Jordan Staal, you’d be the only one.

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